The National Hockey League … how much do you care?



  • Note I said the NHL - NOT hockey. People everywhere can’t seem to separate the two and it’s one of my biggest pet peeves! Just because there’s no NHL DOES NOT mean there’s no hockey! If the NHL dies, it DOES NOT mean that hockey dies!

    Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’m really curious how much you care - or don’t - that the NHL season will likely be cancelled, becoming the first major sports league in North America to lose an entire season. The Stanley Cup likely won’t be handed out for the first time since 1919 (Spanish flu stopped it then).

    What about if (in the VERY slim chance) the NHL does return, only to play a 36-game season (and hand out the Cup in, who knows, July)?

    Personally, I don’t like the idea of a quasi-season; I think it’s stupid and too short (too much of a crapshoot). The Devils won the Cup after a 48-game season in '95, and missed the playoffs the next year (by losing to Ottawa, the worst team in the league. That’s generally seen as pathetic).

    I also hate the NHL (and have for a while), except for the fact that there are 6 Canadian teams. The League is SO screwed up beyond repair that I would rather they take a season off, or more, to PROPERLY fix it than make some crappy deadline deal that just makes things worse. Frankly, I wouldn’t be at all disappointed if the NHL collapsed and a new pro hockey league, based in the NORTHERN U.S. and Canada (where it BELONGS), sprung up. Actually, I’m hoping for it!

    The only thing I miss is being able to find a hockey game on TV most of the time (I also miss Hockey Night in Canada). However, I’m assuming that this isn’t the case for most Americans - it seems to me that there is not that much hockey on (national) TV.

    And, of course …

    GO FLAMES GO!

    (we should have the Cup; Gelinas scored late in Game 6.)



  • I’m honestly having trouble coping…

    I’m especially mad because the Devils are hurt so badly. This could be their last season with their magic trio of Brodeur, Niedermayer, and Stevens. Elias, Gomez, and Gionta found chemistry at the end of last season and scored at Wayne Gretzky paces. Brodeur isn’t getting any younger. They had the best defense in the league at Stevens-Rafalski, Niedermayer-Matvichuk, Martin-White. Zach Parise would be a Calder candidate.

    In short, I think the Devils would have been favorites for a Stanley Cup. Next year, the Devils will probably lose Scott Niedermayer and could possibly lose Scott Stevens and Brian Rafalski too. Patrick Elias is also in danger of leaving.

    And it doesn’t help that there are no local pro hockey teams. I have to travel an hour and a half to Albany to see the last place River Rats play.

    Personally, I don’t like the idea of a quasi-season; I think it’s stupid and too short (too much of a crapshoot). The Devils won the Cup after a 48-game season in '95, and missed the playoffs the next year (by losing to Ottawa, the worst team in the league. That’s generally seen as pathetic).

    The Devils were the best team in 1995. After the season they lost some key players and some other key players were getting older. It was a changing of the guard. Once the new dynasty players started to filter in, they geared up for the 1999-00 run.

    wouldn’t be at all disappointed if the NHL collapsed and a new pro hockey league, based in the NORTHERN U.S. and Canada (where it BELONGS), sprung up. Actually, I’m hoping for it!

    Won’t happen, and its a bad idea. Besides a few badly managed franchises, the NHL is fine. The real problem is that the smaller Canadian teams depend on a strong Canadian dollar (or rather, a weak US one) to function. NHL franchises like Atlanta, Nashville, Tampa, and Dallas are all fine franchises. The 'yots and Carolina are locked in for awhile with new Arenas. The franchises which really need change are Pittsburgh (new Arena would solve their problems), the Isles, and Buffalo. Strangely, all in the northern part of the country 🙂


  • 2019 Moderator

    I was really hopeing to get to go to a game at the new arena this year, oh well next year I guess.



  • I really enjoy hockey. I wish we had an NHL team. We have that semi Pro league and I have caught afew games. I watch it when I see it. I don’t know that I hate the NHL. I am too busy being made at MLB for ruining the game I grew up loving. Oh well. Money can kill anything if you pile enough on it. There’s the leason. I voted indifferent because we don’t have a team to miss, but it’s a great sport.



  • Lizardbaby - I’m curious; where are you from?

    A respectable poll company recently found that 49% of all American sports fans would not care if there was no NHL season. I’d be interested to see what that number becomes if there’s no NHL next year, either … (as it’s looking).

    The thing is, the NHL is not even close to popular in the USA, if TV and attendance numbers are any indication (and they are). I’m surprised that there aren’t more “who cares?” responses - but then again, silence DOES speak volumes!

    As for how well-off teams in the deep south are, that’s open to interpretation. Financially, perhaps they are doing alright - since they have richer owners and lower taxes to pay (not to mention the American dollar) than Canadian owners. But in terms of fan support, they can’t hold a candle to Canadian teams/northern US teams (ie, Minnesota, the Rangers and Detroit). Sadly, Boston has a hard time drawing crowds, and games in Chicago attract a LOT of people dressed like seats. I’ll admit Dallas is a success - but I wonder how well they’d be doing if they weren’t a consistently strong team?

    Did you know that the highest attendance in Tampa Bay for a playoff game this past season was for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals? What I’m trying to say is that the Lightning did not fill the building a single playoff game before then - and I’m not even sure if Game 7 constituted a sellout, either. Each of Vancouver’s 4 home games drew 18,630; Each of Montreal’s 5 home games drew 21,273; Each of Ottawa’s 3 home games drew 18,500; All of Toronto’s games (7) drew between 19,549 and 19,646; and every game in Calgary drew 19,289. Had the Saddledome been bigger, every game would have drawn at least 50,000. People camped out and fought in the line - meaning all tickets had to be sold on the internet from then on.

