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The W - Hockey - It's all but over
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BrewGuy
Kolbasz








Since: 2.1.02
From: Pickering, Ontario

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.27

The end is here. As you've probably read, many teams have re-signed their coaches, and several sources up here in Toronto (head to tsn.ca and read Bob McKenzie's articles, amongst others) state that the deal will officially be announced, at the absolute latest, next week - more likely sometime during this week.

Talk about a 10-ton weight being off your shoulders. But this brings up a whole multitude of other questions: What will the rule changes be? How will the draft be executed? What will teams like the Leafs, who only have 6 or 7 players under contract, do to keep their teams competitive? And will Bettman and Goodenow keep their jobs? Once the deal is finally announced, we're gonna get a landslide of hockey news - at least up here in Toronto, we will. Either way, I'll just be thrilled to have it back.




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Since: 11.12.01
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.63

    Originally posted by BrewGuy
    Once the deal is finally announced, we're gonna get a landslide of hockey news - at least up here in Toronto, we will. Either way, I'll just be thrilled to have it back.


I also will be glad to have it back, but I fear the landslide in the States will only be a couple of pebbles rolling down the little hill, Brew. I do miss the Bruins.



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JoshMann
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Since: 17.11.03
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
Under the circumstances, all they've done is just accomplish the easy part. The hard part is how do they make people come back to the arenas. Some cities it will be easier than others, but the fans coming back certainly wasn't a guarantee in baseball in 1995.





(edited by Blanket Jackson on 6.7.05 0928)


"Did you get your Journalism degree from a box of Cocoa Puffs?"
dunkndollaz
Banger








Since: 3.1.02
From: Northern NJ

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.75
As much as I hate both the players and the owners for what they did to the fans last year, I'll be back once they drop the puck. I love hockey too much not to go to the games. I will also probably go to fewer NHL games but will definitely go to more minor league games.

Let's Go Rangers !
Let's Go Wolfpack !
Let's Go Titans ! (and Checkers !)



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Since: 20.9.02
From: New York, NY

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.01
Baseball had it really easy in retrospect as well. There was the heartstopping Yanks/Mariners ALDS in 95, you had Ripken's streak and the Maris home run chase.

After both/either side did this to fans, I get the feeling it's going to take something remarkable to bring the average fan back to the ice.



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Omar Padilla
Chourico








Since: 3.1.02

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.00
    Originally posted by Blanket Jackson
    Under the circumstances, all they've done is just accomplish the easy part. The hard part is how do they make people come back to the arenas. Some cities it will be easier than others, but the fans coming back certainly wasn't a guarantee in baseball in 1995.





    (edited by Blanket Jackson on 6.7.05 0928)


Aside from their long talked about plan to 'lower' ticket prices, fans may see the best ticket packages that they've ever seen. Whether they be season ticket, half season or another group of multi-game packs, several teams may be looking to butter up fans with some good deals. The Kings have always been very good with this and the P.R. offices for the Kings and Ducks are already making some noise with hints at promises of what fans are in store for.

Of course, that could all be for naught and the owners big treat for fans will be more player appearances instead of slashing ticket prices.



whatever
Lap cheong








Since: 12.2.02
From: Cleveland, Ohio

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.47
    Originally posted by Brian P. Dermody
    Baseball had it really easy in retrospect as well. There was the heartstopping Yanks/Mariners ALDS in 95, you had Ripken's streak and the Maris home run chase.

    After both/either side did this to fans, I get the feeling it's going to take something remarkable to bring the average fan back to the ice.

Hey, don't forget the Tribe getting to the World Series, too.

What if anything will happen to the players who signed overseas? Specifically, I recall hearing that Joe Thornton (sp?) signed with a European club - does he have an out to return to the Bruins?



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Sec19Row53
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Oconomowoc, WI

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.45
    Originally posted by Brian P. Dermody
    Baseball had it really easy in retrospect as well. There was the heartstopping Yanks/Mariners ALDS in 95, you had Ripken's streak and the Maris home run chase.

Except that the home run chase came in 1998, a full four seasons after the strike. I'm not sure that the NHL can wait that long for fans to return.

That said, what would be the equivalent of the home run chase -- something that would entice fans back? Obviously two players chasing a Gretzky scoring record, but let's be real about the chances of THAT happening.



