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Soccer Gaining On The NHL

from Bill Saporito of TIME,

The NHL’s policy of exclusion—we’re not going to negotiate anything, and we don’t want to honor the player contracts that we’ve already signed—is a sports version of the Republican party. This is the second lockout that Bettman has orchestrated—the entire 2004-2005 season was lost on his watch. It’s a bitter holdout by what seems to be a few extreme owners bent on bringing the players to heel at the expense of the ticket-buying general public. We’ve seen what voters thought of the GOP‘s strategy. They reelected a left-handed basketball player.

Meanwhile in the north part of North America, the MLS added a team in the very heart of ice hockey this year, the Montreal Impact. It’s the third MLS team in Canada, and the new boys drew crowds of 60,000 plus at the Olympic Stadium before moving into the cozier confines of Stade Saputo. It sets up a potential new rivalry with Toronto FC, another relatively recent arrival to MLS, and one that could offset the historic Canadiens/Maple Leafs faceoff. (Although FC Toronto seems as lame as the Leafs have been over the last, oh, 30 years.) MLS is finding a deep fan base up north of the border, a contrast to the disappointment of the NHL’s southern strategy in planting teams in places such as Phoenix (bankrupt), Atlanta (moved), Tampa and Miami (quick, what’s the team’s name?). The growth of MLS in the U.S. and Canada, and the characteristics of the fan base say a lot about the future of the game. “The demographics don’t lie: our two countries have become soccer nations,” said Garber. Those same demographics—more Hispanic, less white— are a warning sign to the NHL, which apparently believes it can abuse its fans without consequences. MLS is growing because it has nurtured its fan base.

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Comments

Red Winger's avatar

The NHL’s policy of exclusion—we’re not going to negotiate anything, and we don’t want to honor the player contracts that we’ve already signed—is a sports version of the Republican party.

Now THAT is some funny stuff!

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 12/01/12 at 02:30 PM ET

SYF's avatar

The crowds in places like Houston, Kansas City, and Seattle are outstanding.  It looks like Europe with their team colors, hats, scarves, and flags in full force.  Great to see the sport gaining traction.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 12/01/12 at 02:47 PM ET

Avatar

The NHL’s policy of exclusion—we’re not going to negotiate anything, and we don’t want to honor the player contracts that we’ve already signed—is a sports version of the Republican party.

This might otherwise be the best article in the world, but I’ll never know it because I haaaaaaaaaaaate when sports columnists inject some partisan political caricature in an article that has nothing to do with the topic, so I’ll never read beyond this sentence.

Posted by larry on 12/01/12 at 03:23 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 12/01/12 at 01:30 PM ET

Time is a Bunch of Libtards ! WTF are you bringing Politics into a Sports dispute

Posted by Evilpens on 12/01/12 at 03:37 PM ET

TEMO's avatar

Posted by Evilpens on 12/01/12 at 02:37 PM ET

Look who’s talking

Posted by TEMO from LANSING, MICHIGAN, U.S.A. on 12/01/12 at 10:56 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Posted by TEMO from LANSING, MICHIGAN, U.S.A. on 12/01/12 at 09:56 PM ET

Actually dumbshit I don’t write articles for News Magazines that very few people read, BUT that is another story.


The D’s have been “trying get the richman for Decades” why hasn’t it worked??

ANSWER you NEVER get the richman, He just either lays people off to keep his profit margin where it is supposed to be or raises prices & if you hit the daily double you get laid off & buy his/their products @ a higher price.

Maybe you ought to ask D’s why when they had overwhelming control of the House or Reps. & therefore the House Ways & Means committee where it is constitutionally dictated all laws pertaining to revenue start have all the “Tax Loopholes for the Rich” ?

Posted by Evilpens on 12/02/12 at 11:57 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

That’s quite a lot of politics to have been brought into this sports dispute.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/02/12 at 12:07 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Time Magazine…was relevant in the 70s.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 12/02/12 at 01:00 PM ET

TEMO's avatar

Posted by Evilpens on 12/02/12 at 10:57 AM ET


Thanks for proving my point.  You brought politics to a hockey blog; something you spoke against not 24 hours ago.  And for the record, if you’re going to debate something leave the name-calling out of it.  Be a man, not a child.

Posted by TEMO from LANSING, MICHIGAN, U.S.A. on 12/02/12 at 02:30 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Columbus Blue Jackers average attendance (2012) - 14660 (up from 13,658)
Columbus Crew average attendance (2012) - 14,379 (up from 12,185)

I’d say the NHL ought to sweat a bit!

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/03/12 at 03:04 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

You have chosen to ignore comments from this member.

Some of my new favorite words on this site.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/03/12 at 03:07 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

There is truth in this; seems even more so with another lock-out in progress. I have been easily filling my entertainment viewing time (normally reserved for NHL) with watching international soccer. There are multiple networks dedicated to bringing games into my home. I can watch Champions League, EPL, Italy Serie A, and the German Bundesliga throughout the week. The game is over in two hours and limited commercial breaks. I don’t really care for the MLS due the lower level in quality of play, but it does seem to be improving. Maybe if Detroit would get a club, I might be inclined to pay the MLS a little more attention. Maybe if the NHL didn’t have its collective head so far up its a$$, I wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 12/03/12 at 04:25 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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