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How many lockouts does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?


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Aside from when I was a young kid, most of my time as a fan has taken place during rough times for the sport of hockey. There's been two lockouts and when there isn't one there's always buzz about how another one is coming.

Most of my time as a fan has also taken place in which the league has done a ton of differe things - most of which have failed - to generate more interest in the sport. Whether it's new teams in new markets, a change in the game to increase offense, or something along those lines, there's always talk about what the sport can do to generate more interest.

I forget exact when, but I've actually seen it stated that hockey was no longer a top 4 sport. That was several years ago now and I jus thave to wonder at what point does the sport just not have the ability to bounce back from another problem? It's already lost popularity and another lockout is the last thing an unpopular sport needs. Even as someone who is a fan, I can say my tolerance is pretty low for this kind of stuff. I don't think I'm really in the mindset that I can say I'll miss the game if there is a stoppage, but more likely be annoyed it's happening yet again.

Maybe it's just for me personally, but I don't think the NHL can handle much more of this.

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@fanaticV3.0

I would like to see a viable North American rival league step in. Almost like the WHA. This is just nuts that a sport can lockout 3x in 18 years and survive.

I know that the numbers point towards progress being made under Bettman's watch, I just do not see it.

Time will tell, but the thought of another lockout may have a lot of loyal fans looking at other options.

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@fanaticV3.0 I would like to see a viable North American rival league step in. Almost like the WHA. This is just nuts that a sport can lockout 3x in 18 years and survive. I know that the numbers point towards progress being made under Bettman's watch, I just do not see it. Time will tell, but the thought of another lockout may have a lot of loyal fans looking at other options.

Rival league, hmmm. I'm not sure how I feel about that to be honest. I totally agree with you that 3 stoppages in 18 years is suicide (or eventually heading towards that). But I have to wonder if a rival league, rather than a replacement one, huts more than it helps? If the NHL folded and another league opened up, it makes no difference to me. But I worry that two commpeting leagues would make for an inferior product; if not all the best names were not playing against one another.

I agree though they need to sort this **** out and stop threatening lockouts, demanding more money, or just generally complaning every few years.

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@fanaticV3.0 Not any huge revelation here, but hockey will never be more than a niche sport in the U.S.A.....it will never be accepted by the masses like MLB or the NFL. Anything else is just window dressing. Like you said, the real danger here is losing the little support it does have in the U.S.....it will always be the top sport in Canada, that goes without saying, but losing the US support could eventually kill the league.

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@fanaticV3.0 Not any huge revelation here, but hockey will never be more than a niche sport in the U.S.A.....it will never be accepted by the masses like MLB or the NFL. Anything else is just window dressing. Like you said, the real danger here is losing the little support it does have in the U.S.....it will always be the top sport in Canada, that goes without saying, but losing the US support could eventually kill the league.

23 to 7 on the ratio of American teams(granted at least 4 of those would be better in Canada) to Canadian. It might be a niche sport in America but without them the League would fold like a cheap tent. Obviously Canadians per capita are going to outnumber US fans but I would venture to say you are selling the amount of fans in the US short. Even if you look at the Original 6 teams, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Boston. There is still a 4-2 ratio. Canada geographically has an advantage because of the climate alone, same as baseball and football does in the US. I might be in the minority here but I don't think of Hockey as a niche sport. Soccer in the US a niche sport? That I can believe........

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@flyerrod" It might be a niche sport in America but without them the League would fold like a cheap tent. Obviously Canadians per capita are going to outnumber US fans but I would venture to say you are selling the amount of fans in the US short. Even if you look at the Original 6 teams, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Boston. There is still a 4-2 ratio. Canada geographically has an advantage because of the climate alone, same as baseball and football does in the US. I might be in the minority here but I don't think of Hockey as a niche sport. Soccer in the US a niche sport? That I can believe........ "

