Replacements???

I don’t feel that to suggest the NHL should consider the use of replacements will help to do anything more than to try to spook the NHLPA into thinking they should sign a CBA before its to late and they become replaced.

This is no better of an idea then the players forming a replacement league (WHA). Both side should quit trying to entice the fans and work at harder enticing each other instead. Sure many fans just want to see some hockey and may be in favor of one or the other but, there is no replacing the NHL as it was with NHLPA players in terms of what you see for entertainment.

How does the NHL think they will find 700 players worthy of being considered entertainment that will not eventually discover they could be getting paid more and then go on strike? As soon as any players feel they are in good where they are they will begin to demand more of their services.

Doing so could cause the NHL to do another catastrophic move in hockey history by having a whole new league of players not only playing but, also with fans just begging to enjoy things as they would be when all the sudden the NHL and NHLPA get back together leaving those replacements feeling like a bunch who were just subjected to being involved with someone on the rebound with the NHL and NHLPA becoming reunited. That would cause quite a ripple effect as players try to all go back where they were before finding others have replaced them.

The actions of the TV networks have shown us that the time slots are only worthy of NHL skill level players and that NCAA and AHL are only worth watching during their respective post seasons. Why else have the net works chosen not to show hockey of some sort during the time slots once occupied by NHL games?

Sometime between now and next seasons training camp. The NHL will be selling next years season tickets. What do the owners intend to tell ticket buyers about who will be playing next season? We are not talking about the usual roster changes during an off season. We are talking about each and every team in the league having an entire roster change. So not only will the home teams roster be unknown but, so will every team who comes to visit them. Will it sound like “trust us we have some real dandies for you to watch play since we shafted those NHLers we had you once saw playing “? I feel this does put a degree of pressure on the owners to get a deal set prior to selling next seasons tickets and the players time frame will close as it becomes time for training camp in September.

I feel that the time for both sides to establish a new long term CBA which is fair for both sides has been at hand since the first NHL game of last season was missed and that canceling the season did not change the fact that they need to come to an agreement. You can throw out all the facts of offers and negotiations you want. In the end neither side has displayed any true intention to try and get a fair CBA established. Both sides appear to be completely and equally divorced from reality.

Just a bit of Hockey news to add.

Mike Ilitch owner of the Detroit Red Wings has recently taken a whole page ad in the Detroit Free Press and offered his apologies to his fans for what resulted in NO HOCKEY season.


18 Responses to Replacements???

  1. spudnickster says:

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Edmonton/2005/03/23/969997.html

    On Saturday, 7200 fans crammed the 5800 seat Enmax Centrium to watch the Red Deer Rebels beat their arch-rival Calgary Hitmen.

    Two nights ago, they sold out the building for the old timers hockey challenge.

    Last night, Ryan Smith, Mike Comrie “and friends” played a charity game in Red Deer.

    800 showed up.

    Nobody came. Nobody cared.

  2. markjohnston says:

    “This is no better of an idea then the players forming a replacement league (WHA)”

    that’s not what the WHA is at all…

  3. 19Yzerman says:

    Well then please continue to explain what it was that the players intended with any WHA endeavors. You see up to now I have been thinking of it as being something the players talked about as a replacement league on a temporary basis back when the season appeared to be on course for stoppage. Then by the time the season was cancelled still nothing had materialized of this WHA.

    Now I here talks of some sort of benefit game or something.

  4. 19Yzerman says:

    Red Deer???

    Well since they were able to draw 7200 fans to see the Rebels vs Hitmen it sounds like a game I would like to have attended.

    We had a charity game for U of M’s Motts childrens Hospital here in Ann Arbor at Yost ice arena and they packed the 6000 seat arena.

    Some current Red Wings and some former U of M NHLers vs USA 18under team. It was great. Federov played for the NHL team and fans greeted him well dispite him jumping ship for MONEY.

    Yzerman played and he signed jerseys until no one was left wanting his autograph.

    I don’t know about nobody coming or caring regarding the charity game you speak of but, I am guessing it wasn’t for the Benefit of Steve Moore.

  5. 19Yzerman says:

    I read the page that link brought me to and could not find any reference to whom the charty funds would have been going to so I did some poking and found on the NHLPA site the following.

    The Ryan Smyth and Friends All-Star Charity Tour is a labour of love for Smyth, and is opportunity for locked out NHLers to lace up the skates and generate funds for local hockey programs and charities.

    Not very specific.

    However that link you gave said it was like the turnstyles giving the middle finger to those NHLers. However I must point out that it is the charity to which that middle finger ends up pointing at.

    My point is that if the charity would have been a little more note worthy say Toys for Tots ,Cancer or the Heart association they might not have been flipped off like that.

  6. rojoke says:

    The WHA was never intended to be a league formed or owned in anyway by the NHLPA, formally or informally. It was an attempt to establish another pro league in North America, which just happened to coincide with the current NHL labour troubles. Unfortunately for them, it was poorly organized, and it never got further than a draft to stock teams which ultimately never even had a practice. Since that time, another individual has purchased the entire organization, such as it is, and intends to begin play this fall. But it never has been, and currently isn’t, a player-organized league. They intend to play with or without participation from locked out/striking NHL players.

