Thursday, November 04, 2004

NHL Lockout 2004 Season

I'm not a big fan of unions. Briefly, unions had their time. Time was they did a world of good for a great many people. Now, though, I think they get in their own way more often than not. If you don't like your job, quit. If you need a raise, make your case. If you're worth your salt, you'll get it. Or get another job. There's always work for those who want it. There's always someone willing to take your place. Thanks for listening.

Now, on to the lockout.

Think about it. What if there was no union? Let's call it eXtreme Capitalism. Who is being protected? The rookie, just coming in to the draft? If he's that good, he'll command a decent salary. If he's not, someone else will take his place. If some other team wants him, they'll make an offer. There's plenty of guys out here who would die for a chance in the majors. I'd be happy playing the game for a fraction of the price. The superstars, the experienced journeymen, they'll get their price. I think it'll make the game hungrier. Won't always be the priciest team winning, you know. (Obviously, Yanks, NY Rangers, Lightning, Sox!)

By the way, who said that buying a team is a license to make money? It's supposed to be an investment (if not a labor of love). If you're the owner of a small market team, and you're not filling the arena, either lower your budget, move to a bigger market, or quit crying and suck it up. Nobody forced it on you. So, how to fix it? How's this: How about each owner sits down, and clearly defines a budget from which he can pay his players. How much he can pay, in total. He breaks up that budget between his roster, and makes the players offers. Hopefully, nobody gets hurt too badly. An agreement may be made that if there is revenue in excess of the amount planned for, by making playoffs, or extending the season, or removing an olive from every salad, whatever, that money will be distributed according to some previously agreed upon schedule.

Salary cap (sorry, cost certainty)? Revenue sharing? Whatever. Larger market teams, smaller market teams, there are plenty of offsets in the mix. You think that rent and overhead for MSG is similar to that of the Nationwide or Glendale Arenas? What about ticket prices? Same? Similar? Close? Create some excitement. Watch the fans come out of the woodwork in the 'smaller markets.'

I'm sorry, Mess, Mario, Martin, Jaromir, Peter, Alexi, Dominic. . .Perhaps I'm being naive, but isn't that the way it's done in the real world? Do the job, or tell it walking? There's thousands of guys out here, just waiting for our chance! There's only so much money in the pot. If you can generate more somehow, probably by increasing the fan base, then we can get paid like the other major sports stars. Until then, we all have to work with what there is in the tills. That's all there is, there ain't no more.

Of course, I do not side with the owners. I don't know what they want for nothing, the players are the draws. It seems, though, that if the NHL is to be saved, the only way to do it is within a budget. You can't get blood from a stone. The smallest but most passionate fan base in all of major sports are waiting for you guys, all, to FIX IT!

(Will play for food, and an Escalade if I can swing it)

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