Forsberg Story, Defending Bettman, What Could've Been (Crosby), Conroy

The Forsberg story, no longer an interesting one since it has become a soap opera. Once again the Flyers organization creates these dramas that just annoy me. GM Holmgren, I hope that if you are surfing the net you come across this article. Rangers may possibly get Forsberg, but hesitation takes place for Rangers fans; maybe they need some persuasion? By the way, how much can Forsberg really give to the Flyers if traded?

In defense of Gary Bettman. Sounds crazy, does it not? That’s why you must read!

I recall Darren Dreger titling one of his pieces on TSN.ca “What Could Have Been”; in regards to Sidney Crosby possibly breaking (or was it tying?) a record had coach Therrien kept him on the ice. Whatever the heck it was, I have a bigger picture with the same title of “What Could Have Been”. What is it about? Crosby is involved, but with the horrific ratings of the All-Star, the NHL keeps losing popularity. Now, this segment may stir up some heat as some hockey fans may call it “controversial”, but maybe not. I don’t know. We have had this discussion once before, but it’s been over a year since and I feel it is important to look back and say “what could have been (had Crosby ___________)”. Find out what I filled in the blank.

The Craig Conroy trade, will it finally get teams to speed up things and make trades? Okay, before I begin this one I have three things to say.

1) Congrats to Planet USA for winning the AHL All-Star game with just 3.3 seconds left as I heard Rangers surprising prospect Ryan Callahan scored a beauty. Why is this kid surprising? I don’t think anybody expected him to contribute offensively as he has done.

2) Someone from a discussion board I frequent once in a while posted a link of You Tube of Coach’s Corner from January 27. Good segment for about 7 minutes or so and in the end Don Cherry did something that I hope teenagers and other youngsters really paid attention to. If you missed it, well here is a short recap. Five young kids, teenagers, died (an accident I believe, yes?) and they were hockey players. I second what Cherry said, God Bless them and God Bless their families. But now here is what I have to say. We cannot take our lives for granted. This is why I never smoked anything or done something so completely irresponsible to damage my life. There is no need to do it and we should feel happy about having a life, living good times and bad times. We have to respect that because it is just a shame to waste life away or to treat it like crap when there are other people doing all that is right, yet…they lose it out of nowhere.

3) To cheer things up a bit after that, last night I was upset at NHL Center Ice for having cut off the Canadiens vs. Senators feed. Why? The “program” ended. Why? Because Ken Dryden’s ceremony took 48 minutes, which I felt was too long. So I was looking around the Dish Network channels and I just put on this Rockin America program which shows music videos. Well, I just ended up laughing my ass off when I saw this:

http://www.crazyfroghits.com/crazy.html

I never saw this one. Maybe most of you have, but this Crazy Frog is just histerical. Axel F is the music video and that frog just cracks me up when he goes “rrrrring riinnng ding ding ding”. I mean, look at that face, too funny. They got to have this guy as the mascot for the NHL.

Anyway, back to business.

Ahora, la telenovela de Pedro Forsbergo y los Flyeritos de Filadelllllllllllllfia!

Ok, GM Holmgren, take my advice if you read this. Go watch Austin Powers and get to the part when Dr. Evil tells “Shhcott” to “Shh!!!” and the second Austin Powers where Dr. Evil tells “Shhcott” to “zip it!”. Seriously, ZIP IT! This general manager talks to the media too much. Ever since he took over, he’s been answering too many questions for the media. Shut up already! We don’t need to know that you will have a series of meetings with Peter Forsberg to discuss his future. What is there to discuss? The guy has a bad foot, his contract runs out in June, your team sucks, you have tradeable assets, it’s time to rebuild, so what is there to discuss?! Just get him to waive his no-trade clause and trade the guy! Do we really need to know on a daily basis what is new about Forsberg’s status? And these meetings are supposed to be “behind doors” or “secret”? You call this secret? TSN.ca ran a Forsberg headline, Sportsnet.ca reported he waived his clause, Hockeybuzz.com said otherwise.

This guy looks clueless and I believe it’s what I said ever since he replaced Bob Clarke. He talks too much and makes this whole Forsberg situation a stupid drama, a soap opera. We have newspapers in Canada and in the US running the story on Forsberg every day mentioning his status and his injury problems. If I would be a general manager of a team in the NHL, right now I’d look at this as decreasing his trade value. Everything about Peter Forsberg is being put out in public every damn day and not only am I getting sick of it as a fan, but I just think it is utterly stupid on Holmgren’s part to allow this situation to be so openly discussed in public. Watch, someone will jump the gun and call the trade before it is actually confirmed. Guess what? That possibly could screw things up in negotiations. GM Holmgren must keep this as quiet as possible. Yet, it will be a daily thing until the guy gets traded. Former GM Bob Clarke may have been annoying, but at least he never pulled this stupid stuff.

