Reader Q&A: Lockouts, Contraction, & Fashion?

August 17, 2012, by

Do you think the NHL will be locked out this season?

No, I don’t think the NHL will be locked out for an entire season. I think the worst case scenario is we might lose a few games, but I highly doubt we have another 04-05 on our hands. The current CBA doesn’t need a complete overhaul as it did 8 years ago. It just needs some refining due to the new economic realities in this country. Deep down I know both sides understand this despite the rhetoric.

The league’s proposal (cut the players’ share of hockey related revenue, cap contract lengths at five-years, end salary arbitration and require 10-years of experience before players are eligible to be a UFA) was extremely aggressive. With that said, the proposal was a perfect world scenario for the owners. This is just a negotiating tactic. The reality is the league and the union need to hash out how hockey related revenue is defined and come up with a new % split of said revenue. Everything else is just noise.

Fear not Blue Seats Blogs faithful, there will be hockey this winter.

What do you think of Bettman and Ed Snider of all people crying poverty and being the faces of CBA negotiation?

Hmmm. This sounds more like an opinion than a question. Look, I know the average hockey fan loathes guys like Bettman and Snider, but I am not the average fan. I’ve questioned some of their decisions over the years (on this blog to boot), but negotiating a new CBA doesn’t make them the greedy a-holes the media is trying to make them out to be. It’s their right to negotiate a new deal and the NHLPA agreed to this process.

Now I know people think it’s ridiculous Snider is on the negotiating committee. I’ve read plenty of articles deriding him for complaining about the lack of profitability of small market teams. Sure, it seems two-faced being the owner of the Flyers, who blew their brains out with RFA poaching and long-term contracts. Still, the fact of the matter is Snider’s the chairman of Comcast and he has negotiated with unions his entire career. It would be stupid to not have him on this committee.

Although Snider’s team isn’t the one suffering, he is smart enough to know the current CBA model and economic conditions in this country make it extremely hard for small market teams to make a buck. In 2004, if a team didn’t make money for a few years, some cash from an investment bank could bail them out while the team turned their fortunes around (Penguins, Capitals, Senators come to mind). However, these days finding capital isn’t so easy, just ask our rivals across the Hudson.

Don’t you think the league would just be better off if they contracted some of the teams that are struggling financially?

The NHL wouldn’t contract because doing so would reduce revenue. If you have fewer teams, then you have fewer fans. If you have fewer fans, then TV viewership goes down. If TV viewership goes down, then TV rights and advertising would become less expensive. Do you see where I am going with this?

Relocation may be the answer for some markets after the league does its due diligence in terms of financial analysis and market research, but contraction isn’t a realistic option in this day and age. Nashville is the perfect case study of how teams can turn it around with the right owners and a good marketing strategy.

Which Ranger players with 2-way contracts can play for the Whale, if the NHL season doesn’t start on time?

The leagues reportedly haven’t been commenting on this issue, so there is some ambiguity here. For starters, it is believed that any player under consideration has to be exempt from waivers. Additionally, the AHL has the “veteran rule,” which states teams must dress at least 12 skaters with no more than 260 professional regular season games played and a 13th with no more than 320 (goalies exempt).

Where can one get a quality tie for a fair price for a gentleman friend?

It amazes me that people on twitter ask me about men’s fashion more than they do about hockey. If there are any clothing designers reading this who would like to sponsor me, I am all ears…

Categories : Around the League


  1. scott says:

    BTW, Snider is not the Chairman of Comcast, it’s Spectacor. Regardless, unions have virtually no role within the 110,000 employees of Comcast anyway.

    • The Suit says:

      It’s actually Comcast-Spectacor, which also owns Ovations Food Services, New Era tickets, not to mention all of the cable networks. You can’t produce television, build arenas, offices, etc. without working with unions in some shape or form.

  2. Walt says:

    First of all I hope your right about having hockey this winter, let’s hope cooler heads prevail!

    As for Ed Snider being on the negiotating team, I still think he is a dirt bag, knowing about him over the years living in Pennsylvania. He owns a portion of NBC, NBC Sports, fornerly VS., and all the other companies mentioned before. He is a cut throat SOB, and I wish him all the ill will in the world. Mind you, I never say things like this about anyone, but this guy is a real scumbag in the first order!!!!! He and Buttman are two of a kind, birds of a feather you know.

    If teams don’t make it on their own, move them, there are plenty of Canadian cities that are begging for an NHL team, that they would support. Case in point Hamilton, Quebec, are dying for a team. I realize that the American market is larger, but the support up north would be greater, and that is good for the sport.

    I was in Naples this summer, and brought back a beautiful bow tie for a friend that wanted one, I’ll get you the name of the shop if you want. They had a photo of Bill Clinton in the store, who buys his ties there while in Italy. A little on the salty side though!

  3. Sally says:

    I read a really good article in The NY Times by Jeff Klein. His final thought in the article,” are Jacobs and Snider willing to accept the union’s plan and turn over more of the money they earn to the Islanders, Panthers and Stars of the league? Whether the 2012-13 season starts on time-or at all-may depend on their answer.”

    After reading that, I’m not hopeful for hockey next season which is a shame because the Rangers have the best team they have had in years and it would have been a great season.

  4. steven t says:

    is it possible to find a new york rangers tie?

  5. Sioux-per-man says:

    So who has less than 260 Games?

    Kreider, Stepan, Hags, McD, Sauer, Stralman, Bickel, & Del Zotto.

    Add in Miller, Thomas, Newbury, Yogan, McIlrath.

    The Whale could be one fun team to watch this year.

    • Ray says:

      The 260 isn’t just NHL games. It also refers to AHL games. Newbury certainly doesn’t fall in this class and I don’t think Sauer, Stralman, Bickel do either. The others on your list certainly do.

  6. rickyrants13 says:

    Nothing matters as long as Bettman is here. The NHL was growing faster Before him. The NHL was at its peak when he got here. And now its facing another major train wreck. This sport is too fragile right now with trying to grow its fan base. To go thru this yet again.

    • The Suit says:

      Personal feelings towards Bettman aside, the NHL by every metric has increased under his watch. Distribution, ratings, revenue, you name it.