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hf101

Drop Dead Date

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This is actually an interesting blog. http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5134

The author Tyler Dellow believes that the actual deadline to cancel the season is not for another month and a half.

Nobody’s entirely sure as to the length of the season that the NHL was prepared to run with in 2004-05 although, given how late the season was cancelled, it’s assumed that they were willing to play as few as 28 regular season games. NHL revenues are probably non-linear; a 28 game regular season with no exhibition games and, say, 90 playoff games, would be 510 games as opposed to 1470 games in a season in which an 82 game schedule, with 90 playoff games and 10 exhibition games per team were played. This is about 34.7% of the games but, probably, significantly more than that in terms of the share of the revenues.

I would think, although I could be wrong, that having wiped out a season already in 2004-05, the NHL would be even more leery of doing it again than they were then. Yes, the fans and sponsors came back then but who’s to say that they’d do it again. In Canada and the parts of the United States where the sport has some roots? Sure. In the parts where it’s a novelty, without a history? I don’t know. My gut feeling is that I wouldn’t really want to find out.

Unless there’s something different this time than last time, something that we don’t know about, I doubt that the real drop dead date for the season is in January. It simply doesn’t make any sense to me that they’d be willing to cancel the season earlier this time than they did last time, particularly with the fear that what was excused once (when, however much I may disagree, there was more widespread support for the owners) may not be excused a second time. If you can play a schedule of 28 games that’s credible and legitimate, I don’t know why the league would cancel the season in mid-January.

I'm not sure if this means the players only receive one or two payments for the season. But if you take at least 28 games.....make plans to extend the number of teams making the playoffs..... it could work.

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28 games ?!?! Bryz won't even have enough time to find his game..............

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@flyerrod

Bryz has been playing better as of late.....but then, I wouldn't mind missing the playoffs to draft Seth Jones.

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There is nothing "credible" or "legitimate" about a 28 game schedule.

The concept is ludicrous.

Who do you play in a 28-game schedule? Which team don't you face?

Or, assuming no cross-conference games - then you have, what? Two games against each team in your conference?

There isn't an asterix big enough to put next to the "Stanley Cup Champion" of a 28-game season.

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@radoran

I think this blog answers a few of your questions in the shoutbox earlier......and at the same time fits in this thread. ;)

A Problem With A Shortened Season

We're hearing a lot of talk that a 48 game season is the lowest the NHL will go - any lower than that and the season should be canceled, according to the NHL, because it will be a hollow contest. Tyler Dellow wrote an interesting post about why this sounds like malarkey, bunkum, or whatever other olde tyme noun you want to apply to the nonsense which Gary Bettman and his cadre of non-fanatics are constantly spewing - in fact, NHL teams sort themselves out quick enough that a 28 game season + playoffs could be pretty representative.

However, what I'm not hearing about is how the money is going to get distributed in such a scenario. In a normal season before this lockout, players got 57% of hockey related revenue. After this lockout, presumably NHL players will be getting 50% + some percentage of Make Whole, which percentage they'll calculate by putting 1,000 monkeys in a room with 1,000 abacuses and seeing how the beads fall. While we don't know the exact dollar amount that will be added to Make Whole in 2013 yet, we can be pretty sure that the players are going to end up with somewhere between 51 and 53% of HRR this year if there is a season.

As I understand it, players are typically paid relative to days on the roster - the NHL season has 186 days (or thereabouts), and a player on a two-way contract gets paid his NHL rate relative to the number of days he spends on the NHL roster. Presumably, that's how the NHL will function this year. Let's say in the doomsday scenario, we have a 28 game season - that'll probably be something like 56 to 60 days. Players would then get around 1/3rd of their salary this season, with adjustments relative to the new revenue split + Make Whole. Ah, but a 28 game season also includes the playoffs - last season, the regular season was 1230 games and 86 playoff games. Playoff games are typically higher priced, but even if we assume that they are three times the price of a regular season game, that would still only account for 20% the amount pulled in by the regular season and 17% of overall gate revenues. (These are giant estimates with huge error ranges, but bear with me).

Right here you might be saying 'Well, who cares?' The NHL escrow system cares. In a 28 game season, the NHL would have 420 total games and presumably around 86 playoff games, give or take 5 either way. That's a much larger percentage of the games being playoff ones. Now with a system where everything isn't tied together, this wouldn't make a difference, but with the stupidity of the escrow system that I've pointed out in previous posts, what revenues the New York Rangers generate in the playoffs affect how much the New York Islanders ultimately pay out to players. If playoff revenue constitutes a large portion of hockey-related revenue, that means making the playoffs is more important than ever - if we assume that playoff tickets are twice the cost of regular season ones, playoff revenue would constitute around 29% of total gate revenues. If we operate under the assumption that the lower revenue teams tend to be less successful than high revenue teams, this would put an undue burden on low revenue clubs - low revenue clubs play 14 home dates, and if they miss the playoffs, that's it for them. But they'd have to pay out salaries equal to 50% + Make Whole of the total HRR, which might be significantly more than it would be in a normal season because of the disproportion of playoff games. These teams may well lose less money by not playing at all.

Now maybe with the players voting for the 5% cap inflator this past off-season, the cap (and consequently every player's 'written' salary) is so high relative to what revenues will end up at that it won't matter, but I have to imagine that NHL teams have made this calculation, and I think the longer this goes on, the more the small-market teams will be up for a cancellation of the season and an attempt to break Fehr and the union rather than playing an extremely short season.

I guess you would nearly double all of that for a 48 game season. And if the owners were smart they'd try to sneak in a greater playoff brackett to include more teams in the playoffs.

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@radoran

I think this blog answers a few of your questions in the shoutbox earlier......and at the same time fits in this thread. ;)

I guess you would nearly double all of that for a 48 game season. And if the owners were smart they'd try to sneak in a greater playoff brackett to include more teams in the playoffs.

Good stuff, HF - thanks!

IMO, the NHL could easily add (shortened season or no) a 3-game play-in round before facing, say, the top (two) seed(s). That could potentially get up to 24 teams "in the playoffs."

Then the six teams not in the playoffs get a weighted draw for the top pick.

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      There is nothing "credible" or "legitimate" about a 28 game schedule. The concept is ludicrous. Who do you play in a 28-game schedule? Which team don't you face? Or, assuming no cross-conference games - then you have, what? Two games against each team in your conference? There isn't an asterix big enough to put next to the "Stanley Cup Champion" of a 28-game season.

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