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The case for NHL contraction: G&M


brelic
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From The Globe & Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/the-case-for-nhl-contraction/article4650526/

Bottom line, they argue that the surest way to fix what ails the league is to contract down to about 18 teams, and eliminate the 10 or so that consistently bleed red ink. Can't say I disagree.

They took it one step further and argued that a 12-team league would be very strong financially and would have INCREDIBLE rosters and matchups!!

Canadian Conference

Maple Leafs

Canadiens

Canucks

Senators

Flames

Oilers

US Conference

Flyers

Rangers

Red Wings

Bruins

Hawks

Pens

Man, can you imagine how awesome each game would be if you eliminate 60-70% of the players and distribute them across 12 teams??? Wow, every game would have so many highlight reel moments.

I've been on the contraction bandwagon for a long time. What do you think needs to happen for contraction to become a reality?? I mean, if 1/3 of the league's owners are losing money, plus 2 of them went bankrupt and into league receivership, and that's STILL NOT ENOUGH to talk about contraction.... sheesh, what will it take?

Maybe a protracted lock out is exactly what this league needs to be fixed once and for all.

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I'm all for contraction as well but not down to 12 teams. I just don't see that being possible at all. You'd be eliminating the Sharks & Kings on the west coast.

How about this:

2 conferences, 4 divisions & 28 teams

-------Eastern Conf----------------------Western Conf

Division A----Division B---------Division C--------Division D

Flyers----------Red-Wings---------Avalanche----------Oilers

Caps-----------Canadiens----------Ducks---------------Flames

Rangers-------Senators------------Blackhawks--------Canucks

Penguins------Maple Leafs--------Blues---------------Sharks

Devils----------Sabres---------------Stars---------------Jets

Bruins----------Hamilton------------Wild-----------------Kings

Hartford--------Quebec-------------Blue Jackets------Seattle

Coyotes move to Seattle

Panthers to Quebec

Islanders to Hartford

Hurricanes to Hamilton

Predators and Lightning fold (current players enter draft with current contract)

Division A & B in the Eastern Conference are perfect.

Division C & D needs some help but works out the best as is.

Breakdown of the schedule:

9 Games = teams in your division (54)

1 game = every other team in the league (21)

75 games total

Shorten the season from Oct 15th - March 15th which is 150 days.

That's an average of 1 game every 2 days.

Playoffs Round 1

1a, 1b, 1c, 1d = bye

Series 1 - 2a vs 3b

Series 2 - 3a vs 2b

Series 3 - 2c vs 3d

Series 4 - 3c vs 2d

Playoffs Round 2

Series 5 - 1a vs Series 2 Winner

Series 6 - 2a vs Series 1 Winner

Series 7 - 3a vs Series 4 Winner

Series 8 - 4a vs Seres 3 Winner

Playoffs Round 3

Series 5 winner vs Series 6

Series 7 winner vs Series 8

Finals are over by early May

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Replace Hamilton with Halifax and I'm in ;)

Actually, I still think 28 teams is too many. CBJ has no business being in the league, and the Devils aren't far behind. Aren't they bankrupt? And attendance is pretty poor. 20 teams would be a sweet spot. Take teams out of Dallas, California... and Seattle... is there a business case showing that hockey would work there? I'm just thinking why go into unproven markets if expansion into unproven markets got us into this mess in the first place?

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Contraction is not something either side really wants to entertain even though it would be the quickest way to heal the league. Relocation and realignment should be able to help offset costs immensely and I am pretty certain that was the only reason the union put a squash on the idea when it first showed up. Fehr had enough foresight to keep realignment as a bargaining chip. That is something that will ultimately help both sides when it happens.

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@brelic

Dallas has been a decent hockey town until very recently. They've iced competitive teams , stole that cup around 2000, were in the playoffs and not an easy out for much of their time in Dallas, why you hef to hate on big D ?

Just because they are Dallas is enough reason for me.......... ;)

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@brelic

Dallas has been a decent hockey town until very recently. They've iced competitive teams , stole that cup around 2000, were in the playoffs and not an easy out for much of their time in Dallas, why you hef to hate on big D ?

LOL, I have nothing against Dallas. I went back and looked at their attendance record over the years, and I might have misjudged them. Lately, they are in the bottom quarter, but were sort of in the middle of the pack before. Either way, though, I could take 'em or leave 'em. What are their financials like? I thought I read somewhere that they were in the red also.

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@brelic

So how is the league going to make more money with less teams? I think you are forgetting that relocation and expansion fees are shared amongst the owners. Thus we will see expansion not contraction.

The players are NEVER going to agree to reduce the number of teams and cut jobs.

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@brelic

So how is the league going to make more money with less teams? I think you are forgetting that relocation and expansion fees are shared amongst the owners. Thus we will see expansion not contraction.

The players are NEVER going to agree to reduce the number of teams and cut jobs.

I'm no expert, but I'd assume the NHLPA gets no say in contraction.

@brelic

Some Vancouver billionaire bought the Stars last year. He's apparently a hockey fan and gave Nieuwendyke the green light to increase payroll. That doesn't say squat about their financials but if my hypothesis is correct *wink* the Stars could start doing better at the gate with a better on-ice product.

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@Digityman

Well the Islanders are going to Brooklyn so that is a nay for Hartford. I really doubt the Panthers are going anywhere, the new owners have rather deep pockets. Last years playoff run is a new start to their success. Tampa and Carolina are stable franchises, if anything I think the league will expand to 32 teams.

I'm all for the hockey season starting just as the World Series ends. And I wouldn't mind the Cup finals ending just before Memorial Day.

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@Puck

I'm no expert, but I'd assume the NHLPA gets no say in contraction.

You're probably right, but I'm really not seeing how the league will make more money, the other thing that probably has some influence is the TV Contract signed last season probably has some type of clause in it that markets in XX number of states must have hockey teams.

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@brelic

So how is the league going to make more money with less teams? I think you are forgetting that relocation and expansion fees are shared amongst the owners. Thus we will see expansion not contraction.

The players are NEVER going to agree to reduce the number of teams and cut jobs.

The league won't make more money. But ALL teams will be financially healthy, you can probably remove the cap, get rid of revenue sharing.

The players really don't have a say either way about contraction. They might pout, but they will still want jobs when all is said and done. It is the owners who will never agree to contraction. It would be good for the Flyers, but bad for Comcast. Well, actually, it probably wouldn't be 'good' for the Flyers either as every team would be elite-level and probably pretty balanced.

If it ever does happen, it will be borne out of some crisis like we have now.

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