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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Announcement, Lockout Rant, Tbirds Hockey

Hey look... I have something to write about so why not have a Menage a Trois of posts on a Friday? We'll get three topics together all at the same time

First, I have a bit of a minor announcement to make. Recently, my good friend John Barr started a blog that provided updates on the possibility of a new downtown sports arena and subsequently the possibility of an NHL team coming to Seattle. John and I have decided to collaborate on this new project that I think most Seattle area hockey fans will have interest in - You can (and should) also like our page on Facebook right here.

For now, John will still handle most, if not all of the posting over at the new website because he is well versed on the issues surrounding getting an NHL team to the Seattle area. John will continue with his relocation updates and I will eventually transition into the team recap/analysis writer in the event that we should be able to score an NHL team.  Do me a favor and give the website a look, John does an amazing job and I hope to contribute to that in the near future. This doesn't mean any changes for Let's Go Birds and we still don't have any clear indication on when or if Seattle will receive an NHL team.

Second. While we are on the subject... allow me to rant a little bit about the NHL Lockout (this is something I may post over at the new website as well).

I join with most hockey fans in being utterly and totally annoyed (possibly disgusted) at the idea of another lockout and a lost season. Billionaires fighting with Millionaires is the tag line often mentioned and it's true. It seems as though most fans believe that the owners are being unfair and the players are getting a raw deal in this recent round of negotiations. I would tend to agree with that. When the players were locked out in 2004 and eventually came to an agreement in 2005 after the cancellation of an entire season, it was widely perceived that the owners "won" and the players conceded a lot.  In light of this, the owners have now come back 7 years later, after record revenue growth, and demanded that salaries be rolled back further and that the players should make more concessions.

The players are getting shafted, plain and simple. Owners aren't being fair to ask for so much more after getting so much 7 years ago and enjoying the bounties that the past 7 years have provided.

However.  Answer me this.... Exactly what leverage do the players have?? The answer (imo) of course is none or at least very little.

The situation hinges on this - too many owners simply have no reason to run games.

James Mirtle of the Toronto Globe and Mail wrote an eloquent article back in July that illustrates perfectly the reason why many NHL teams aren't generating revenues large enough to cover expenses. If you lose money every time you open the doors to the arena to play a game... well... you aren't very eager to play games.

As Mirtle points out, the owners believe they'll have an easier time extracting 200-300 million out of the players before they can extract that out of the richest franchises in the form of revenue sharing.

So if most owners don't have an incentive to play games.... what leverage do the players have? They can be united all they want but most ownership groups aren't being hurt by shutting their doors.

If the players were smart... they would accept the salary roll-backs while insisting that the league institute better revenue sharing or other ways in which the bottom 70% of the franchises have a better chance to succeed and turn profits (or break even).

Unfortunately, until the players realize that they really don't have solid ground to stand on (beyond the moral ground) the lockout will likely continue.

Third.  Thank whatever God you believe in that we still have Junior Hockey! The Thunderbirds hit the ice tonight in Kamloops looking to continue their momentum after their stunning late game heroics up in Prince George last weekend.  I'm going to have the game on tonight but I may not be able to watch a ton of it. I'll try to post as many thoughts as I can.

The Riley Sheen for Jacob Doty trade sure is working out well. I suspected at the time that this trade would work out quite well for Seattle and so far things are looking pretty good. Sheen has 4 points in 4 games.

Also, Jarret Smith has been a revelation (at least on paper) so far as he has 3 assists with a +2 rating through 4 games.

I'll have some actual relevant thoughts after I see a game or two.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

I'm personally taking a wait and see approach on the NHL coming to Seattle. Honestly, it's tough to get fired up about a possible move with the first two weeks of the season cancelled. I wouldn't be suprised to see another entire NHL season lost. I hope I'm wrong but it's not looking good.

What's your take on the possible impact on the 'Birds should an NHL team land here? At the very least I think we'd see some of the season ticket folks and their money migrating to a new team. You have to figure though it'd be yet another selling point for getting quality players in the door beyond everything else that Seattle/Kent has to offer.

Tonight's going to be a big test for Smith, and all the D really. Kamloops is stacked. I had some serious reservations about the Deagle move. So far though, with the exception of some bad decision making by Wardley, I'm impressed with what I've seen. Last year, and the year before, we'd set let downs in effort for entire periods of hockey. So far the boys this year have it down to 3-5 minute stretches. Lets hope that continues to improve.

Todd said...

The one thing the lockout does do is bring more NHL scouts into the arena. We were sitting in the high seats of the lower level at Key arena during the last strike and we always saw scouts, sometimes 3-4 per game where we didn't see near as many in the non strike season. If some of the Birds are interested in an NHL career, now is the time.

Anonymous said...

The NHL was making great strides in growing the game and the league, and now the strike. Bad timing for a league that runs number 4 behind the other three professional sports leagues and is behind college football and basketball in some respects as well at least in the US.As for the birds game last night, great game till the 15 minute mark of the 3rd, still not putting together a complete game. WHere was Trook?

Anonymous said...

Lockhart, a 20 year old, is already -7.
Elliot has 0 pts.

In my opinion, veterans need to pick up their game.

Kodi said...

According to the 710 Blog Troock was out sick

Kevin said...

The players aren't on strike. It's the owners locking the players out.

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