    Atlanta, Florida, Carolina and Phoenix all have a very difficult time drawing crowds. So did Tampa - lucky for them, they became very good VERY FAST. Anaheim maybe drew a few decent crowds last year - thanks in no small part to their 2003 run - but it won’t last. Nashville is better off than most southern teams, but they still have difficulty drawing fans.

    Tampa Bay’s parade attracted 20,000; their rally attracted 13,000. Calgary’s rally (in a losing cause) attracted nearly 30,000. When Calgary won the Cup in '89, our parade attracted 50,000, and our rally attracted 20,000 - when the population of the city was 500,000 (half of what it is today). And of course, there’s the Red Mile - 40,000 to 60,000 people on 17th Avenue after EVERY Flames playoff game, win or lose.

    All I’m trying to say is that in the deep South, they just don’t care about hockey, whereas up North, we do. Therefore, the deep South doesn’t deserve hockey teams nearly as much as the North does.



  • Whats hockey?



  • I might be the only person glad the NHL is locked out. Every year it was getting more boring. The salerys are way to hight. The owners are cleaning up there mess and doing a good job of it. My greatest fear was they would lock out and not get it fixed. Aftar the 24% role back was rejected I could see they will get it fixed.



  • See Canuck, I’ve had this arguement before.

    There may be fewer hockey fans proportionately in the US, but thats not whats important. There are by far more hockey fans in the United States.

    Canada is a nation of ~32 million. New Jersey is a state of ~10 million. Judging by my area, I’d give a conservative estimate that there are 2 million real hockey fans in NJ.

    Now, lets assume 2/3 of Canadians are real hockey fans. Thats about 20 million. NJ is 10% of that alone. And on top of that, NJ has more money than much of Canada (NJ is the richest per capita state). So, I’m going to double the 2 million to 4 million, accounting for the higher per capita income and Canadian dollar being worth less. Now, remember that I’m counting potential revenue, not fanbase.

    So, NJ is worth ~20% of Canada alone in terms of bringing in the cash. Don’t believe me? I’m sure my guesswork will roughly hold up to the stats. ESPN put out #s of ticket sales and the average price, do the math.

    So, thats one state in the Union (albeit, divided among 4 NHL teams), that is worth 20% of Canada. New York City has 8-9 million. Figure 1.5-2 million are hockey fans (when the Rangers are winning, it’s higher, and when they are losing, it’s lower). Thats another 10-20% of Canada right there after adjusting for income.

    This probably doesn’t make any sense. What I’m trying to say is that without even factoring in the major hockey towns of the country, the US is a far better place to do business in hockey than Canada. Add in places like Minnesota, Detroit, Boston, Colorado, etc and you realise that hockey is indeed a major sport in the United States, and that the NHL belongs there more than in Canada.

    Any attempt by Canada to pull out of an NHL will pretty much result in Canada’s new hockey league being the CFL all over again, with the real players going to the USA.

    Atlanta, Florida, Carolina and Phoenix all have a very difficult time drawing crowds. So did Tampa - lucky for them, they became very good VERY FAST. Anaheim maybe drew a few decent crowds last year - thanks in no small part to their 2003 run - but it won’t last. Nashville is better off than most southern teams, but they still have difficulty drawing fans.

    Phoenix draws ~15,000 per game, but at the highest ticket prices in the league. Carolina draws ~11,000 per game at some of the lowest ticket prices. Florida about 15,000 at low prices. Atlanta is actually doing very well for itself, drawing ~15000 just a few years into it’s playoffs. Nashville is going to be a hockey hotbed very soon. Did you watch Game 3 of Nashville-Detroit? I’ve never heard a crowd that loud. And Nashville is building a friggin dynasty right now with their farm system.

    What you are witnessing are two seperate phenomena. First, teams that actually win manage to draw a crowd (see: every other sport). Second, teams that are being placed in non-traditional markets are starting off slowly. And people act as if filling 80% of your Arena isn’t a big deal. Give me any other sport where Arenas/Stadiums are that full and the team is considered a failure?

    The lack of a national TV contract is a problem. However, a lot of NHL teams have huge local TV contracts. I know the Devils just signed a 20m/y contract with cablevision. The National TV contract is poor because hockey has not traditionally been a TV game.

    Want to know the real reason that the NHL isn’t seen as popular? Because the Hawks, Rangers, Bruins, Kings, etc are terrible. They are poorly run organizations. When was the last time that any of these teams put two good playoff years in a row? Probably 1994 with the Rangers. If the Rangers were a serious threat to make a run at the cup, the media would be all over it. Want to know why? Because NJ isn’t a big national TV market. Nor is Colorado, Tampa, Dallas, or Detroit. Philly is really the only close thing to a big TV place with a winning team.

    I would bet the farm that national NHL ratings sour 200% the next time the Rangers make the playoffs. Of course, at this rate that could be years.

    Want to know how expansion into non-traditional markets has worked? Bobby Ryan will be a top-5 pick in the draft next year. He’s from Cherry Hill, NJ. He first played hockey in the rink built by the NJ Devils. Since the Devils came in, the number of indoor rinks in NJ has doubled, and the number of High School teams has been multiplied by 10.



  • You’ve made some good points Yanny.

    sadly we don’t even need this:

    Any attempt by Canada to pull out of an NHL will pretty much result in Canada’s new hockey league being the CFL all over again, with the real players going to the USA

    to fully happen in orer to be true.
    Look at what happened to Winnipeg and Quebec city.