Will the Rangers get Forsberg? Most fans would probably not want to get Forsberg as a rental, although Brett Hull may have given doubts to fans when saying that the Rangers would be a Cup contender with Forsberg. In a way, I second that. The Rangers could be a dangerous team IF Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan, and Peter Forsberg stay healthy, and Henrik Lundqvist gets hot. Two very dangerous scoring lines will be hard to stop for any team. It’s not so easy to stop Jagr’s line in the first place, imagine what it would be like to see Forsberg and Shanahan get on the ice for the next shift. A team like the New Jersey Devils would also have a tough time as Jay Pandolfo may shut down Jagr’s line, but can they stop Forsberg and Shanahan. They will log a good number of minutes, which means the opposition must play their checkers more than usual. That is Part A. Part B is Henrik Lundqvist. I remember last season that Cam Ward was just a shaky back-up goalie prospect learning to get better. I saw him a good number of times since I see most of the Southeast Division, and I expected the guy to be sent to the minors. Yet out of nowhere, he came up big in the playoffs. Why can’t Henrik Lundqvist do the same? He has proven his abilities and capabilities. If all works for the Rangers if they get Forsberg, the Stanley Cup Finals are not a pipe dream.

The problem is, who gets traded? Well, Prucha is most likely sought after, but maybe the Flyers want a center more than a winger. In this case, Jaarko Immonen may be requested. Still, I would not want to see a deal where Forsberg is only a playoff rental. If Forsberg gets traded to the Rangers, it will have to come with a guaranteed contract extension of one or two years. Why? At least Jagr will never be the only top gun on the team. Why? The Rangers will have a good chance in the playoffs with Forsberg (actually, that’s all you really need him for). And if Forsberg’s injury problems concern you Rangers fans, then look back at the last four NHL seasons, excluding this current one, and calculate the number of games played by Martin Straka and Michael Nylander. Then total the points for those four seasons and compare both stats to Forsberg’s. Case closed on my part.

One other thing. Any GM acquiring Forsberg must have this written in the trade: “future considerations”. If the trade means that he is just a rental player, then future considerations should dictate the required amount of games Forsberg must play for the rest of the year (playoffs included), and if he doesn’t reach that, then the team acquiring him receives a draft pick from the Flyers. If Forsberg is traded and signed by the team acquiring him, then the same method takes place. You must have some insurance with Forsberg.

Still, in the end I think the big market teams to acquire Forsberg are the Red Wings, Stars, and possibly the Rangers. The suspect teams are the Canadiens and the Ducks. The surprise teams are the Thrashers, Oilers, Predators, and Avalanche.

In defense of Gary Bettman. Yes, I may be the only fan defending him for this time, just this one time though as I am not such a fan of him either. But, I am just sick and tired of this guy getting the blame for anything, even the dumbest things. I am sick and tired of reading the complaints and the whining of fans towards the officials and blaming Bettman. It’s getting to a stupid point where if the ice starts to melt during a game, it will be Bettman’s fault as well.

I just find it fascinating that a fan posts things saying like “what horrible officiating, what crap calls, stupid penalties, this is BS, damn you Bettman! Daammmmmnnnnnnnnnn youuuuuuuuuuuu!”. It’s constant, and you know what? It just gets stupid in the end. Here is a new idea for fans. How about actually mentioning the ref’s name for once? This is why I loved Sather’s idea from a few years ago saying that the refs should have their names put back on their jerseys. Yes, Bettman changed the rules, but he is not on the ice making the calls. The rules are simple. Their purpose are to allow more flow to the game. If a stick is put in the mid section of a player in possession of the puck and the intent is to hold him back from skating, it’s a penalty. It’s simple for players. Just don’t do it! It’s simple for the refs, you see it, you call it. Don’t GUESS on it though. Sometimes the stick is not even touching the player with the puck and the ref just takes a guess and says “uhmm, yeah….could be a penalty so…I’ll whistle!” I keep seeing refs making calls that are just so hard for them to call in the first place. In the replays, I rarely look if there was a penalty. I look where the ref was standing in order to make that call. Sometimes I see a ref that is too far behind to make the call and had traffic in front of him. How could he have possibly seen it!? He guessed. I think Mr. Magoo (McGeough) is a bad ref yet rarely do I see his name mentioned anywhere. I only see Bettman’s name and in the end that’s just unfair criticism because it’s only biased and has no point to it.

So, here is an idea for fans and the media. Start RATING the officials. It’s hard for the fans as there is a lot of bias, but for the media? They have all the resources to rate these zebras, yet they do it the easy way and they too mention Bettman’s name. Nuh uh. No. I don’t want to read that guy’s name. I want to know which ref was bad enough to make such calls. And I just want simple ratings too, from a scale of 1 to 10. I think that is the right thing to do and it would actually help the NHL figure out what to do with the officials. That’s the right thing to do; not the usual easy criticism for biased reasons by just mentioning one guy’s name. That’s cheap talk…. it means nothing.

What Could Have Been (Had Crosby Been a Ranger). I know, I know. Some of you are probably rolling your eyes or just going “Oh come on!”. Well, just give me a shot here. First of all, I am saying this as a hockey fan, not as a Rangers fan. Frankly, I am not even such a huge fan of Crosby and even if I strongly believe that the draft lottery was rigged that season, I am very thrilled as a Rangers fan to have Marc Staal, possibly a steal. I believe that the NHL wanted to revive the Pittsburgh Penguins and create a new Super Mario Era with Sid the Kid. If so many people guessed correct that the Penguins were going to get Crosby, I was one of them, then it was obvious, too obvious. Regardless, the intent was good, but it failed miserably. Hockey is still unpopular and the TV ratings for the All-Star game prove that. Also, why even bother putting the All-Star game in Dallas where it obviously would have gotten little attention? The All-Star game has to take place in large hockey markets. Keep it for the Original Six, it draws more ratings and more interest in general. Back to the point, Crosby ended up on a team that is financially unstable and may have to move. I mean, would you really want Crosby playing in Kansas City, MO? In Las Vegas? In Portland? Ehh, maybe that is more acceptable.

