Like I'm Telling You?

Since the early 1990s, the National Hockey League has undergone a major transformation: rapid expansion, two nasty labor wars and teams relocating from Canada to the southern United States. Result: huge losses and falling television ratings. After canceling the 2004-05 season, the owners entered the next year... show more Since the early 1990s, the National Hockey League has undergone a major transformation: rapid expansion, two nasty labor wars and teams relocating from Canada to the southern United States.
Result: huge losses and falling television ratings. After canceling the 2004-05 season, the owners entered the next year armed with control of player salaries, and the league's best players can supposedly more fully showcase their talents, thanks to new rules designed to remove player interference and speed up the game.
In an effort to build its fan base, the National Hockey League made a big push in the 1990s to expand beyond its traditional roots in Canada and the northern U.S. to cities in the deep South. Was this successful?
Although existing owners divvied up $570 million in expansion fees, the game plan failed. As the league grew from 21 teams to 30, heightened demand for players pushed up costs while TV ratings were embarrassingly low.
Update: Result: The league lost $1 billion-plus during the first decade of Bettman's tenure and incurred two vicious labor disputes, the latest resulting in the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season by the owners.
Update 2: The players, many of whom played abroad for peanuts during the lockout, surrendered, and the season began with a payroll cap ($39 million per team this year) that is linked to revenue. In May of that year, ESPN refused its option to broadcast games (worth $60 million to the league) because of low ratings; the NHL... show more The players, many of whom played abroad for peanuts during the lockout, surrendered, and the season began with a payroll cap ($39 million per team this year) that is linked to revenue. In May of that year, ESPN refused its option to broadcast games (worth $60 million to the league) because of low ratings; the NHL subsequently signed a $135 million, two-year deal with Comcast's OLN channel (formerly Outdoor Life Network) that also gave the cable company the right to stream live games over the Internet.
Update 3: The salary cap helps mend the league's balance sheet. But it still remains to be seen whether the teams in Atlanta, North Carolina and Nashville have enough fans to survive.
Update 4: Should read that the salary cap was 39 million the first year. It has since gone up twice and is now over 50 million. Who has suffered the most? Canadian hockey fans and fans of big market U.S. teams all in this effort to force feed the NHL to places where it fails. Mr. Bettman will tell you it is about... show more Should read that the salary cap was 39 million the first year. It has since gone up twice and is now over 50 million.
Who has suffered the most? Canadian hockey fans and fans of big market U.S. teams all in this effort to force feed the NHL to places where it fails. Mr. Bettman will tell you it is about "growing the game". Would it not be a better plan to put a spotlight on places where it succeeds and have a strong league? Instead of force feeding it to places that could care less?
Who does the onus of the labor disputes and a season lost to a lock-out fall upon?
Sure, something had to give with the owners losing so much money but a good commissioner would have never let it come to that and it was after Bettman's arrival and subsequent alterations that the league got in such shambles in the first place.
Update 5: Mike, I absolutely disagree with Hamilton and Las Vegas. Both would be more viable franchises than Quebec, Winnipeg or Seattle IMO. Also, you better take a better look at your population numbers for the Toronto area. It can also not be compared to NY because go around the streets of NY and ask 1,000 people who... show more Mike, I absolutely disagree with Hamilton and Las Vegas. Both would be more viable franchises than Quebec, Winnipeg or Seattle IMO.
Also, you better take a better look at your population numbers for the Toronto area. It can also not be compared to NY because go around the streets of NY and ask 1,000 people who Sidney Crosby is- now do the same in Toronto and you will see a HUGE difference in the 2 cities. The Toronto area IS WITHOUT doubt a hockey HOTBED.
As for Vegas, we don't need to rehash that, we have been down that road a million times before-agree to disagree. I will say that Vegas would do ten times better than a PHX or NASHVILLE.
Update 6: Also Mike, you don't understand the typical Canadian hockey fan if you think Leafs fans would hop over to the other team if they were doing better. Just doesn't work that way up here.
Update 7: Anyways, we are getting off topic.
Update 8: Well said Snoop. Very thought provoking. The big difference with the football and baseball is that they were expanded to football and baseball markets. I don't see the NFL salivating at adding a team to the Toronto market, in fact they have balked at that idea. Even though the market is there. Can you imagine... show more Well said Snoop. Very thought provoking. The big difference with the football and baseball is that they were expanded to football and baseball markets. I don't see the NFL salivating at adding a team to the Toronto market, in fact they have balked at that idea. Even though the market is there. Can you imagine the NFL or MLB expanding to other non-baseball, non-football markets to try to shove it down their throats in an "effort to grow the game"??? No, they concentrate on the good product they already have and strengthening it.
Update 9: Like I am Telling You- I think we are just looking at it in two different perspectives. You are looking at it in the sense that Bettman has beeen good for the owners ( are you a shareholder maybe?) and I am looking at it from a fans perspective. NEVER ever can a lost season be looked at as a good thing. If the... show more Like I am Telling You- I think we are just looking at it in two different perspectives. You are looking at it in the sense that Bettman has beeen good for the owners ( are you a shareholder maybe?) and I am looking at it from a fans perspective. NEVER ever can a lost season be looked at as a good thing. If the owners were attracted by the fact that Bettman said he would cancel a season, they are even bigger fools than I thought. Baseball has finally just worked it's fan base back up but it took years after their lost World Series. Did the owners learn nothing from this? Besides, let's face it, the owners just had to be saved from themselves, they were the ones going nuts to begin with.
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