    My hope is that this strike will make hockey much less interesting in the southern markets, and therefore less profitible. This would make the return of professional hockey to Winnipeg less unreasonable where we would claim that we would have “REAL” hockey fans (just not enough corporate “seats”).



  • Winnepeg will never have an NHL team again because:

    1. The Jets did not do well
    2. The Arena is not up to date and Winnepeg cannot finance a new one
    3. There are only two teams in danger of moving (Pittsburgh and Florida), and neither can finance a new Arena.
    4. No team will move until the full effects of the lockout are determined.

    Lack of corporate sponsorship isn’t the only problem the Jets have. I’ve seen Winnepeg. Winnepeg isn’t exactly Vancouver.



  • tsk tsk tsk Yanny,
    and here you were doing sooooo well.

    @Yanny:

    Winnepeg will never have an NHL team again because:

    1. The Jets did not do well

    their last seasons they were in the divisional playoff and actually did quite well. We had some FAST players (Zhamnov, Selanne), one of the best goal-tenders in the league (Khabbiboulin), and some great enforcers (Tie Domi, Chris King).

    1. The Arena is not up to date and Winnepeg cannot finance a new one

    that’s two strikes Yanny. Check out the MTS center in Downtown Winnipeg.

    1. There are only two teams in danger of moving (Pittsburgh and Florida), and neither can finance a new Arena.

    see number 2 - the arena is in place in the River City.

    1. No team will move until the full effects of the lockout are determined.

    fair enough - we don’t want a team that won’t play anyway.

    Lack of corporate sponsorship isn’t the only problem the Jets have. I’ve seen Winnepeg. Winnepeg isn’t exactly Vancouver.

    i’m not sure what this is supposed to mean.
    We have a catchment area for hockey/football etc. of at least 800 000, and Winnipeg is MUCH more of a hockey-friendly environment than Vancouver. My guess is that we outnumber outdoor hockey arenas by at least 2:1 vs. Vancouver. The comparison isn’t valid for a few other reasons - hockey in Vancouver has too much to compete with, also there is a larger south-east Asia ethnic componant to Vancouver which is not nearly as indoctrinated to the Canadian-hockey ethos as Winnipeggers.

    I’m not saying that it is very likely that we’ll get an NHL team again - i was saying that it would be nice. Further, with the right conditions, it would not surprise me to see certain US franchises change ownership in the next 2-3 years.



  • CC, I agree with you on the hope that the lockout will kill so much interest in the South that those teams will no longer be able to survive.

    And jamitjames, unfortunately I am disputing your claim of being the only one happy about the lockout 😉 The League is SO incredibly screwed up - it’s truly beyond repair, apparently - that a lockout is the only thing possible to get the NHL even remotely back on track. You and I share the same greatest fear - that a crappy deadline deal, worse than the original, would be signed for the sole purpose of salvaging some of the season. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened yet (knock on wood).

    Yanny, doubtless American markets can pull in more money because a) the USA has 10x the population of Canada, b) there is much more business in the USA and c) the american dollar is much stronger than the loonie. But I’ve seen Devils games on TV - and the arena looks half-empty (even after a Stanley Cup campaign). Florida’s arena is even worse. Atlanta’s is pretty bad, too. Same with Washington, Buffalo, Chicago, Boston, Nashville, Phoenix, Anaheim … etc. A couple of years ago, the average Islanders attendance was hovering around 6,000!

    Sadly, the money is in the States, meaning the true fans - whom aren’t in the South, unless they’ve migrated for the winter (and if that’s the case, they’re weak ;)) - get shafted.

    About 10 million people watched Canada beat the USA in the 2002 Olympic Men’s Gold Medal game. I’m 99.9% sure that that number is higher than the American equivalent. If there are “more” fans in the States, why are the ratings and attendances continually lower?

    Last night, more than 14,000 people watched the Calgary Hitmen beat the Kamloops Blazers. Back in 1999, a sold-out Saddledome watched the Hitmen beat the Blazers, this time for the WHL Championship (I am proud to say I sat in the front row for that game!). The Islander’s attendance used to hover around 7,000 … our junior team pulls at least that every night!

    Perhaps the money is there, but the interest is NOT. Most Americans would not miss the NHL - or even notice if it was gone.

    I’ll agree that a successful New York team helps the League - but that doesn’t apply to the NHL only. If the Rangers were to become successful, a little bit of the NE USA would be interested … and the rest of the country couldn’t give a flying … anything.

    I just don’t see Nashville becoming a “hockey hotbed”. I maintain that they do have a better chance than most other teams down there, but I still don’t see it happening.

    Any attempt by Canada to pull out of an NHL will pretty much result in Canada’s new hockey league being the CFL all over again, with the real players going to the USA.

    Ah, Yanny, you have found one of my buttons. The CFL-NFL debate.

    If a new professional Canadian hockey league was to exist - with the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Senators, Oilers, Flames and Canucks - and if this new League played for the Stanley Cup (which it damned well SHOULD, since it’s the only country with any legitimate claim to the Cup!), the League would be incredibly successful in Canada. Player salaries would be higher than CFL salaries, for sure, but compared to NFL/NBA/MLB salaries, they’d be relatively low.

    If a new league were to attempt to start up in the States … I’m sorry, I don’t see it working. With no interest, no Stanley Cup, and the difficulty of starting new leagues in low-demand markets, I can’t imagine it being more successful - at least to the extent where a Canadian league would be destroyed.