Sidney Crosby has to become the face of the NHL. He has to become the NHL’s identity. He should be recognized as a top 50 young athlete in the world. How is that supposed to work when he is on a team that does not have any resources to market this guy properly and is on a not so popular NHL team? This is a time when the NHL is NOT growing. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, the NHL WAS growing. When it was growing, Wayne Gretzky became an LA King, and he was greatly recognized. Mark Messier became a Rangers and hockey was starting to grow rapidly even further when he brought the Cup to the Big Apple.

Now, imagine if Crosby was on a big market team, in general. But to specify, imagine if Crosby was on the New York Rangers playing along Brendan Shanahan, Jaromir Jagr. If I heard correctly, the Penguins at Coyotes game sold out, or nearly did. Why? People want to see the Sid Kid. But, was that shown anywhere in particular? Did anyone make a big headline about a game being sold out just to watch Crosby? No. See, that is the problem. Big kid, small team. It’s not supposed to work that way.

The New York Rangers generally draw good crowds on the road. Why? People love to see the big NY-metro area teams play. I was shocked when I attended the Panthers game against the Devils. It was nearly sold out! Not even the Devils can draw that kind of crowd at home. So, imagine if Crosby AND the Rangers came to town. People already want to see the Rangers, but they also get the bonus of watching Sid the Kid play with real stars as well.

If Crosby was a Ranger, you’d be seeing a lot more exposure. Why? The Rangers have all the resources available to create the fuss about him. The New York Times runs wires through other US national papers, so the stories in New York would run across the nation. The popular New York late night shows would treasure Sid the Kid. And, ESPN would definitely try to expose him as well. This would all mean big time popularity for Crosby which draws more popularity for the NHL.

Of course, I would be upset as a hockey fan if such a thing happened because I would say the lottery was rigged and the NHL needed to market Crosby. But, at least the “rigging” would have been worth to do for the NHL. If Messier managed to get the NHL on the map with the Rangers, so could have Crosby. And say if Crosby would win a Cup with the Rangers. It would be HUGE news across the US and in the sports world in general.

Yes, some of you may be upset at this discussion I brought up, especially Penguins fans, but I am talking in a hockey fan’s point of view. I could apply this story by switching Rangers with Red Wings. Maybe the LA Kings would have been just as good, as they were with Gretzky. So there is no biased involved here. I think the NHL made a horrible choice by putting Crosby with the Penguins if it wanted to get the game popular. If the NHL thought that Crosby would pull a Mario Lemieux and would get hockey on the map with the Penguins. Wow. What a HUGE and PATHETIC mistake. And I am not even slamming the Penguins organization on this. It’s not their fault. But, Crosby should have been used as a marketing tool for the NHL and right now…he is, but too unpopular. I truly beleive that things for the NHL would have been much different (in a very positive way) had Crosby been a Ranger.

Will the Craig Conroy trade to the Calgary Flames speed things up for other teams? The answer is……………………… NO! Sure, the Canucks may start to look more aggressively now, the Oilers may want to push for a defenseman, or re-sign Ryan Smyth. But, teams are still just too close. Two days from now will be February, and maybe then we will start to see a trade occur. But I would not expect anything major to happen until, and after, February 15…16. By then, teams should be more spaced from each other to know what to do.

That’s it for now, and as always thanks for reading,

Micki Peroni

Vice-Administator

p.s Ringringringdingdingdingbambambam! Crazy Frog, rocks.


83 Responses to Forsberg Story, Defending Bettman, What Could've Been (Crosby), Conroy

  1. mikster says:

    “Michele, ma che cazo dici? Sorry bud, but your entire premise on Crosby drawing bigger crowds with the Rangers is simply not backed by the official statistics. You are making many assumptions in your argument, and the statistics tell a completely different story.”

    Aoo, no mi rompere le palle!

    Of course it’s not backed with official stats because it could not be. That’s why the title is “Had Crosby Been a Ranger”, what could have been? We don’t know and we can’t know. And i don’t think the stats tell a different story all that much and i’ll use your source of numbers as well.

    “For the record, your Rangers are 9th on the list, drawing 95.7% on the road, while the Pens are drawing 94.3%. Therefore the Pens are drawing “good crowds”, as per your definition of the Rangers drawing good crowds on the road and the numbers being similar. Hence the exposure is there with the Pens and Crosby, just like the Rangers have. Therefore things are fine. You could argue that the Rangers would draw even bigger numbers if they had Crosby, but then there is another side of that coin.”

    The only reason why the Pens are drawing good crowds is because of Crosby only. That’s 94.3 percent for Crosby. The Rangers draw a larger crowd without Crosby. So, my philosophy here is that if Crosby was a Ranger, he’d draw a bigger crowd. How much? I can’t tell and neither can you even though you made your assumption of 98% without any numbers. I’d think it would be more than 98%, exceeding 100% as other teams have.

    “What is better? The status quo, or Rangers having 98% capacity crowds on the road with Crosby, while the Pens drop to 85%.”

    Like i said, it would most likely be higher than 98%, but we cannot know. Yet to answer that question, i think the NHL would be much better off having Crosby and the Rangers go for like 100% and the nearly bankrupt Penguins go for 85%.

