From Cam Cole via the Ottawa Citizen,
Why don’t teams from Canadian cities win more often, when we care so very much?
Because we care so very much.
Why don’t more big-name free agents want to play in Canadian cities? Because we strangle them with our passion, cover their every twitch and mis-step, examine their private lives, call in to talk shows to discuss ad nauseum every minute happening in their season.
To this day, the best supporting argument to the theory that we love our teams to death, which has appeared in this space before, came from the man who, ironically, now coaches the Maple Leafs: Ron Wilson.
more, including Burke’s thoughts on the RFN plan…
I wrote earlier on the subject, and certain players’ approach to it. I think it’s obvious that the passion for the game is why so many great players come out of our country. If only we could tone down some of the harsher attitudes towards players having a rough time, and instead work harder to show our support for our teams and all their players, maybe more good things would start coming our way.
From Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Guys like George Gillett gave up a season of profits so that guys like Ted Leonsis could have a better chance to make some of their own. But, three years after the lockout, the collective bargaining agreement does not seem to be working so great for either of them.
The lockout was supposed to be about keeping player costs in line, but Gillett looks at the money he is paying out and notices that with what his team pays into player salaries and revenue sharing, he is putting out more money than he did prior to the lockout. He owns the Montreal Canadiens.
The lockout was supposed to level the financial playing field and give everyone a chance to make a profit. Leonsis looks at his bottom line and sees he is still losing money and will do so again this season. In order for him to start making any money, the stars will have to align as they never have before. He owns the Washington Capitals.
Last week I wrote my thoughts on the CBA, and this only further explores the hardships of the current system. A time will come when a new deal is reached, but whether it will benefit the owners of rich successful teams, of smaller market teams, or the players themselves, that remains to be seen.
Like a politician only now admitting that there is a financial crisis going on, let us hope that along with extolling the virtues of the new CBA, Bettman and Kelly start openly admitting some of the issues with it, so they can be discussed and addressed before any monumental crises emerge.
“What we’d like is to come up with something so he is a Senator for life,” Melnyk said here yesterday morning. “We have to be realistic about what we can do and where the economy is headed. We’ll see what happens.”
It got me thinking about how the economy affects - and now threatens - NHL teams in our current salary cap world, bringing me back to the notion I shared in my second ever blog post: what a better salary cap might look like.
Earlier today, Alanah pointed us to Paul’s NHL.com blog, where he shared a smidgen of his love of hockey with us. We were reminded of what a boost we get from hockey, and how it gives us such excitement, whether our team is set to clinch a playoff berth, or merely to win a well-played game from a lower position in the standings.
He even has Center Ice and NHL GameCenter Live ordered to light up his many, many screens. But how are we doing? How do we find our fix, considering not everyone has the same opportunity to enjoy the game?
One thousand two hundred and thirty (1230) games will fill our regular season from October through a bit of April, not to mention the pre-season and playoff games. As for me, it’s no secret which 82 games I’m most keen to watch, and yet the question that remains is will I have the opportunity to?
I noticed an earlier post today, regarding pre-season games. As I love a good debate, I read just enough to determine the stance of the post, but hopefully not enough that my own ideas are all rebuttals. With that, here is my take on the flip side of pre-season games, hopefully understood as a good-natured counterpoint.
What is the point of a pre-season game? There are 82 games spanning over half the year in the regular season, plus up to 28 more games over another two months in the post-season; you would be hard pressed to find someone who thinks we need to add to this. Nonetheless, the awkward-child pre-season games still serve many purposes.
Without pre-season games, players would go half a year, quite possibly, without ever playing hockey, and then jump into the regular season in a hurry. Sure, there’s off-season training, but I would be curious to ask players how many of them train over the summer by playing with their teammates against another NHL team. I have my suspicions that it is few, if any, who do.
Always a fan of predictions (since what else can you do, or would you want to do, at this point in the season), I happily stumbled upon a very targeted one for this season.
The stab in the dark? That the Ottawa Senators will finish the upcoming season ahead of the Montreal Canadiens. Whether or not this is a series of jabs at the Habs, or a rose-coloured lens on the Sens, I cannot be entirely sure.
Yet, somehow, I can’t stop wondering whether or not he may be onto something.
From CBC Sports,
CBC Sports announced Tuesday that it has bulked up its Hockey Night in Canada schedule for the upcoming NHL season by adding 18 games.
The additions to the schedule include 10 Montreal Canadiens match-ups and eight Ottawa Senators contests, bringing the grand total to 87 games for the 2008-09 regular season broadcast package.
“The addition of these games to an already strong broadcast schedule allows us to cater to a wider spectrum of hockey fans,” said Scott Moore, executive director of CBC Sports.
“Montreal and Ottawa are vibrant hockey markets and this reinforces our commitment to bringing viewers the most comprehensive coverage of Canadian NHL teams available.”
With the additions, the Habs will be featured 25 times on Hockey Night in Canada. Ottawa will play 21 times.
I suppose the Habs going from no playoffs to Eastern Conference Champions and the Sens climbing ever so slowly up various Conference standings predictions might have something to do with this good news.
Somehow I wasn’t the first to beat a path to a story about Spezza in the community posted by Paul, not that such a distinction matters to many. What is important to consider is how much a part of the city you have to feel you are to live in a (relatively) average neighbourhood, let alone to answer the door to hand out signed hockey cards to fans, or to accept the occasional welcoming cake.
As a hockey player, at least in Canada, you are a celebrity. Better than other public figures, not only do you entertain us every time you hit the ice, but you make us proud when you bring us home the Cup, or do battle for Canada on the World stage. Yet for all your grandeur, you have to wonder where you should stand in the public sphere, and what the rewards and consequences of such a stance are.
I’ve been to a lot of games over the years as a fan. Ok, that’s probably a false statement, since it’s not easy to catch the Sens from the Leafs’ backyard, but I get out, turn on, or tune in whenever I can. As a fan, I can just sit back and relax, and enjoy the show, maybe with a beer while decked out in every piece of Sens branded glory I can find.
This past weekend was a whole different ballgame for me though, as I took off my Ottawa Senators slippers, and put on my writer’s hat to try my hand at covering the Rookie Tournament in Kitchener.
Native of Northern California. Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.
I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle. I watch, I react, I write it down.
My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked. I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind. When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom. It hasn't, I don't think it will. At all.
Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.
I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.
I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org