    You see, most of the players who move from the CFL to the NFL have grown up dreaming of playing in the NFL - because they’re American. Yet every hockey fan in Canada has dreamt of winning the Stanley Cup, and has likely enacted it at least once. Countless kids have dreamt of playing for the Leafs, Habs, etc. If the money was decent - ie, on par with Euro leagues - I would bet you that the big-name players would play in Canada (since they are mostly Canadian … etc).

    hockey is indeed a major sport in the United States, and that the NHL belongs there more than in Canada.

    Once again, I respectfully disagree. “Major” is relative. Compared to the NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, PGA, NCAA, and the Pro Bowling Tour, the NHL is NOT major in the USA.

    The four “major” sports in Canada are the NHL, CFL, NFL (sadly), NBA and MLB. The last two are present only in Toronto; I don’t consider them to be as major as the CFL, NFL and NHL. With that said, the NFL is not quite as popular among people as is the CFL, and neither of them even come CLOSE to the popularity of the NHL. You can ALWAYS start a conversation about hockey with nearly ANYONE. Hell, it’s the only thing we talk about half the time!

    The NHL belongs in Canada a lot more than it does in the States, because Canadians as a whole deserve it a lot more than Americans as a whole. Not to mention that the NHL started in Canada - in 1917, with the Canadiens, Toronto Arenas (later became Leafs), Ottawa Senators and Montreal Wanderers (who withdrew after 6 games because their arena burnt down). From 1893 to 1916, only Canadian teams won the Stanley Cup. From 1918 to 1927, only Canadian teams won the Stanley Cup. Before 1994, the longest stretch of the Cup staying in the States was 6 years ('36-'41 - Detroit twice, Boston twice, Rangers and Hawks once each). From 1944 to 1969, the Cup left Canada 5 times - 4 of which were with the Red Wings. There was a team from Alberta in the Cup final from 1983 to 1990. Perhaps most telling, out of the 110 years the Cup has been awarded, only 38 of those years has it been awarded to an American team. The Cup itself has actually been awarded 145 times (there were 15 years with multiple challenges) - still, only 38 times to American teams.

    Sorry to go off for so long - but the NHL absolutely belongs in Canada more than it does in the States.



  • Ok, time for some serious response. Gota love this (possible career in sports writing for me)

    their last seasons they were in the divisional playoff and actually did quite well. We had some FAST players (Zhamnov, Selanne), one of the best goal-tenders in the league (Khabbiboulin), and some great enforcers (Tie Domi, Chris King).

    They did not do quite well. I know my NHL CC 🙂 The Jets were 36-40 and made the last place seed of the playoffs, and quickly lost to the Red Wings. Selanne was traded away because of financial problems. Khabbiboulin wasn’t a great goalie in 1996, and enforcers aren’t exactly what win you Stanley Cups.

    that’s two strikes Yanny. Check out the MTS center in Downtown Winnipeg.

    The MTS center seats 15,000 if I remember correctly. That would give Winnipeg the worst Arena in hockey, by a margin of over 3,000 seats. I’m not entirely sure if the Arena has luxery boxes, but I would be surprised if they had any of the high priced ones.

    CC, I agree with you on the hope that the lockout will kill so much interest in the South that those teams will no longer be able to survive.

    If immediate interest were required for those franchises to survive, the franchises would have folded long ago. They are there for the long term for many reasons, mostly to grow the sport that you and I love. More on this later.

    Yanny, doubtless American markets can pull in more money because a) the USA has 10x the population of Canada, b) there is much more business in the USA and c) the american dollar is much stronger than the loonie. But I’ve seen Devils games on TV - and the arena looks half-empty (even after a Stanley Cup campaign). Florida’s arena is even worse. Atlanta’s is pretty bad, too. Same with Washington, Buffalo, Chicago, Boston, Nashville, Phoenix, Anaheim … etc. A couple of years ago, the average Islanders attendance was hovering around 6,000!

    Learn a little about hockey for a second here. First off, no Arena is half empty. The lowest average attendence figure in the NHL is ~60% full (Carolina, Pittsburgh, Chicago). Every other Arena averages over 75% full. The Devils Arena looks more empty than it really is for two reasons. 1) Our lower bowl seats are 80 bucks a ticket every game and b) The camera doesn’t focus on most of the upper bowl. If I wanted to buy say 4 tickets together in the upper bowl the day of the game, I probably couldn’t unless we were playing the Pens or something. The Devils averaged over 85% full when facing teams over .500.

    Lets look at the other franchises that you named. Chicago is the poorest run franchise in professional sports and the Chicago Wolves (AHL) outdraws them by 2000. Boston fills 90% of the small Fleet Center. Phoneix posts 16k per game at high ticket prices. Washington filled 85% of their Arena in 2002 (80% this year with the 3rd worst record in hockey). Buffalo, Anaheim, and the Isles all have poor attendence records but all suffer from poor and small Arenas. The Isles in particular fill up 90% of their Arena and still manage to fill only 14,900 seats.

    About 10 million people watched Canada beat the USA in the 2002 Olympic Men’s Gold Medal game. I’m 99.9% sure that that number is higher than the American equivalent. If there are “more” fans in the States, why are the ratings and attendances continually lower?

    38 million watched the game.

    http://www.moxie.canoe.ca/2002GamesHockeyFeb02/25_rat-ap.html

    If a new professional Canadian hockey league was to exist - with the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Senators, Oilers, Flames and Canucks - and if this new League played for the Stanley Cup (which it damned well SHOULD, since it’s the only country with any legitimate claim to the Cup!), the League would be incredibly successful in Canada. Player salaries would be higher than CFL salaries, for sure, but compared to NFL/NBA/MLB salaries, they’d be relatively low.