    I mean, the thing to look at would also be TV ratings but we cannot get those ratings for local channels when the Pens and the Rangers visit their respective teams.

    “And isn’t that what would be best from your point of view, as a HOCKEY fan, and not just a Rangers fan as you point out?”

    No. Because i think the NHL would be better off with Crosby on a big market team rather than a team on the verge of moving to doubtful hockey markets in KC and in Las Vegas.

    There was a reason why hockey got big once Messier became a Ranger. History repeats itself.

    You can throw all the numbers you want, all the stories you want, but it does not prove what could have been had Crosby been a Ranger.

    Gretzky was big in LA in the 80’s. Lemieux was big in Pittsburgh in the 80’s, and winning two Cups in a row in early 90’s. The NHL was peaking when Messier was a Ranger and won the Cup later on. Was it just coincidence then? Not in my view.

    I like history, and it fascinates me when it repeats itself.

    Nonetheless, your comment was by far one of the best that i have ever read in my time as a HTR member and vice-admin. And that’s quite a good number of years too.

    Sei uno stronzo, pero un bravo stronzo ๐Ÿ˜‰ just kidding. Great job.

  2. mikster says:

    Sorry, too tough to read in that format. Here:

    “Michele, ma che cazo dici? Sorry bud, but your entire premise on Crosby drawing bigger crowds with the Rangers is simply not backed by the official statistics. You are making many assumptions in your argument, and the statistics tell a completely different story.” Aoo, no mi rompere le palle! Of course it’s not backed with official stats because it could not be. That’s why the title is “Had Crosby Been a Ranger”, what could have been? We don’t know and we can’t know. And i don’t think the stats tell a different story all that much and i’ll use your source of numbers as well.

    “For the record, your Rangers are 9th on the list, drawing 95.7% on the road, while the Pens are drawing 94.3%. Therefore the Pens are drawing “good crowds”, as per your definition of the Rangers drawing good crowds on the road and the numbers being similar. Hence the exposure is there with the Pens and Crosby, just like the Rangers have. Therefore things are fine. You could argue that the Rangers would draw even bigger numbers if they had Crosby, but then there is another side of that coin.” The only reason why the Pens are drawing good crowds is because of Crosby only. That’s 94.3 percent for Crosby. The Rangers draw a larger crowd without Crosby. So, my philosophy here is that if Crosby was a Ranger, he’d draw a bigger crowd. How much? I can’t tell and neither can you even though you made your assumption of 98% without any numbers. I’d think it would be more than 98%, exceeding 100% as other teams have.

    What is better? The status quo, or Rangers having 98% capacity crowds on the road with Crosby, while the Pens drop to 85%.” Like i said, it would most likely be higher than 98%, but we cannot know. Yet to answer that question, i think the NHL would be much better off having Crosby and the Rangers go for like 100% and the nearly bankrupt Penguins go for 85%. I mean, the thing to look at would also be TV ratings but we cannot get those ratings for local channels when the Pens and the Rangers visit their respective teams.

    “And isn’t that what would be best from your point of view, as a HOCKEY fan, and not just a Rangers fan as you point out?” No. Because i think the NHL would be better off with Crosby on a big market team rather than a team on the verge of moving to doubtful hockey markets in KC and in Las Vegas. There was a reason why hockey got big once Messier became a Ranger. History repeats itself. You can throw all the numbers you want, all the stories you want, but it does not prove what could have been had Crosby been a Ranger. Gretzky was big in LA in the 80’s. Lemieux was big in Pittsburgh in the 80’s, and winning two Cups in a row in early 90’s. The NHL was peaking when Messier was a Ranger and won the Cup later on. Was it just coincidence then? Not in my view. I like history, and it fascinates me when it repeats itself.

    Nonetheless, your comment was by far one of the best that i have ever read in my time as a HTR member and vice-admin. And that’s quite a good number of years too. Sei uno stronzo, pero un bravo stronzo ๐Ÿ˜‰ just kidding. Great job.

  3. mikster says:

    I agree with most of what you said except for Baranka. He is part of the future defense, a picture that could look like this:

    Staal, Tyutin, Sanguinetti, Pock, Baranka, Girardi, Sauer

  4. mikster says:

    They’va had so many top 5 overallers that they didn’t deserve to get another one from a lockout season. I thought it should have been disected into thirds.

    Top 10 worse teams of 2004 should have gotten the same amount of chances. From 11 to 20, same. Twenty-one to 30, same.

  5. mikster says:

    1) They are on the verge of moving out of Pittsburgh.

    2) Regardless of the “success” with Crosby, they are still insecure financially.

    3) Despite the good news, the NHL has not gained more popularity.

    4) I’m looking at a historical repeat when Messier became a Ranger. It worked then for the NHL.

  6. kamullia says:

    Ma va! Me l’avevo bello e letto. E io pensavo te l’avesti fatto come dispetto. I still do not believe that the Pens drawing 85% and Rangers 100% serves the best interest of hockey in general. We totally disagree there, because you’re spreading the wealth and we have to keep in mind that those numbers are strictly talking game attendance. You are absolutely correct that the thing to analyze would be the television ratings, but even then the vast majority of those we are talking local markets regardless. Therefore the true ratings to watch would be strictly national television ratings. Unfortunately, I believe those only come out at the end of the season, and so far as I have heard, in the U.S. NHL on Vs is not doing too hot at all since the lockout, and all the very few games on NBC (which seemed to me the Rangers were a lot on, and I do not even think the Pens ever made their coverage. Big fault by NBC), did very poorly. Maybe more Crosby, less Rangers? What do you think? LOL Che vuoi fa’, so’ un’ rompi.