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Omar Padilla
Chourico








Since: 3.1.02

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.00
That's probably where the rule changes come into play.

The NHL doesn't have that marquee guy that will be able to start chasing records....yet. When we look at guys like Heatley, Nash and later Crosby, they're going to need some help chasing those records because with the way the game is played now, there is no way they'll get it done.

But when you remove the red line, have tag-up offsides, reduce goalies equipment and start thinking about having shoot outs, you're giving these guys a much better opportunity of doing what Gretzky and others did when the game was a lot more open.

Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.74
The plan for the draft will allegedly work as follows, according to the Hockey News. Each team will get five balls in a random lottery, with one ball taken out for each year in the last five that they've made the playoffs or had the #1 overall draft pick. The maximum number of balls you can lose is four, so for teams like Detroit, they still have a 1-in-70 or so chance of drafting Crosby.



"You can look the other way once, and it's no big deal, except it makes it easier for you to compromise the next time, and pretty soon that's all your doing; compromising, because that's the way you think things are done. You know those guys I busted? You think they were the bad guys? Because they weren't, they weren't bad guys, they were just like you and me. Except they compromised... Once." -- Jack Bauer
richcon
Linguica








Since: 2.1.02
From: Victoria, BC, Canada

Since last post: 1906 days
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#11 Posted on
    Originally posted by BigBad
    The plan for the draft will allegedly work as follows, according to the Hockey News. Each team will get five balls in a random lottery, with one ball taken out for each year in the last five that they've made the playoffs or had the #1 overall draft pick. The maximum number of balls you can lose is four, so for teams like Detroit, they still have a 1-in-70 or so chance of drafting Crosby




This plan gives the shaft to teams like Detroit, Toronto and Vancouver. Especially a team like Vancouver (or New Jersey or other mid market teams) that ran their teams well over the last five years. They basically get punished for their past sucess. In a regular draft this could be justified because it would help the weaker teams. In the new NHL, each team is only gauranteed to retain more than a few of their players, so a poorly managed team gets a better shot at Crosy and other high picks as well as an even chance to get all of the potential free agents.

I should stop whining though, I'm glad to see the NHL is likely coming back. Hopefully the Canucks can find a way to keep most of their team together.
Freeway
Scrapple








Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.04
    Originally posted by Omar Padilla
    That's probably where the rule changes come into play.

    The NHL doesn't have that marquee guy that will be able to start chasing records....yet. When we look at guys like Heatley, Nash and later Crosby, they're going to need some help chasing those records because with the way the game is played now, there is no way they'll get it done.

    But when you remove the red line, have tag-up offsides, reduce goalies equipment and start thinking about having shoot outs, you're giving these guys a much better opportunity of doing what Gretzky and others did when the game was a lot more open.




Baseball was over HUGE up here after Blue Jays World Series wins in 1992 & 1993. The strike basically destroyed any goodwill that baseball had up here after that. It still hasn't really recovered.

Hockey, on the other hand...the Flames (before and after the last lock-out) were fine. We've drawn AT LEAST 16,000 a game on average. Heck, we still have something like a 45 game sell-out streak going, which contributed to the Flames making a shitload of cash last season.

The point is that to get fans back, there needs to be success. The Blue Jays gradually became a draw from their inception in 1977 until the lock-out. The team went from okayish to awesome. The Jays had AL East pennants in 1989, 1991, 1992 & 1993. They haven't gotten past 3rd place since the lock-out. That's a problem, especially in what I consider to be a non-traditional baseball city.

If teams in non-traditional hockey cities can develop as draws (like Tampa Bay seems to be doing), they may be all right.



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Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.65
In the realm of professional sports I just don't see the NHL as one of the more balanced and competitive leagues. Give me an NHL that's more like the NFL where the teams are balanced and the superstars are spread around the league and I'll actually watch the regular season. Cutting down the number of regular season games might help too. Before the lockout the only time I'd really get into hockey was the run-up to the playoffs.

As for the lockout itself, I feel it was a slap in the face to the fans. Basically the owners and the players said, "We don't need to play. We don't need to keep the fans happy. We'll do whatever we want." That attitude leaves me feeling pretty cold, so when the NHL does come back they better be bending over backwards to kiss my ass or I won't have anything to do with it.