    If a new league were to attempt to start up in the States … I’m sorry, I don’t see it working. With no interest, no Stanley Cup, and the difficulty of starting new leagues in low-demand markets, I can’t imagine it being more successful - at least to the extent where a Canadian league would be destroyed.

    You see, most of the players who move from the CFL to the NFL have grown up dreaming of playing in the NFL - because they’re American. Yet every hockey fan in Canada has dreamt of winning the Stanley Cup, and has likely enacted it at least once. Countless kids have dreamt of playing for the Leafs, Habs, etc. If the money was decent - ie, on par with Euro leagues - I would bet you that the big-name players would play in Canada (since they are mostly Canadian … etc).

    Canada cannot pay anything close to what the United States can. You have 6 NHL teams. Add in 2 or 3 more (lets call them Hamilton, Quebec City, and Winnipeg). Thats 9 teams. Currently, only Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver can turn a profit. That means that the league won’t be able to pay players very much, especially considering the US corporate sponsorships being cut off. The US can counter with these 9 teams: New York Rangers, Minnesota, Boston, St. Louis, Dallas, Colorado, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Philly. The US version of that 9 team league would be worth ~232 million a piece. The average Canadian franchise is worth 161.3 million. The average will be brought down with the addition of the three financially weaker teams plus the withdrawl of American teams. If the teams are lucky, each franchise will be worth an average of 100 million, and thats pushing it.

    Players will go where the money is. The Euro leagues for the most part pay minor league salaries. A few clubs in each league pay for stars (Kazan in Russia for example). The Stanley Cup is owned by the NHL Board of Governors, 2/3 of which are American, and not by Canada.

    Once again, I respectfully disagree. “Major” is relative. Compared to the NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, PGA, NCAA, and the Pro Bowling Tour, the NHL is NOT major in the USA.

    NASCAR, regardless of what they think they are, is not a major sport in America. NASCAR holds a handful of events per year in a handful of cities. They haul in a small amount compared to what the real pro sports leagues bring in, and most of that is from tasteless advertising. The NHL, MLB, and NBA each hold thousands of events per year, and each make over 2 billion. 2 billion by the way is more than the movie industry in the United States. The PGA is not a major sport, and I hope the Pro Bowling Tour was a joke.

    People who think that these things “sports” are major are reading the wrong crazy columnist from the Toronto Sun. If I turn on AM channels 660 or 1050, I’m not going to listen to Mike and the Mad Dog talk about pro bowling. I might catch a whiff of pro Golf, but only if Tiger or someone has done something important. These programs (and most American media) talk about four different sports: Baseball, Basketball, Football, and Hockey. Thats it. No NASCAR. No Bowling. I can’t run into Models and buy myself a Dale Earnhart Jr. jersey.

    Hockey doesn’t get good rating on National TV. Great. Hockey still gets excellent local ratings (NJ Devils - 20m/y from cablevision). Hockey still makes 2 billion a year.

    The US is on the verge of a major transition in hockey. US players wills soon be the equals of Canadian or any other country. I give it 10 years before the US really starts to take off. Right now, we’re seeing loads of US prospects in the 2005 and 2006 draft. After Crosby, Johnson and Ryan could very well go #2 and #3 in front of the rapidly dropping Brule. In 2006 Kessel could go #1. Players like Zach Parise, Chris Bourque, Ryan Suter, and others are going to be forces very soon. And I really hope Paul Martin wins a Norris one day 🙂



  • @Yanny:

    their last seasons they were in the divisional playoff and actually did quite well. We had some FAST players (Zhamnov, Selanne), one of the best goal-tenders in the league (Khabbiboulin), and some great enforcers (Tie Domi, Chris King).

    They did not do quite well. I know my NHL CC 🙂 The Jets were 36-40 and made the last place seed of the playoffs, and quickly lost to the Red Wings. Selanne was traded away because of financial problems. Khabbiboulin wasn’t a great goalie in 1996, and enforcers aren’t exactly what win you Stanley Cups.

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!
    i didn’t know that you needed better than .500 seasons in order to have an NHL team! I guess you’re right - Winnipeg definitely doesn’t deserve to have another NHL team on that basis - regardless of any other mitigating circumstances.

    that’s two strikes Yanny. Check out the MTS center in Downtown Winnipeg.

    The MTS center seats 15,000 if I remember correctly. That would give Winnipeg the worst Arena in hockey, by a margin of over 3,000 seats. I’m not entirely sure if the Arena has luxery boxes, but I would be surprised if they had any of the high priced ones.

    regardless - you were wrong. We’ve got a new arena, it has around 50 box seats (including 2 “party” boxes), and besides - who cares??
    I mean let’s say it’s a 20 000 capacity arena, and we only fill 14000 seats. Is that more impressive than if we manage to nearly sell-out a 15 000 seat arena?

    CC, I agree with you on the hope that the lockout will kill so much interest in the South that those teams will no longer be able to survive.

    If immediate interest were required for those franchises to survive, the franchises would have folded long ago. They are there for the long term for many reasons, mostly to grow the sport that you and I love. More on this later.

    we’re speculating on the fickleness of Americans and the constant craving for novelty. We’re thinking that without constant hockey to keep their attention, they’ll stop caring about it before long. You see, you are the exception (in our minds).

    About 10 million people watched Canada beat the USA in the 2002 Olympic Men’s Gold Medal game. I’m 99.9% sure that that number is higher than the American equivalent. If there are “more” fans in the States, why are the ratings and attendances continually lower?

    38 million watched the game.

    on a per capita basis, we out-rank you (i.e. 38 million is a lot longer than the equivalent 100 million).