  7. adambuffalo says:

    I know a there are some younger guys playing there, but the Rochester Amerks (Sabres farm team) have played a few games in Buffalo where the Sabres play there home games. Last week they had 15K fans and another game had close 10 18K. Other than a handful of guys who have played for the Sabres, these are pretty much no name players. Are all players in the AHL part of the NHLPA or could they be used as replacement players? If they can be, Buffalo will win the Cup next year if replacements are used.

  8. Aetherial says:

    The players are not forming the WHA. I would be surprised if there is a WHA.

    While they have money, they dont have enough and the players have NO CLUE WHATSOEVER is involved in running a team. The idea of them forming their own league is ridiculous.

    The owners calling in replacements is nowhere near the same thing. I can’t believe you would make that comparison. Let’s see, off the top of my head here are a few differences:

    The owners have the framework in place to run a team and a league.

    The owners of the current teams have arena agreements.

    There are existing local TV and radio deals tied to the TEAM, not the players.

    The owners have the money.

    The owners have the teams that have tradition and, while that value diminishes, it is still important.

    The fans are strongly against the players in all of this.

    … do I need to go on? Your comparison is completely invalid.

    Replacements know what they are in for when they play. They would still welcome the chance to earn much more than they are earning overseas or in the minors AND they get a shot at staying around; especially if some NHLPA stand tough and go overseas or retire or something (let’s hope!).

    I am guessing at least half the NHLPA will cross anyway. There won’t be any at first, but 20 games into the season the trickle will start and then it will be a flood. By Christmas, the union will be broken.

    This is provided there even *are* replacement players, which I will only believe when I see it. Because of the legal issues, I truly don’t think the NHL wants to go down that road (so this whole discussion may be moot).

    By the way, I also want to see a definition of “fair”. I hear the players throw that word around like it is the Holy Grail Key to a solution.

    Well, I, and about 90% of people out there, including the owners, feel that an average salary of 1.3 million is fair.

    One tough lesson I had to learn in life: If you think you are right, and 10 people think you are wrong… chances are you are wrong.

    Well for every NHLPA member there are about 100,000 people who think they are wrong. Yeah, some are on their side… not many by comparison.

    The players, and you, using the word “fair” is a joke. You are both in the very small minority that thinks 1.3 million average is somehow not fair. Further, the players’ definition of “fair” is really just… “we want more money than the owners are willing to pay us”. If the owner’s offered a hard cap of 80 million per team the players would find all manner of fairness about the deal.

    They are fooling no one. This is about greed. You are delusional if you think there is any fairness or principle involved in this at all.

    Season’s tickets are generally not owned by *casual* fans. They are owned by hard-core fans of the team and by corporations. Replacement players will not cause so much damage as you think. A season ticket holder will realize the one real truth about replacement players… that there will still be no league playing better hockey than what is offered by the NHL and replacements.

    Also, In some cases they give up *rights* to those tickets which they will not want to do knowing that, sooner or later, the best players WILL be playing again in the NHL.

    I will agree with you on one point, the owners and players both are out to lunch on this.

    If the NHL goes the replacement route and is legally successful, the union will collapse by Christmas. Remember I said that and feel free to remind me of it. When the union collapses however, I want a big apology from it for its stupidity and its FAULT at causing a whole season to be lost.

  9. 19Yzerman says:

    The WHA was already in existence prior to any apparent lockout potential. The only reason it never took off was because the NHLPA players who were talking about playing elected to either stay home and vacation with family or go to Europe instead. The WHA would have only worked out if the NHLers would have all flocked there so they could continue to play, stay fit and basically practice. With out the list of names which would read like and NHL roster the WHA stood no chance of being anything more that it has been for the last 27 years. The WHA is like a car sitting on blocks all it needs is fuel in the tank, oil in the engine, coolant in the radiator, rims and tires, fuild in the trans/ power steering and a driver.

    I don’t see any difference between players going the another league (WHA or Europe) and The NHL bringing in other players (replacements) . Both ways one is replacing the other. Only the players have a valid reason for doing so which is PRACTICE.

  10. 19Yzerman says:

    1.3 million is fair? What if the NHL goes from a 2.2 billion dollar industry to a 5 billion dollar industry? Does 1.3 remain fair then? Oh if you think you feel you are right in a room with ten people telling you your wrong don’t be so quick to give up on your thought if you feel strongly enough about what your thinking. You see The whole world thought the world was flat except for Columbus who prove the whole world wrong. Oh and Galileo’s belief in the Copernican System eventually got him into trouble with the Catholic Church because everyone thought that the Sun is the center of the universe.His discoveries proved the Copernican system which states that the earth and other planets revolve around the sun. Prior to the Copernican system, it was held that the universe was geocentric, meaning the sun revolved around the earth.

    So you see the whole world can be wrong while only one person is actualy right.