  7. kamullia says:

    Sorry, forgot to add. That whole reason I brought up the fact Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles, draw better than NYR, is because there is no bigger market than NYR and yet these terrible teams outdraw them on the road. It’s not the market, and it certainly is not how good the team is because NYR has better team than all of those. Therefore neither the bigger market nor the better team is the answer to exciting fans into a rink.

    By the way, what those statistics are missing is which games were promotions. A lot of times teams use promotions to draw fans to view teams that typically are not a good draw, other teams used the promotions to boost the good drawing teams. At any rate, the fact that all of Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles are in the top 5 of visiting draws (Wings and Avs round the top 5), seems to suggest that, ommiting the influence of promotions, NHL fans love to their team to beat up on a bad team. How pathetic is that, huh? Doesn’t speak well for hockey fans in general, that’s for sure.

    As a sidenote, to add insult to injury, the team that draws the most fans on the road, Chicago, does not televise most of their games at home. They have a terrible draw in their rink, and I understand they do not want to televise with their “blackout philosophy” in mind, but to me that is the wrong idea. You televise it, so that the locals get excited about it, and do go to the rink.

  8. my_sphincter says:

    "New York is easily the most marketable team in the league"

    Unfortunately this isn't true.  The Leafs are probably the most marketable team (and no… this doesn't mean that TO is the centre of the hockey universe).  I would say that the Rangers and Wings are second and third. 

  9. yesca22 says:

    Who are the Flyers? Are they some new AHL or ECHL team I haven't heard of? LoL
    Crosby WAS a whiner last season, but he learned from his mistakes and makes those mistakes NO more. I don't believe Sid has even ONE misconduct penalty this year and we all know he got one every other game last year. So basically what I'm saying is quit living in the past. Sid is the best player in the world and the Flyers blow!

  10. yesca22 says:

    Ever heard of RESTRICTED free agency??? The Pens would have to choose to let him go and I don't see them making that kind of mistake until possibly in his last year of his RFA period. Then they can make a trade like Philly and  Colorado(now) did with Lindros. Crosby will be a Pen for at least 5 years, unless they move and change thier name to the KC Chiefs on Ice or something. LoL

  11. yesca22 says:

    Kumullia was basing his comments on ROAD attendance not HOME attendance, so your comments do not affect his at all.

  12. dmckay01 says:

    Good argument in a strictly hypothetical sense…True that it would be good for the league as a whole to have its most marketable star in its one of its largest potential markets…That being said however, the league already has an established superstar in that market in Jagr, not to mention Shannahan…Even distribution of the leagues top players is what will lead to a better league as a whole, and in turn, create higher revenue. The entire problem with the NHL was its waning popularity in the US prior to the lockout. When the lockout occurred, the fan base was so poor that fans simply didn't care enough to continue watching after the lockout…

    It was the leagues on fault for their decreasing popularity, and as a result, they lost their national exposure via ESPN. No one in the US, except for diehard hockey fans, is going to go searching for games on Versus or OLN. With the current TV deals, the league has lost occasional fans that might otherwise pick up a game or two if it was on a more prominent network.

    As for your salary cap issues, the Penguins will pay the league maximum when it comes to Crosby's RFA years. Furthermore, they will be able to sign several of there key players, as Malkin and Staal are eligible a year after Crosby will sign his deal. Furthermore, if they do have to make the choice between keeping either Crosby and Malkin/Staal, that is a choice that I believe any GM in the league would be salivating over. Why doesn't anyone ever reference Tampa Bay when they are talking about all the salary cap problems that the Penguins will be having in the coming years. They currently have Richards, St. Louis, and Lecavalier all signed near the league maximum, and they still have enough talent on that team to compete for a playoff spot. Furthermore, when Malkin/Stall/Whitney are all eligible for new contracts, they will be free of the albatross contract of Gonchar

     
    Maybe we should just grant salary cap immunity to the "most marketable NHL teams." I would love to see an Ovechkin/Briere/Crosby/Phaneuf/Pronger powerplay in New York. I'm sure league revenue from that could support the other 29 teams in the league.

    Remember this quote before you post the next time:

    "He who feels contempt for any living thing hath faculties that he hath never used, and thought with him is in its infancy."

    Welcome any response

  13. kamullia says:

    P.S. As far as to the root of the argument, or the “what if” if you will, I will respond to it in Italian, because translated it simply looses the effect. Come dice la mamma, “Se la nonna avesse il manuvrio, sarebbe una bicicletta.”

