I can see the writing on the wall now. It's going to happen. We're going to lose significant time again this year. (I'm praying that the two sides prove me wrong, but they just waited too damn long to start talks)
The problem now is what it was in the past, the owners. The gulf between the haves and the have nots in the ranks of ownership is just way too wide. Teams that can bury horrible contracts in the minors (Toronto and the Rangers to name two) have a big advantage over teams that are scrambling each season just to spend to the floor (Phoenix, Florida). Sadly, the owners have to "band together" to figure a way to do it in order to save the poor clubs.
Who takes the hit? The players....
I'm sure this guy wasn't going around to the owners with a gun to their heads and saying "give me a 13 year contract"...
The players are the driving force of the game, and there are a lot of great young players driving the skill level upwards at an alarming rate.
No sooner do I hear in talks that ownership wants to limit contracts to a 5 year term then I see not one but two players (Pacioretty and Simmonds) sign 6 year contracts.
The problem (at least how I see it) is the owners battling within themselves. The rich doing their best to drive the poor ones out of business by forcing them to either put up or shut up. Yes, I know it's the classic business model, but when you have a finite amount of teams in a sport you're trying to expand to the entire North American market, it just doesn't make sense.
Nearly $8 million (on average) per year for Shea Weber? Come on folks, it's getting a little ridiculous. Weber is a very good defenseman, but to pay him near what Crosby, Malkin and Ovechkin are making is ....nuts.
This type of spending has forced teams that are "middle of the pack" like Carolina to overpay for players (I'm sorry, $6 million/yr for Jordan Staal is a little much..again just my opinion).
It's obvious now that the lost season of 2004-05 hasn't shown the ownership group anything, because they've gone and created the same problem as they had 8 years ago. Out of control spending.
I'm not paying good money to go and see Ryan Suter play hockey. Ryan Suter is a very good hockey player, don't get me wrong, but to pay him the kind of money that he received (13 years, $98 million) is crazy.
Gary Bettman...you need to get your ownership group together....offer the players 51% of the revenue, put in an impartial mediator to hear appeals on player suspensions...and for the love of all things good, contract this league by 4 teams.
Do not put a 2nd team in Toronto, do not give a team back to Quebec City unless an owner chooses to move there, and put no more teams south of North Carolina.
I also want to watch Nashville Predators games on the off chance that the cameras will pan and show me the visage of this very lucky hockey player's wife....
|Mr. Underwood? Nah.....|
28 days....you think I'm upset now, wait until the lockout happens....then I might go spinning out of control on the NHL....
lol....I love blogging...
Thanks for reading, Robert