Well, the point I was trying to make is the NHL can not afford to lose the support of the American citizens they already have in their back pocket, or...like I said, the league will be in real danger...I agree, the future of the NHL's prosperity lies with the USA. I just don't think the NHL will ever be accepted as mainstream in the USA. It will never be part of the fabric of socieity like football and baseball are, and the TV ratings bear this out

. In the late sixties, early seventies, the NHL found out that there was undiscoved gold in areas like Philadelphia, St.Louis etc....I think that is bacially maxed out now. I'm very skeptical that areas like Vegas or Seattle could support a sucessful NHL team (*maybe Seattle, certainly not Vegas) and those are the American cities being floated for expansion. The real key is making the current US markets (and surrounding areas) stronger and more viable....and tossing the crap to the wayside in a timely manner. They need to stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole based on market size and grow the sport in areas where there is actually interest.

Also agree, maybe niche sport is to strong in describing the NHL in the US, that would really fit into soccer, which sucks and will never ever be big in the US, despite the expets who think it will grow. It's boring...dreadfully boring and there is no way to fix it (unless the insert topless female goaltending...that *might* give it a shot :)

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23 to 7 on the ratio of American teams(granted at least 4 of those would be better in Canada) to Canadian. It might be a niche sport in America but without them the League would fold like a cheap tent. Obviously Canadians per capita are going to outnumber US fans but I would venture to say you are selling the amount of fans in the US short. Even if you look at the Original 6 teams, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Boston. There is still a 4-2 ratio. Canada geographically has an advantage because of the climate alone, same as baseball and football does in the US. I might be in the minority here but I don't think of Hockey as a niche sport. Soccer in the US a niche sport? That I can believe........

There simply aren't four more Canadian cities that can support an NHL franchise.

Seven of the top eight already have one (Quebec), #9 is Hamilton which will not get an NHL team while there is breath in Tronno and Buffalo. Tenth is Kitchener-Waterloo and that's less than 500,000 in the metro as is London. Then you drop again below 400K metros for St. Catherine's (see:"Hamilton") and Halifax.

At BEST you could have two more teams in Canada (presuming Tronno will not allow another team in Tronno proper) - Quebec and Hamiltion. And NHL hockey already failed in Quebec once.

Hockey is not entirely a "niche" sport in the States, but efforts to expand into new markets and develop new fans are hampered (at best) by these labor shenanigans.

But if these Canadian farmboys still want NHL jobs, they're gonna be getting most of them south of the border - which is (one reason) why the NHLPA supports expansion.

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@radoran I agree, maybe 2 more teams in Canada, but then there is severe population drop off. Even the 2 is iffy, as you said, the Leafs would have to allow Hamilton to join, and I just don't see that happening.

Nor would Buffalo want a franchise in Hamilton, and the New York Senatorial Delegation seemed pretty willing to put pressure on the League when it was being discussed last time.

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Posted · Hidden by hf101, September 14, 2012 - banned member
Hidden by hf101, September 14, 2012 - banned member

This is just bad for hockey. I am shocked they did not work this out and avoid it. Bettman and the players and us fans cannot afford a strike. It really did a number on baseball and we have little support in the southern and western states in the USA. The northeast is the bread and butter of hockey in the US. And of course Canada is huge. It's their sport. Fix this Bettman or get out.

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Fix this Bettman or get out.

Fixed or not and no matter how much good that little troll(Bettman) has done, I want him gone from hockey. We are headed for a THIRD lockout because that is the way Gary thinks business should be done. He is a cancer on the sport of hockey and I can think of VERY FEW fans that think he is doing the sport right . May he rot in hell and be sodomized by a million demons......and yes, I like him that much... :angry: FGB... Fornicate Gary Bettman.

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Fixed or not and no matter how much good that little troll(Bettman) has done, I want him gone from hockey. We are headed for a THIRD lockout because that is the way Gary thinks business should be done. He is a cancer on the sport of hockey and I can think of VERY FEW fans that think he is doing the sport right . May he rot in hell and be sodomized by a million demons......and yes, I like him that much... :angry: FGB... Fornicate Gary Bettman.