  14. kamullia says:

    You are more than welcome to not agree with my view, but I basing my views on tangible, collected numbers, not theory. Theory is wonderful, but only life gives proof to a theory, and the only existent proof is with Crosby as a Penguin. But I have much to refute in your arguments:

    1. The actual average attendance of the Rangers at home is 100.0% for this season. However, in the case of the Rangers, it is not actual attendance, but tickets sold, because that is how MSG has chosen to report their numbers. This is a problem since it is not standardize, because rinks simply choose how to report these numbers. Both Florida and NYR are well known for caring only for sold seats, not actual attendance. Other places strictly count actual attendance going by the turn of the turnstiles, while others change method game by game as they see fit. Some teams change their method year by year. Bottom line, these are the only numbers we have to go with, and by the way, Pittsburgh is presently using the turnstiles, because they are doing great with attendance and they want to show this, and even use it, in their negotiations for an arena. To date (before the Panthers game last night), they have 94.6% attendance for the year…and increasing, as witnessed by the long string of soldout games thus far.
    2. Almost a smigget over 1000 people. In the grand scheme of things this is absolutely meaningless. Strictly by official census numbers: 1000 people in New York City (pop. 8,143,197) is 0.012% (i.e. twelve one-thousandths of 1%). For Pittsburgh (pop. 316,718 ) that same 1000 becomes 0.316% (i.e. Three hundred and sixteen one-thousandths of 1%). But those numbers are unfair. New Yorkers or Pittsburghers do not strictly live within the determined confines of the city. We should use the metropolitan area numbers. Therefore 1000 people in Pittsburgh’s Metropolitan Area (pop. 2,358,695 ) becomes 0.042% and in the New York Metropolitan Area (pop 18,709,802 ) becomes 0.00534% However, what you are apparently missing, is that as a whole, even if Mellon arena was only filled to 50%, that would be 8500+ people, and that is much bigger exposure (750% increase) of the 1000 differential you are talking about. In other words, 8500 people get exposed to hockey, versus 1000. As things stand, Mellon arena has been selling out lately, and they average 94.6% of capacity thus far, as I mentioned before, or an average of roughly 16,000 people. Again, 1000 people is meaningless.
    3. In fact, 25,000 people is meaningless, because the television audience, which is measured in millions of households, completely dwarfs what shows up at the rinks. You can see my follow up to Micki’s response to get a better sense of this, if you’d like.
    4. Your figure of roughly $80/seat for Rangers is flawed, but this is something else that is absolutely meaningless, because the main argument here by mio compatriota Micki (we are both actually immigrants from Italy) is exposure, not the economics of a single team (whether Rangers, Pens, or Ads for that matter). And in Pittsburgh’s case, the only problem is their hadean-era arena. New arena and favorable lease and their economics are fine in Pittsburgh for the next 20-30 years. It also doesn’t matter how much the Rangers make at MSG, because only the Rangers benefit from it, they do not share this income. Once again, the focus is the greater good.
    5. Just as an FYI, Mellon Arena is not the smallest rink in the NHL. Another New York area landmark gets that distinction: Nassau Coliseum officially sits 16,234 for hockey events. But Mellon Arena is the second smallest. This however only attest to how inadequate the old Civic Arena is, and how bad the community needs a new arena, regardless of Pens being in Pittsburgh or not. Did you know that originally that structure when built was made for a grand-total capacity of 10,500, and the total number of luxury suits was 0 (zero)? The building was not meant for sports to begin with, but in all the arena is a whole subject by itself.
    6. Crosby has been the most sold jersey in the league for two years in a row, and that is with Sidney in Pittsburgh. Your projection of 10 years down the road with Crosby as a Rangers is not based in any fact whatsoever, and is purely speculative. In fact, you could say the same thing for Crosby as a Penguin 10 years down the road and it would still be baseless…except that it would have more weight being that it has already accomplished it for two years running thus far.
    7. Television contracts are exclusive to the hockey team, the league does not share this revenue. The Pens already have one of the most favorable television contracts in hockey, and it has absolutely nothing to do with Crosby, because the fan base of Pittsburgh simply put, tunes in, regardless of how bad the team is. The Penguins have had a solid base of a television audience for many years, and in this is what gives the Penguins a favorable television deal, because in order to compete with the other stations that would rather carry the Penguins to boost their audience and advertisement income, the broadcasters have to give the Penguins good deals. But again, the main issue here is exposure, and the Pittsburgh television market is not enough. In fact, the New York television market is not enough. We have to talk about national ratings, specifically in the US, and the unfortunate truth is that those national ratings are pitiful and getting worse. The only thing that I can agree with the caro ma stronzo (just kidding bud) Micki, and once again refer to my answers to him to get a clearer picture, is that Crosby needs more national exposure. NBC and Vs need to make America sick of watching him on television, and not just him, but the Penguins as a rule. That young team is simply exciting, and even if Crosby was in NYR, with Malkin and Staal and Fleury the team is exciting to begin with. NBC and Vs need to make the Pens โ€œAmerica’s hockey teamโ€, if only for a short while. Get those ratings up, get the people hooked, especially the young ones…the rest will follow.
    8. Bad team does not automatically translate to bad attendance. Case in point: The Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are presently averaging 98.8% of available seats at home, which is great attest of their fans (or beer drinking in public, whichever you choose). And as to when bad teams are on the road, it seems to suggest totally the opposite of what you suggest. In fact, of the top 5 draws on the road, 3 teams are “bad teams” or not winning as much as their counterparts. The top 5 are made up of Chicago, Detroit, Colorado, Boston, and Los Angeles. And what that apparently suggests more than anything, is that the home fans basically love their team to get a win, as chances are good they will against those 3. Regardless if it is against a โ€œbad team,โ€ as those three can be classified by their total points.