    Canada cannot pay anything close to what the United States can. You have 6 NHL teams. Add in 2 or 3 more (lets call them Hamilton, Quebec City, and Winnipeg). Thats 9 teams. Currently, only Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver can turn a profit. That means that the league won’t be able to pay players very much, especially considering the US corporate sponsorships being cut off. The US can counter with these 9 teams: New York Rangers, Minnesota, Boston, St. Louis, Dallas, Colorado, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Philly. The US version of that 9 team league would be worth ~232 million a piece. The average Canadian franchise is worth 161.3 million. The average will be brought down with the addition of the three financially weaker teams plus the withdrawl of American teams. If the teams are lucky, each franchise will be worth an average of 100 million, and thats pushing it.

    this is sadly true. There are many more corporate HQ’s in these cities which can purchase many more seats etc. I would be curious how many seats are purchased by “Joe American” as opposed to by corporations, with a relative comparison with Canadian franchises. I mean you’re right - the average hockey fan can not afford $80 tickets, however when i was a sales rep, i could purchase tix all the time to various sporting events and charge them back to the company. Right now, i could not afford to go to one of those games, never mind purchase season tickets for my “family”.


  • 2019 Moderator

    I small interjection from a 'yotes fan. Last year I got two pairs of tickets from one of my vendors that had a $75 face. I was not that familiar with the AWA (the old Arena) but I figured that $75 tickets would be sweet.

    Well I get there and I had to take my jacket off because we were so far from the Ice. I can’t imagine what the price of tickets would have been like if we were down in the good seats.

    The prices were suposed to come down with the new Arena, But they don’t look much different to me.

    That is why attendance is lower here.

    How much do you all pay for seats?



  • How much do you all pay for seats?

    All lower bowl seats cost 80 dollars and the upper bowl seats range from 20 to 45 dollars.

    I also hear that the new Arena in Arizona has a ton of obstructed seats. Is this true?



  • CanucKev,
    I live in Kansas City, Missouri.


  • 2019 Moderator

    @Yanny:

    All lower bowl seats cost 80 dollars and the upper bowl seats range from 20 to 45 dollars.

    I also hear that the new Arena in Arizona has a ton of obstructed seats. Is this true?

    Lower level seats here start at 100 and there are a few seats if your not afraid of heights that you can get for 15 but you probably have to bring a TV with you to see the game.

    It was realy bad at the America West Arena, and a big issue for the design on the new Glendale Arena so I don’t think so, but I haven’t been there myself.



  • Lizard - I gained you were a Chiefs fan in other convo, didn’t realize you lived in MO. I grew up down I-70 in Salina, made the 2 1/2 drive to Arrowhead every home game there for quite a few years…in the mid 80’s Dad bought 4 season tickets for 100/seat per game…by the time Montana came and Pop’s gave up on the Chiefs, the tickets were running like 250/seat…it was sick. Those were upper level, like 5 rows up off the railing around the 40 yard line…excellant seats but nothing like the Gold Ring was, those were almost double if memory serves per seat and the only thing you were gaining was the upper level shielding you from the elements and better vendoers 😄 Figured I would chime in on what I knew about football season ticket pricing to compare, haven’t taken in a Caps game since moving out here, just waiting for April and my first Nationals game.



  • Haxor,
    I am on the season ticket list. Cost $20 but now I am set as soon as I can afford the actual tickets. I just keep telling them to leave me on the list and I will buy em next season. Hee hee.
    My Grandfather and Dad where crazy Cheifs fans. My first memory (literally) was when Dad and Grandpa took me to a Memorial Stadium game. Before they moved to the new digs at Arrowhead. Now I can’t remember how we did, I was only 4, but I remember the atmosphere. KC is an awsome football city. I did not make a game this year, but I like to get in at least 1. It’s just such a rush being there with such great fans.



  • The fans man…it gets so loud during a Raiders or Bronco’s game…some very happy thoughts of going to games, getting some brauts and screaming till you couldn’t talk at school the next day.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread guys, it’s all yours again. Go Caps!



  • This helps my case - a discussion about hockey is quickly changed to one about football 🙂

    Lizard, were you ever a KC Scouts fan? (For the few years they were around.) Appropriately, are you now a Devils fan?

    Haxor, I’m not bashing you in the least - nor am I bashing your preference - but just waiting for baseball season to start, and having never been to a Caps game, also helps my case! 🙂 I’m going to be a Nationals fan … mostly because they were the Expos 😞 (Montreal’s loss is Washington’s gain, eh?) It helps that they chose a good name for the team (as oppose to something silly like “Rage” or “Power” or otherwise XFL-ish)

    Anyway, back to the damned NHL (who are now apparently changing their logo - which, to my knowledge, has remained the same since 1917 - presumably in order to attract non-traditional fans).

    Dezrt -

    Well I get there and I had to take my jacket off because we were so far from the Ice.

    Is it colder at ice level? (this isn’t supposed to sound sarcastic; I’m just curious)

    Now, Yanny … 😉

    The most expensive door-price ticket to a Flames game is $183.50 (including taxes; Canadian dollars). Using the current exchange rate of about 0.80Cdn = 1.00US, that works out to about $146.80 American. And I’ve heard many times that Calgary had the lowest prices in the League.
    These prices were much higher during the playoffs - tickets were being sold on ebay for upwards of $500 Canadian (and that’s a very conservative estimate) - and the Saddledome STILL sold out. This wasn’t just as the playoffs went on - this was during Round 1, too. I doubt the Coyotes would have huge lineups (with more people in them than can fit in the arena) for tickets for their first playoff home game.

