Being that there is a lull right now before training camps begin and looking into the situation with the KHL with Radulov, Hudler and others, plus the Balsillie situation with Phoenix/Hamilton…
I suggest the following things be on the list of things to seriously talk about at the next meeting of the minds. (An article by Jonathan Willis – triggered some of these suggestions as this guy seems to think like me)…
(1) The situation of the threat of team movements can be resolved with another expansion. The expansion would piss-off the hockey purest’s and the argument is mostly that it waters down the sport. But, it would stop all the….
…. hyper-ness fans get when their team is included in movement talks plus create a whole new group of NHL fans. We Penguin fans have experienced the threat of a move a few times ourselves and really that shouldn’t ever be dumped on any hockey fans. Not even a Flyer fan. A well-planned expansion, for example adding four teams in 2011, and another four teams in 2013 would almost eliminate any “the grass is greener” locations. For openers – my suggestions would be Houston, Seattle, Cleveland, Kansas City, Winnipeg, Quebec City, Hamilton, and Hartford.
This would finally settle all the threats of movement from teams on the city’s they represent. The money for the new franchises would be what most of the established owners want anyhow.
(2) The team expansion in the NHL and a successful KHL lead to an opportunity for the first major sport to be world-wide. This would be a major boom for hockey having a world-wide audience talking it to a level above the NFL… and maybe NASCAR too!
(3) The NHL and the other leagues (especially the KHL/NHL) need a formal agreement addressing players jumping leagues and the honoring contracts. This a two-way street.
Looking into the KHL there are a couple of things they have that the NHL should consider… For example:
(4) At the end of the season teams that don’t make the playoffs have a playoff of their own to determine draft positions. Applying this to the NHL there would be (16) teams… in a three-game playoff from the end of the regular season until the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin. The prize being the winner gets the first draft pick and the other seven draft spots determined by their finish in the playoffs. This would eliminate most of the dumping of players at the trade deadline whereas teams find it more beneficial to dump players because losing-pays dividends. It keeps the emphasis on winning. The arenas already have the dates available so everybody wins. Some may not like this because it would eliminate the THRILL of the Entry Draft lottery.
(5) The Entry Draft tournament would also allow players on the Stanley Cup playoff teams an extra week or two just to heal and prepare for the Stanley Cup grind.
(6) Because of the Entry Draft tournament… less regular season games could be played as the only reason the regular season was extended was for the extra revenue. Possibly shorten the regular season to (78) games however, as usual owner greed might rule here.
(7) The KHL allows for one player to be designated as a franchise player. If this would eliminate all the playing with numbers to beat the system such as with the Hossa and Pronger signings and what Detroit is doing and stop the constant complaining from the big city teams… why not? These big city teams are mostly selling out and also pushing the limits of the cap now while some other teams want to see the salary floor eliminated. What harm would it be to do both. Allowing a franchise player and eliminating the salary floor and let free enterprise go to work again – with some bsic restraints… What harm could it cause as these owners (who have proved the CBA saved them from themselves) are spending money like drunken sailors on shore leave anyway.
Hey… I’m just throwing out some food for thought out here before camp opens – and we all know it does have a Penguin franchise connection to it because if the Mystic Knights of the Sea Casino doesn’t start making a profit we could find ourselves in another Penguin Arena pothole! There was a reason that the Isle of Capri paying for the 100% of the arena up-front wasn’t a good idea… I just can’t recall what that reason was at the moment!
This is DR Hook…. carry on