    Bottom line, so far it shows that Crosby is being well exposed to everyone in hockey circles, and although exposing him to an even bigger audience would be beneficial, the focus has to be in the game in general. There is a lot more to be done to uplift hockey to a game of prominence in all of North America, and Sidney Crosby is not a magic bullet that will fix everything. Neither are the Penguins or Rangers. There is a lot more work to be done and those two teams and Sidney will need a lot more help to get great game to were it should be.

  15. rhinolw88 says:

    you must be a basketball fan, and you know what if your gonna defend bettman seriously GET THE HELL OFF THIS SITE AND ANY OTHER HOCKEY SITE YOUR INVOLVED WITH… bettman has taken the nhl from almost as popular as its ever been, all the way down to getting beat out by pro beach MENS volleyball…nuff said i bet you like his idea of bigger nets too dont you, do us all a favor and just dont talk

  16. kamullia says:

    You are mixing mele e arancie when you talk about finances. The finances problems in Pittsburgh are an exclusive problem with the arena. Put that arena in Manhattan or Montreal, and the Rangers and Habs have the exact same problem in their hands. Change the arena and all the problems go away in Pittsburgh because the strong fan base is proven to be there now more than ever.

    As a sidenote, the Pens will be making money this year, even in that archaic venue called Mellon Arena. But they will never be able to get to spend to the cap limit if they stay in that arena, and that is the main issue, because the payroll of this team inevitably will increase.

  17. kamullia says:

    This is why i approve of abortions.

    That was hysterical. Thank you for the spontaneous burst of laughter I got out of it.

  18. kamullia says:

    Just adding to my friend Miki’s response:

    The Phoenix Coyotes have officially sold out ONE single game this entire season. That was when Sidney Crosby went to the dessert.

  19. kamullia says:

    The Pens can handle that in Pittsburgh…in a new arena. That is the key.

  20. FlamingHomer says:

      Not all your suggestions are good. This one falls into that category. As I told the previous comment, there is a Supervisor of Officials who's job it is to critique the officiating and I assure you, he does. If the fans or media ever become involved in that process, you could expect a walkout within 30 seconds.
      I don't like the way the games are being called either, but they are being called that way because they are instructed to.
      With your proposed system, the only way an official could "up their ratings" would be to favour the home team since you would have local media as judge and jury. Sorry, bad idea.

  21. mikster says:

    Actually i detest basketball.

    I only made a point that it’s stupid to be extremely biased for something that someone else should take the blame for.

  22. mikster says:

    I am soooooo against abortions (unless it involves medical issues) that i didn’t get a laugh out of it ๐Ÿ˜›

  23. mikster says:

    That is the key, and i was all for Pittsburgh giving a new arena, but the governor is a proven liar, a sleezeball and Mario is just wasting his time trying to keep the team there. If the stadium is to be built in 5 years, will the Penguins even make it by then? Who knows…

  24. habsoverserver says:

    we will see where the salary cap is in two years.  i think portions of the cba will get re-negotiated over time. 

  25. mikster says:

    The Penguins may be able to give Crosby the max cap, but i don’t think they are wealthy enough to acquire more talent on the team and will eventually lose Malkin. Don’t forget Fleury and Whitney too.

    Also, will Crosby want to stay in small town Pittsburgh? They may offer him what he wants, but it could be he won’t want the Penguins logo on his chest.

  26. mikster says:

    Un rompi? Sei un gran rompone! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Let me try to give you this scenario to make you understand. Let’s go back in time in early 90’s.

    If Messier was traded to….say…..the Whalers. Whalers attendance went up and Rangers attendance stayed the same percentage.

    Do you think the NHL would have started to get just as popular in that scenario as it did in real life when Messier became a Ranger?

    Pittsburgh is scheduled to have 7 games on VS. this season. Somehow it didn’t work well enough? Had it been the Rangers though, would it be better? I think so. At least the amount of New Yorkers would be much….much more than the Pittsburghers.

    NBC is still getting its feet wet with hockey, we shall hope for the best!

  27. mikster says:

    But Pittsburgh proved itself to not even be as committed as it should have been. The governor won’t help the team. Only now has he taken some PR “interest” just to make himself look good.

    The Penguins needed a new arena from years ago…no one did anything about it and they are still not doing much about it now. As much as i”d love to see the Pens stay, it kinda sucks to see them have so little support from the public.

    If the Rangers had an outdated arena, they would get a new one approved in a flash.

    In Pittsburgh, it’s pulling teeth.

  28. Kraftster says:

    Well, unfortunately, I won't be able to respond in Italian, haha. 
    I will certainly agree that if "the fix was in" on the lottery it was an ill-conceived idea by Bettman that was doomed to fail. 

    I really think that the stats show that the jerseys are selling pretty darn good, not just in Pittsburgh, but around the nation, would they be selling more if they were in NY?  Perhaps if the Rangers are that much more popular of a team nationwide, but, you don't see Jagr or Shanahan or Lundqvist near the top, so, that seems questionable….

    I understand that NY is a big money team, and, naturally, any NYC team is giong to have a bigger local audience, but I still am not clear on the idea of non-local marketing.  I think it makes all the sense in the world for the NHL to market Crosby aroudn the country, but, in the same way that I don't see the Rangers or the Kings or the Wings marketed in the Pittsburgh area, I can't imagine the Penguins expending a great deal of funds to market Sid in other hockey cities or in non-hockey cities.  What potential revenue does the Pittsburgh Penguins team see from a nationwide Crosby compaign?  Perhaps they sell a few more jerseys and a small amount of out of town people travel in to see games, but, assuming they get a new arena, chances are they will be selling out home games as it is. 

