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Tim Willson

NHL Lockout

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And it's official, Hockey is back on the market.

Couple things:

1. Did the NHL because of their inability to agree over how many million dollars the salary cap should be (which from what I understood was a 5 million dollar difference that we lost one season of hockey), lose their fandom?

Will fans forgive them of their greed? Will they come flocking back?

Hockey, before the lockout was actually the least watched of the American sports compared to football, basketball, and baseball. Now that they've made their fans jaded, what will the audience be now?

2. How will the NHL win their fans back? Will they go out of their way to make it up to season ticket holders who lost a lot of money because of the lockout? Will ticket prices be cheaper, free games offered? What sort of apology will they give their fans?

I'm from Detroit, Hockeytown. We love our Red Wings. But I'm not so sure how much the love has died since the lockout. I personally am glad hockey is back, but I expect an apology and it made up to me that they forgot about the little people like me in their quest for more money and the league's quest to not allow more money.

Both the players and the NHL cut their nose off to spite their face, and the people that lost the most was their fans. How are they going to fix that?

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And it's official, Hockey is back on the market. 

Couple things:

1. Did the NHL because of their inability to agree over how many million dollars the salary cap should be (which from what I understood was a 5 million dollar difference that we lost one season of hockey), lose their fandom?

The players sure got screwed. They struck because they wouldn't budge from 45 mil. Now they have caps under 40. Many said they were offended that caps were a negotiating point.

Will fans forgive them of their greed?  Will they come flocking back?
What fans? Only a few cities in the U.S. had a serious fan base outside of Canada.

Hockey, before the lockout was actually the least watched of the American sports compared to football, basketball, and baseball.  Now that they've made their fans jaded, what will the audience be now?

Other than the fanatic cities, it will be hard to subtract from fractions.

Oh, yes. Welcome trustedtruth. We can always use more Detroiters.

Edited by Rich Kennedy

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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I'm sorry, I in no way feel any sorrow for the players and take the view that they got screwed in any way.

While I concede that hockey is one of the most enduring and harsh sports to play and takes its toll intensely on the players. The disagreement was over how many millions of dollars do they get.

Even if you're the crappiest guy on the team, you still get tons of money, and tons of perks.

I hear people say "Well its not fair to them because basketball players get paid such and such millions".

Go play basketball then. And if your 10.5 car garage attached to your 1.5 million dollar home is not enough for you, then perhaps you need to back to working manual labor for minimum wage for a reality check.

I'll never feel sorry for a professional athlete in the U.S. that complains about their pay.

That's not to say I don't have a beef with the NHL peeps either. A lot of people like hockey, I disagree with you. I have friends all over the U.S. and in states that don't have their own team, they root for teams like the Red Wings and/or nearby teams.

I don't think the NHL promotes or markets the Hockey League in such a way to gain new fans. Because when it comes down to it, in order to get a customer you need to market your product.

So I think they do a lousy promotion job, and then turn around and ruin their customer base over money that they could have earned back should they have made a determined effort to promote their league.

There's not one person that I know that doesn't like hockey. Yet in Kentucky where there isn't a team, you can't watch NHL games. I have friends in Kentucky that love the Red Wings. But they can't watch them unless they have ESPN. Make it readily available and you'd be surprised how many people would watch it.

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So I think they do a lousy promotion job, and then turn around and ruin their customer base over money that they could have earned back should they have made a determined effort to promote their league.

There's not one person that I know that doesn't like hockey.  Yet in Kentucky where there isn't a team, you can't watch NHL games.  I have friends in Kentucky that love the Red Wings.  But they can't watch them unless they have ESPN.  Make it readily available and you'd be surprised how many people would watch it.

Well, maybe the promotion is lousy, I don't know. Nothing in particular comes immediately to mind, but I don't think that they've done anything particularly differnt than other sports. The problem with the broadcast coverage is pretty obvious though. No ratings. Good chance they'll lose the ESPN contract too. Few folks watch hockey, no matter what they say about liking it (Basketball is on the skids too, BTW). You and I know many people who like hockey, but if all of them watched every game, it still wouldn't affect ratings that much.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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I don't know, because you see the expansion teams like the Carolina Hurricanes draw a huge fan base when the team makes it to the finals. You're right though, they don't do anything different then other sports and that's their problem. Basketball, football, and baseball have always been high fan drawing sports. They can't take on the market as though it were football, because its not.

And I still disagree, I have friends who ask me to tape games for them, some because they've bet on the game and some because they have moved somewhere that doesn't have a hockey team and they can't get coverage, and some because they just love the sport.

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After reading the highlights of the collective bargaining agreement, I'm somewhat excited for the future of the league. I think parity will finally enter the N.H.L. All one has to do is look at the N.F.L. and noticethe salary cap has evened the playing field. No salary cap in M.L.B. = large market teams dominating the free agent market. (i.e. Yankees, Angels, etc.)

Being a diehard Blackhawks fan and knowing how cheap they are when it comes to signing free agents, I think the new agreement wil enable teams like the Hawks to sign some outstanding free agents. Each team wil only be able to pay the top free agents (Forsberg, Bure) around 7-8 million a year maximum. This will give teams like the Hawks or Oilers a chance to land some top players. The decision where to play will fall on the players as most teams wil be able to afford at least one or two top players not under contract currently.

The thing I'm interested in most will be how the rule changes will affect the game. I'm very familiar with the shootout from college hockey. The absence of the red line will also significantly change how teams play. Look for lots of "cherry picking" and home run passes. Unfortunately, this also breeds lots of holding and clutching & grabbing in the neutral zone.

I can't wait for the season to begin. It's been too long!

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*somebody's doing his Sidney Crosby dance*


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