It's not like Bettman has compromising pictures of every owner and is blackmailing them into following "his" plan.

The owners LIKE Bettman and the owners WANT "Bettman's plan" to succeed.

The owners and players BOTH wanted "Bettman's" expansion plan.

Gary Bettman - not my favorite person by a Long Stretch - is NOT "the problem" in this situation.

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@fanaticV3.0 Not any huge revelation here, but hockey will never be more than a niche sport in the U.S.A.....it will never be accepted by the masses like MLB or the NFL. Anything else is just window dressing. Like you said, the real danger here is losing the little support it does have in the U.S.....it will always be the top sport in Canada, that goes without saying, but losing the US support could eventually kill the league.

I don't care that it's a niche sport. That's ok by me. I'm not sitting around worried that it's not one of the big 4 (let alone equal to the NFL or MLB). Nothing is going to ever equal football in this country. It's obsessed with football. Hockey just needs more support than it has now. It used to be more consistent in the ratings: http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/06/07/updated-what-if-they-held-an-nhl-stanley-cup-final-and-nobody-watched/137284/

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Fixed or not and no matter how much good that little troll(Bettman) has done, I want him gone from hockey. We are headed for a THIRD lockout because that is the way Gary thinks business should be done. He is a cancer on the sport of hockey and I can think of VERY FEW fans that think he is doing the sport right . May he rot in hell and be sodomized by a million demons......and yes, I like him that much... :angry: FGB... Fornicate Gary Bettman.

BS bro. I don't like Bettman either, but I'm sick of blaming the establishment. That's the easy way out. Not to mention, it's just wrong.

As rad pointed out, most Canadian cities can't even afford a team, and that has nothing to do with Bettman. You know what that is? Simpe economics; which I sucked at in college, but even I get this. The players make too much money and the sport isn't popular enough to support their salaries. They make too much money compared to what the sport brings in. They expect too much and the owners give it to them. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, wiser, or more likely because I don't like anyone, but I'm past that blaming one side crap. It's simplistic and often wrong.

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BS bro. I don't like Bettman either, but I'm sick of blaming the establishment. That's the easy way out. Not to mention, it's just wrong.

As rad pointed out, most Canadian cities can't even afford a team, and that has nothing to do with Bettman. You know what that is? Simpe economics; which I sucked at in college, but even I get this. The players make too much money and the sport isn't popular enough to support their salaries. They make too much money compared to what the sport brings in. They expect too much and the owners give it to them. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, wiser, or more likely because I don't like anyone, but I'm past that blaming one side crap. It's simplistic and often wrong.

I am blaming both sides bud. I put the whole "I get what I want though a lockout" on Bettman. In his mind, it work the last 2 times, it will work again. The fact is it is going to take a mediator to settle this as neither side is budging. They are at an impasse and both sides know it. They are following protocols which should have been accelerated as soon as Fehr became the head of the NHLPA. There was no mystery that this lockout was inevitable.

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I am blaming both sides bud. I put the whole "I get what I want though a lockout" on Bettman. In his mind, it work the last 2 times, it will work again. The fact is it is going to take a mediator to settle this as neither side is budging. They are at an impasse and both sides know it. They are following protocols which should have been accelerated as soon as Fehr became the head of the NHLPA. There was no mystery that this lockout was inevitable.

I don't agree any aspect of this is all on one person. The players want too much money for their production, the owners give it to them, and they both act confused when the inevitable issues pop up.

Plus, what would you have him do? These are two sides who haven't even gotten together to speak yet. Bettman has to do something. Force them to lose money - since that's what they care about most - the only option. That's when they'll sit down and talk. **********.

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I don't agree any aspect of this is all on one person.

Bettman is negotiating the only way he knows how. They could have played another season under the old CBA while working out the details of the new CBA. THAT was an option. Gary Bettman chose lockout.Did you notice the rush to sign contracts (BY THE OWNERS) before the expiration of the current CBA? The fact that he takes a farce of a vote of the owners and says they are all behind him means nothing. He also threatened to heavily fine anyone who voiced an opinion that was not his. If you don't believe that Bettman is the engineer of the train, that is your perogative but in this case I think seriously wrong (In my own opinion).