    In Ottawa, the highest game-day ticket price is $190 Canadian.
    So the argument that attendance is low just because prices are high doesn’t hold water.

    The MTS center seats 15,000 if I remember correctly. That would give Winnipeg the worst Arena in hockey, by a margin of over 3,000 seats. I’m not entirely sure if the Arena has luxery boxes, but I would be surprised if they had any of the high priced ones.

    Up until '99, the Leafs played in Maple Leaf Gardens, which had no luxury boxes and did not hold much more than 15,000.

    When the Senators entered the NHL back in '92, they played in Ottawa’s Civic Centre (the current home of the 67’s). The capacity of that building is about 10,000 - and I’m pretty sure it didn’t have luxury boxes (but the Sens may have installed some prior to their first game).

    That leads me to point #3 … RENOVATIONS ARE POSSIBLE! And they DON’T have to be done before the team plays!

    A 15,000 seat arena is not bad at all. The old Winnipeg Arena was not much bigger (if at all) - and that’s NOT the reason the Jets were forced to leave (escalating salaries and a desire to appease the Americans were).

    Down in the South, a smaller arena could be bought for less - and it still wouldn’t fill up. A new Winnipeg team would fill that arena every night, and there would be a high demand for tickets (leading to high prices, which people will pay).

    Another thing - Canadians WILL pay those prices in order to watch hockey (I’m not saying they’re reasonable - they ARE exorbitantly high - but still, they’re bought). In general, it appears Americans won’t. Tampa Bay’s cheapest seats for the Stanley Cup finals were $8 - and they still didn’t fill up. Calgary’s were at least $30.

    Oh yeah, good time for another beef. Calgary’s “Sea of Red” was done without ANY prompting from the media, and without handing out ANY red clothing. The fans did it completely of their own initiative; they went out and found something red to wear (generally, a jersey). Tampa’s “Bay of White” was made by handing out white t-shirts to everyone who walked through the doors. Whose fans are more passionate?

    If immediate interest were required for those franchises to survive, the franchises would have folded long ago. They are there for the long term for many reasons, mostly to grow the sport that you and I love. More on this later.

    How long is “immediate”? The Panthers have been around since 1993, and still can’t draw flies - even after having made it to the Stanley Cup Final. Phoenix has been around since '96. Anaheim, also since '93. Nashville, since '98. Tampa, since '92 (and trust me, they do NOT get good crowds unless the team is DOMINANT - and I suspect there won’t be good crowds in the future, either). Carolina, since '97. Islanders since '72, Devils since ‘82 (btw, apparently Devils’ Stanley Cup parades are held in a parking lot before a scattering of people). Washington, since '74. To say nothing of the fact that a team in Atlanta has failed BEFORE - lasting only 8 years.

    They are ATTEMPTING to grow the sport you and I love. They are failing miserably. They are expanding past their support. To use a military analogy, they are expanding in such a sense that an enemy would be able to walk right through them.

    I highly doubt the intention of all these teams in all these silly places is to “grow the sport”. I expect it is to “grow their profit”.

    Bobby Hull Jr., Brett Hull’s brother, has been quoted as saying “Nobody gives a crap about hockey down here – nobody. I coach kids’ hockey down here and you can start to see the disinterest in the game here with the kids.” (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/article.jsp?content=20050110_152323_5056)

    Learn a little about hockey for a second here.

    I’m offended.

    The Devils Arena looks more empty than it really is for two reasons.

    The fact of the matter is, it’s still awfully empty.

    38 million watched the game.

    OK - point taken. Still, 38M/350M (at least) is MUCH less than 10M/30M. 10% vs 33% … And, it was the most watched show in Canadian TV history.

    Canada cannot pay anything close to what the United States can.

    As I’ve said many times before - I know. However, the US cannot come close to the fan support in Canada.

    This is from a Nashville newspaper:
    http://tennessean.com/sports/predators/archives/04/09/57715843.shtml?Element_ID=57715843

    Players have admitted how difficult it is to play for southern teams. Perhaps this is why the average points per division show that the two northern divisions have, on average, more points.

    Your math presumes player salaries are at where they are now … $5M for Martin Lapointe, $9M for Bobby Holik sort-of-thing. Thing is, those are WAY too high (in general) and WAAAAAAY too high for the sort of money the NHL brings in.

    The CFL is loved up here, but the NHL is loved even more. Do you think that’s because there are 24 American teams? Do you think it’s because American teams are “worth more” than Canadian teams? Do you think it’s because players make about $6M more than they should? Do you think it’s because the NHL has a PATHETIC US TV deal? Do you think it’s because that, even though the CBC can’t compete with ABC, ESPN, etc in terms of money, but still HNiC is more popular?

    Fact is, a Canadian Pro Hockey League would not only survive up here, it would thrive. If the Stanley Cup was the goal, and if the existing NHL teams were to remain, Canadian fans would not abandon the League simply because it wasn’t called the NHL. In fact, ignoring the difference in fundraising ability, the Canadian League would likely do better than the NHL (less teams = better talent; less crappy teams = better average attendance; less warm weather = better hockey and more interest).

    I’m not denying Canada can’t pay as much as the States. And yes, US corporate sponsership (or what there is of it) would be cut off. But I think you underestimate Canada’s love for hockey. Perhaps the amount of dollars would be different - but relatively, it would be much more. And, if player salaries were reasonable, the League would be fine. The salaries could easily be higher than Euro salaries. An american counterpart may try and out-bid Canada … but how long would that endeavour last with little fan support, low TV contracts (not to mention NO national deal since there’s no team in Florida - and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing), low corporate interest, and no Stanley Cup to play for?