  11. 19Yzerman says:

    Players that are talented enough to be replacements will be looking to maximize their earning potential just as anyone else which is why I posed the question How does the NHL think they will find 700 players worthy of being considered entertainment that will not eventually discover they could be getting paid more and then go on strike?

  12. Aetherial says:

    Well your example is one in which nobody (or at best a very select few) had access to an objective way to determine facts. Fewer still had the ability to understand the proof of those facts. You also had people being told only what they were supposed to hear.

    I don’t think we are being misled about 1.3 million.

    The FACT, and we all know it, is that 1.3 million is 1.3 million. We also know the facts about what things cost in life in North America. We also know the facts about what the average salary is in North America.

    So, your comparison is wholly invalid.

    Now, as to your scenario about increasing revenues.

    So?

    When other companies do well the employees do not get a requisite increase in pay. In fact, they get decreases when the league is doing poorly.

    Right now, 1.3 million per player was guaranteed. in fact the current offerm WITHOUT linkage, is more than 1.3 million avg. and is guaranteed. Any increase in profit by the owners is the reward they reap for spending money. Our whole economy is based on that. For the players to demand an increasing porportionate share is unreasonable.

    The players simply want all reward and no risk… in a time when the risk is greater than ever.

    LET THEM go start their own league. Let’s see how many people come watch it.

    or maybe…

    you want to go down the road of “The Player’s are the Product”?

    I can tell you right now that if the player’s are the product, then the owners are the marketplace (the buyers)… and THEIR demand controls the price.

  13. Aetherial says:

    You are telling us that the players have a valid reason for going to Europe but the owners have no valid reason for hiring replacements?

    And your reason is *practice*?

    So, are all those NHLPA who are living off their millions and NOT playing in Europe suddenly going to disappear from the NHL or somehow they are special and don’t need the practice?

    The NHLPA gave up ALL rights to complain in any way whatsoever (except in a F’d up left-wing legal system) as soon as they took someone else’s job overseas.

    I know you are playing devil’s advocate here but come on Yzerman… you need to come up with something stronger than that. Even you don’t believe that the NHL players in Europe would play for free… there goes your “practice” excuse 🙂

  14. 19Yzerman says:

    Practice?? We talkin bout practice??

    Sounds like Alan Iverson

    I don’t know about you but, I get rusty when not practiced at anything that requires a specific skill.

    As far as players who have chosen not to pursue some sort of competition some may have seen this a chance to spend time with family and others may have chosen not to join a league where they would be grossly over skilled.Either way they were locked out and no CBA had been established so what they do makes no difference.

    People seem to forget that although the owners are entitled to make money and I agree they should be able to make more then the players. The NHL needs to be realistic about the places where money can be made. A hot cocoa stand on south beach in miami is not a great business venture and neither is a Ice cold lemonade stand in alaska.

    The questions from this article that keeps getting danced around are

    What do the owners intend to tell ticket buyers about who will be playing next season? We are not talking about the usual roster changes during an off season. We are talking about each and every team in the league having an entire roster change.

    and

    How does the NHL think they will find 700 players worthy of being considered entertainment that will not eventually discover they could be getting paid more and then go on strike? As soon as any players feel they are in good where they are they will begin to demand more of their services. As long as owners are charging fans big money to watch players play. Those players will be expecting some of that money.

    Since Europe leagues pay very little. Then to these NHLers they are essencially playing for free to get the practice.

  15. 19Yzerman says:

    “I can tell you right now that if the player’s are the product, then the owners are the marketplace (the buyers)… and THEIR demand controls the price.”

    That is the basis for which the owners are trying to get and the players are trying not to get a CAP.

    We have already established that we do not agree about whether or not “The Player’s are the Product”.

    It simply a matter of opinion.

  16. Aetherial says:

    The owners tell the fans that hockey is back on.

    With some rule changes, you will not notice a difference.

    What I think a lot of people don’t understand is that there is very little that separates the elite from the next tier down.

    Also, I think fans want to go out and cheer for the team… I want to see my Leafs kick Ottawa’s tail all over the ice regardless of who is wearing the sweater.

    I just don’t believe you are going to lose that many fans because of replacements.

    You still have not answered my question…

    “Where will *better* hockey be played”. The best from Europe and the Minors will be replacement players, with some from the NHL crossing the line.

    There is no league, especially no league accessible to North Americans that will be better.

  17. SabresAreCool says:

    Yeah I agree with you…..replacement players if we had them, know that they are just replacement players. If you had played junior hockey and then went into insuarnce sales and 5 years later someone asked you to be a replacement player you’d jump all over that, even if it was only to live your dream for a few months. I think many of the third and fourth line types will cross the picket lines immediately, i don’t think they will wait. And every ahl prospect and career minor leaguer will play too….

  18. 19Yzerman says:

    They may be fooling you but they are fooling the game ticket buying hockey world. I am waiting for the NHL to have a new season in2005-2006 and as a Red Wings fan who is on the roster will be the difference of whether or not I patronize the team.

    If this lockout results in the team I see on the current roster be completely changed with names I only know because I watch NCAA hockey. I will be pissed.

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