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Bettman is negotiating the only way he knows how. They could have played another season under the old CBA while working out the details of the new CBA. THAT was an option. Gary Bettman chose lockout.Did you notice the rush to sign contracts (BY THE OWNERS) before the expiration of the current CBA? The fact that he takes a farce of a vote of the owners and says they are all behind him means nothing. He also threatened to heavily fine anyone who voiced an opinion that was not his. If you don't believe that Bettman is the engineer of the train, that is your perogative but in this case I think seriously wrong (In my own opinion).

I think Bettman is the engineer, perhaps, but there are a bunch of owners behind him fueling the fire. And do you seriously think that if Ed Snider was 100% opposed to this whole situation that any fine Gary Bettman could levy to him wold matter at all??

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Bettman is negotiating the only way he knows how. They could have played another season under the old CBA while working out the details of the new CBA. THAT was an option. Gary Bettman chose lockout.Did you notice the rush to sign contracts (BY THE OWNERS) before the expiration of the current CBA? The fact that he takes a farce of a vote of the owners and says they are all behind him means nothing. He also threatened to heavily fine anyone who voiced an opinion that was not his. If you don't believe that Bettman is the engineer of the train, that is your perogative but in this case I think seriously wrong (In my own opinion).

They can't even get the two sides to come together and negotiate when the league is actively in a lockout. What makes you these they will two sides will sit down, come to a gentleman's agreemen in the mean time, and work out a future deal?

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They can't even get the two sides to come together and negotiate when the league is actively in a lockout. What makes you these they will two sides will sit down, come to a gentleman's agreemen in the mean time, and work out a future deal?

As Long as Bettman and the owners continue to dictate, not compromise, they (both of them) feel it is a waste of time. I am not sure why a mediator has not been assigned to try and get them working together. The only obvious reason is the Owners are not budging off what they have already offered. Bettman said as much when he said it was a take it or leave it deal.

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As Long as Bettman and the owners continue to dictate, not compromise, they (both of them) feel it is a waste of time. I am not sure why a mediator has not been assigned to try and get them working together. The only obvious reason is the Owners are not budging off what they have already offered. Bettman said as much when he said it was a take it or leave it deal.

You know, I'm going to have to call ******** on you claim earlier that you're blaming both sides. Everything that comes off of the tip of your fingers is about Bettman and the owners.

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You know, I'm going to have to call ******** on you claim earlier that you're blaming both sides. Everything that comes off of the tip of your fingers is about Bettman and the owners.

I am blaming Bettman and the owners for their shoot for the moon proposal. I said "they" because the players have already put forth a moderate proposal that Bettman and the owners scoffed at and they are not going to continue to fold to Bettman's/Owners demands. Both sides are at an impasse and a mediator/s is the only way there is going to be movement. Once the Owners instituted the work stoppage, a mediator should have been appointed by the NLRB to get things moving. Yes everything that comes off my fingertips blames the OWNERS and there refusal to budge. I BLAME THE MOTHER F. UCKERS THAT LOCKED OUT THE PLAYERS FOR THIS WORK STOPPAGE!!!!!!! :angry:

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I am blaming Bettman and the owners for their shoot for the moon proposal. I said "they" because the players have already put forth a moderate proposal that Bettman and the owners scoffed at and they are not going to continue to fold to Bettman's/Owners demands. Both sides are at an impasse and a mediator/s is the only way there is going to be movement. Once the Owners instituted the work stoppage, a mediator should have been appointed by the NLRB to get things moving. Yes everything that comes off my fingertips blames the OWNERS and there refusal to budge. I BLAME THE MOTHER F. UCKERS THAT LOCKED OUT THE PLAYERS FOR THIS WORK STOPPAGE!!!!!!! :angry:

I'm blaming Bettman for breathing!

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