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The Puck Stops Here

The Free Agent Frenzy

We have seen a lot of activity over the last few days.  NHL free agents could be signed beginning last Friday.  Free agents who became free agents because of contract buyouts had been signing before that.  It all means very little in the relative rankings of teams.  Last summer I posted a top 50 players list and not one of them changed teams over the weekend.  Those are the difference makers in the NHL.  The supporting staff moved around.  That doesn't mean that nothing changed at all.  I think the biggest result is Boston has dropped a bit.  They lost a considerable amount of depth.

The widely reported story in the media that is false is that the NHL had to be shutdown for the first half of this season to "save" itself financially and the GMs are back with their reckless spending that broke it in the first place.  The lockout occurred because fans have allowed it to.  As long as the fans come back after any lockouts there is no reason not to have more.  The financial changes will not save the financially troubled teams like the Phoenix Coyotes and Florida Panthers.  It will make more money for the big teams like Toronto and the New York Rangers.  Since the total salary paid by the NHL is linked to revenues, it doesn't matter how much players are paid on the first day of free agency or any other day.  It doesn't change the bottomline for the league. 

The media story of how horrible the new contracts are will help pave the way for the next lockout.  The reality is the last weekend of signings probably changed little.

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“The lockout occurred because fans have allowed it to.  As long as the fans come back after any lockouts there is no reason not to have more.”

Well yes but the problem is in Canada and the areas of the US were Hockey is not niche afterthought there are too many fans who are simply Hockey fans…

What’s most bizarre is why the same owners who whine about player expenses simply did not liquidate Phoenix once the NHL had to run it. A reverse draft would have pushed salary and in one quick move the NHL would be putting a better product on the ice.

I know supposedly the relocation/expansion fee is reason but you have to think that must be balanced by revenue sharing which was made a lot more real in the CBA. Given the gate driven nature of revenue in the NHL I surprised the teams that actually make money don’t demand consistent failures like Phoenix simply be eliminated.

Posted by paul k on 07/08/13 at 11:35 AM ET


Not really I don’t think so,not if the NHL was run more logically…

Expand the roster and contract limits for the existing teams. With less money thrown down money loosing rat holes and say another team in Toronto you have a more wealthy league, one with fewer money loosing teams and just as many player spots. You also have better claim on producing the best Hockey on ice.

Look the NHL got lucky with how the versus deal has turned into an NBC deal but its still chump money compared to what the NBA or NFL brings in. I suspect the new Canadian deal for the CBC broadcast rights will be larger as well - which says wasting money in Arizona is stupid vs 2 more teams in Canada.

Posted by paul k on 07/08/13 at 12:19 PM ET

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com