-Jag




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edoug
Summer sausage








Since: 13.2.04
From: Maine

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.00
Another report of the end of the lockout.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?id=130240

I don't think that the lockout will be as damaging to the NHL as it was initially for baseball. It seems to be that most hockey fans are hardcore and forgive quicker. Their tv deals weren't that great to begin with. Eventhough ESPN will play hardball its probably their ideal cable home.
dunkndollaz
Banger








Since: 3.1.02
From: Northern NJ

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.75
Drop the Puck already !!!!



The mission of Creative Heartwork, Inc. (creativeheartwork.org) is to utilize the power of the arts to heal children who have experienced trauma, loss, illness or disability.
JimBob Skeeter
Bratwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: MN

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.38
Here ya go!:

The NHL and the players' association reached an agreement in principle Wednesday on a new labor deal, ending a lockout that wiped out last season.

The sides met for 24 hours starting Tuesday afternoon to hammer out the collective bargaining agreement that will return the NHL to the ice. In February, commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season, making the NHL the first North American sports league to lose a year because of a labor dispute.

Both sides still need to ratify the deal, which is expected to contain a salary cap. That process is expected to be completed next week, the league and the union said in a joint news release.

It took all night and then some for the final round of negotiations to produce an agreement.

The sides met for 10 straight days in New York, and it became clear Wednesday morning -- the 301st day of the lockout -- that they weren't going to leave the room without an agreement in hand.

The expected salary cap will likely have a ceiling approaching $40 million and a minimum somewhere between $20 million and $25 million.

Player salaries will not exceed 54 percent of league-wide revenues.

Some players in recent days have voiced their displeasure over what will be included in the new agreement.

Bettman warned in February when he canceled the season that the offers the union passed up were better than any it would see once a year of hockey was lost.

Just days before the season was wiped out, the players' association said for the first time it would accept a salary cap if the league dropped its desire to link player costs to revenues.

Bettman promised "cost certainty" in the form of a hard salary cap to the owners and he has gotten it.

The landscape of the NHL will be quite different than it was back in June 2004 when the Tampa Bay Lightning skated off with the Stanley Cup in the league's last game before the lockout.

Now when the league relaunches in the fall, it will do so with a brand new salary structure that keeps high-spending teams such as Toronto, Philadelphia and the New York Rangers in line.

The first order of business after the deal is ratified will be to get a majority of the players signed. The belief is that last season's contracts will be wiped from the books, leaving many players without deals.

Those who are still under contract will have their salaries reduced by 24 percent, a concept first proposed by the union last December.

There will also be several rules changes that could run the gamut from the size of goaltender equipment to the installation of a shootout to eliminate tie games.

A draft will also have to be held soon, replacing the June event that was the last casualty of the lockout.

Canadian phenom Sidney Crosby is the consensus choice to be the No. 1 pick. Where he goes will be determined by a draft lottery that will give each team an opportunity to snag him.
Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 199 days
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.65
Boy am I glad the Leafs, Rangers, and Flyers Stanley Cup dominance has finally come to an end.

-Jag




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mountinman44
Sujuk








Since: 8.5.02
From: San Diego, CA

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.97
All I can say is, "Hallelujah!" I'm a happy hockey fan. ESPN just had an interview with Jeremy Roenick, and he is elated that this is finally over. BTW, run in to JR on the street, he says he'll shake your hand. I may have to drive up to Lake Tahoe to find that out.



Lemony-fresh victory is mine!
Freeway
Scrapple








Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.04
Draft Lottery goes July 21st, the 2005 Entry Draft goes July 30th in Ottawa. Training camps are tentatively scheduled for mid-to-late August. Regular NHL play resumes in the first week in October.



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Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.02
I'll be excited if ticket prices go down.

If they don't...I hardly expect to attend an NHL game.



I play chicken with the train, play chicken with the train train, uh-huh uh-huh!
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Talking to the fans like they're idiots isn't going to sell the game. If someone - anyone - would just try to market hockey as a fast, tough, exciting sport instead of that quirky game on ice they play in Canada, maybe they'd make a little more headway....
- BigVitoMark, The NHL on NBC (2004)
Related threads: One step closer ? - NHL Draft Cancelled - GAME ON!?!?!?! - More...
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