    The Stanley Cup may be “owned” by the NHL BoG, but its original intent was not for the Cup to be “owned” by any League - and as a matter of fact, the Cup is for the hockey champion of the Dominion (ie, Canada). This website says all I need to say:

    http://www.freestanley.com/release1.html

    “Lord Stanley is quoted as stating: “I am willing to give a cup that shall be annually held by the winning club of the Dominion.”” (ie, not any league, including the NHL).

    If the NHL were to disband, and two new major pro leagues were to spring up (one in Canada and one in the States), it would be an incredibly huge travesty for the Cup to be awared to the winner of the American League.

    Not many Canadians are interested in watching American teams play each other (especially if it’s something like Carolina vs Florida).

    tasteless advertising

    This is what the NHL is attempting, with a new logo …

    I hope the Pro Bowling Tour was a joke.

    Only somewhat.

    These programs (and most American media) talk about four different sports: Baseball, Basketball, Football, and Hockey.

    Really? How sure are you of this? Is it possible that you may get a different sampling of radio, being that you live in the New York area, and not in the South? And where does hockey come in on that spectrum? 4th? I thought so.

    Fact is, you live in one of the areas in the States where hockey is appreciated, and where teams are (for the most part) deserved. New York has had an NHL team since 1925; New York has had the same NHL team since 1926 (the Americans were around before the Rangers).

    Even so, it is only the Rangers that enjoy any significant support. It doesn’t hurt that the Rangers are an original six team, back from when the NHL was a very respectable league. The Islanders and Devils enjoy moderate admiration, at best.

    The NE US and Minnesota area are relative “hockey hotbeds” in the States (still, when I was stopped over in a Minnesota airport, the sports store there had Vikings, T-Wolves and Twins merchandise - no hockey. And this was during the winter).

    South of Colorado or Washington (and that’s pushing it), I would be VERY surprised to find much talk of hockey (anywhere).

    Hockey doesn’t get good rating on National TV. Great. Hockey still gets excellent local ratings

    Perhaps - in the markets mentioned above. However, as playoffs go on, more and more games are shown nationally. Still, ratings are pathetic. When the Stanley Cup rolls around, other than the two cities involved, who’s interested? If one of the cities is Canadian (eg, Calgary), well, then, all of Canada is interested. If both are Canadian, Canada is going nuts. The American ratings for this year’s Stanley Cup paled in comparison to the Canadian ratings. Last year’s Stanley Cup wasn’t much better (and the Devils won that time … )

    Here’s a REALLY good article (out of Detroit). Granted it’s a bit old, but it’s not far from the truth:
    http://www.detnews.com/2002/sports/0206/03/a01-505146.htm

    And here:
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/martzke/2003-06-03-martzke_x.htm

    The new NHL national US TV deal is half of what it used to be:
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/2004-05-19-martzke-nbc_x.htm

    This mentions the Game 7 rating for the 2003 Final - yes, Devils vs Ducks. New York vs LA. The rating is 4.6. That’s about the rating for your average Frasier episode - ranked 32nd in the nation at the time. Games 1 and 2 drew 1.4 and 1.1 - some show called “Push, Nevada” got a 1.4 average.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/jon_dolezar/news/2003/06/10/hockey_ontv/

    Here’s one with reference to Boston:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4695614/

    I’m sure I’ve made my point; but I can come up with more if you like (in particular, numbers from this past Stanley Cup).

    I’m very passionate about hockey … and I hope this isn’t offensive 😉



  • No offense taken at all…back home in Kansas there is a team called the Wichita Thunder which I think is some form of minor league team for the San Jose Sharks. It’s just hard growing up in Kansas to get excited about hockey, but I was totally planning on going to come Caps games as it sounded like a good time, was just a mess where I lived prior getting in and out of DC, with me close to a metro stop now I can ride in to the MCI center and watch them play…if they ever play again. 😞


  • 2019 Moderator

    Well maybe it’s just my experiences with hockey that are off base. Before we got the Coyotes, we had the Roadrunners they were an IHL team that played at the Coloseum in Phoenix. I went to quite a few of those games. The tickets were like $20 and you sat in the lower level. They had $1 beer nights and it was a great time. I would get together with 3 or 4 buddies and go. It didn’t break the bank and maybe it was just the arena, but it was cold. It was part of the experience and I liked it.



  • I hear ya dezrt … those experiences are the best. The Saddledome is quite warm, but most other rinks in Calgary are good and cold 🙂 The outdoor ones are the best; good memories there. To me, it’s just not hockey if it’s not cold … but that’s my Canadian bias :-?
    The cheap prices are always great, too. We’ve got the Hitmen (a junior team) and their tickets are $11 for students. It’s great hockey, a lot of fun to watch … I’ve got some of my best memories from those guys (sitting in the front row in a sold-out Saddledome when they won the League championship!) Of course, my absolute best memories are from the Flame’s playoff run … <sigh>Fortunately, except for the Flames sports in Calgary are quite affordable (and relative to the rest of the NHL, the Flames really aren’t that bad at all!) The Stampeders (Canadian Football League) charge as low as $100 for a season ticket - $10 a game. My season’s cost $140 … $14 a game is a helluva deal! The Roughnecks (NLL - you a ‘Sting’ fan?) charge $25.50 per game … which I think is a bit much given that it’s a relatively new and less popular sport in Calgary, but what are you gonna do. Personally, I think the value I get for CFL games is incredible. Great football, low price!</sigh>


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