    In the end, I agree that Crosby should be more than a "local star," but, I think its a situation where the NHL would be responsible for taking him to that level.  Financially, I don't see how it makes sense for the Penguins to do that.  I think there is a key difference between exposure due to local demographics (city size, media size) and exposure from team marketing.  While Sid on the NYR would lead to greater stardom due to the former, I can't imagine it being in even the NYR's interest to do the latter.

    I think that one could actually argue that the Penguins arena situation has actually brought more attention on the Penguins and Crosby than the Rangers have had this year.  I may be wrong about this, as I don't really have a "national" perspective of NHL coverage, but, just judging by ESPN, TSN, HTR, HB, etc. I've seen the Pens in the news an awful lot this year.

  29. Archion113 says:

    I'd say 75% of all the hooking calls in the league are bad calls.

    They've should change the name "hooking" to illegal contact or something. 

  30. kamullia says:

    I am also against abortions, although my list of exceptions is a little bigger than yours, even if not by much.

    Still my sense of humor is quite different than most, hence my enjoying of movies like “Dogma” even though they highly make fun of many subjects most people will not dare even talk about. In the end, I laughed pretty hard even if only for a second. :oP

  31. kamullia says:

    If they change some of the lease terms at Mellon Arena, until the new arena is built, the answer is yes. In fact, one of the sticking points at this time is that during the construction phase of the new arena, the governor Rendell and the local officials had loosely talked about the Pens staying in Mellon Arena rent free, plus keeping ALL take from the events, including parking. Then all of a sudden the governor brought the guy who won the slots license for Pittsburgh (Barden), with a proposal to have Barden share the costs of redevelopment of the site (i.e. the new parking) but taking in a share (apparently a big one) from the take in.

    At any rate, construction of the arena is supposed to be 2 to 3 years.

    There is other sticking points but all in all, the Pens do not want to share squat with Barden, and in my opinion they should not have to. They guy is already going to make untold billions with the casino, why does he have to get an even bigger piece of the pie?

    As to the governor, you are right, he is a liar and a sleezeball…but then again, what do you expect from a Flyers fan? Just kidding, he made his political career in Philly, but I do not think he has ever been seen with a beer or punching people so he might not be a Flyers fan. LOL

  32. kamullia says:

    Come on now, you cannot possibly compare the Whalers of back then to the Pens of today!? Staal, Fleury, Whitney, Malkin, Rechi, Gonchar, even Talbot and Ruutu, plus players in the pipeline like Goligoski, Welch, Eaves. This team has a real future ahead of them, there is no doubt about it, and they are exciting to watch. I think the Oilers of last year were also very exciting to watch, too bad Pronger’s wife got upset at the groupies. I don’t blame her, but what a shame for the team. At any rate, these Pens are light years ahead in bright future than the Whalers of back then, and the Whalers were not an exciting team to watch either.

    Do I think it would be best for the top teams to get the same attendance and the lower teams to increase theirs and add more exposure with Superstars in their teams? ABSOFREAKINLOOTLY! We want to maximize the exposure at a national, even continental level, not in a regional one. Would Crosby be better in Toronto? Probably. Would it be better for the NHL as a whole in terms of exposure? No way. In fact, the best thing that could happen to maximize exposure is to put two good upcoming stars/players in the presently worst markets. Say Ovechkin and Phanuf in Sunrise, FLorida, Crosby and Jack Johnson in Nashville, Semin and Eric Staal in Carolina…Atlanta is getting a ton of exposure these days as compare to before, how much worse do you think the exposure in Atlanta would be if they did not have Kovalchuk, Lehtonen, and Hossa? Hockey would literally die in Atlanta without them, and you want to expand interest and that expansion would be marginal in well established markets.

    As to Vs and NBC, they simply do a terrible job of exposing the game. Part of it was that they are just getting their feet wet, part of it is that they keeping under such a tight leash time line-wise that they can barely have the time to show the game, let alone do special features and insight to get people interested. You cannot just throw the game at people and make them like it, you have to personalize it more…make them like the players as individuals first, the game will follow. This is beyond Pittsburgh and New York, and Canada and the East. The NHL needs to expand its television audience, period, and putting Crosby in New York, I disagree with you, it is no magic bullet. There is so much more to do.

  33. kamullia says:

    Mario got screwed by mostly local politicians, but also by circumstances, like 9/11, believe it or not.

    In essence Mario was given plenty of promises, but then the runaround by the local politicians, therefore he wised up and contracted experts who basically told them to forget the locals and go to the state, and that is what he did. He had a deal hand-shaken and all nearly sealed with a serious promise by Governor Tom Ridge to get it all rolling at the beginning of the new year, when 9/11 struck. In the short time line, money had to be put on hold, in order to pay for unexpected higher security. The long outcome of 9/11 was that Tom Ridge got asked by President Bush to form and preside over the newly Department of Homeland Security…enter new Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (did I mention I suspect he might be a Flyers fan?)…and only NOW finally something will happen. It is also true that there has been a change at the local level of politicians, with a new Mayor who has actually been in office only 4 months, and some others who are aspiring to be Mayors of the city in the new elections and guess what? Now all the local politicians are Mario’s best allies, as opposed to before…go figure. Mario got it from every side on this one, but finally he is in the drivers seat, even if very late in the game.

Leave a Reply