Here comes the second season

Ok. We are coming close to playoff season for hockey and basketball.

A few have commented on how many teams make the playoffs.

Over the years the National Hockey League had a problem because too many teams made the playoffs. Even with a very sub-par season was good enough for a team to make the playoffs – and in a few cases actually went farther than expected.

At least as the NHL reached 30 teams at least they didn’t increase the number of teams in the playoffs. Already it is too long at possibly 2 months’ worth of playoffs – considering the season is under seven months.

It all comes down to money. NHL players do not get a salary as the playoff season begins. So any sales from tickets [and maybe from other sources] are pure profit [well except for the obvious stuff]. On top of that, playoff tickets are usually quite higher than a regular season game.

The same could be said for some junior hockey leagues. One in particular has 18 teams and 16 make the playoffs.

Baseball could be another example. It used to be 2 teams in each league. Then with three divisions, it was the best three plus the best ream of the rest. Now there is a playoff game between the two top teams [other than the division winners].

Once again, what the owners reap in is almost pure profit as the biggest chunk of playing a game is the players’ salaries.

The National Football League – luckily – doesn’t have a very lengthy season. Well, not really, as there are plenty of teams. But they play a single game and not best of five or seven.

 

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Did you boycott hockey yesterday?

Well, did everyone get their fix?

NHL hockey is back. Were there any boycotting? Judging by the fans reactions, I doubt it.

At least some of the Canadian clubs offered some freebees or discounts such as food, free tickets and clothing.

While some have tried to push for some form of boycotts, I guess at least in Canada, hockey still reigns. It’s almost a religion [and probably in Montreal it probably is a religion – no wonder why attendance in the city’s churches is low!].

I suspect in certain US cities like Nashville, Tampa, and Phoenix, people couldn’t care less that hockey is back. Why on earth are they there – except from Commissioner Gary Bettman’s insistence. There are northern cities such as Hamilton, Seattle and Quebec City which would accept NHL quite easily.

A tentative NHL deal – will the fans return?

So, there is a tentative deal between the NHL owners and the NHL players association after a 16-hour mediated session starting on Saturday.

The puck will begin to drop either on January 15th but most likely January 19th for a 48 game schedule.

The question will be whether or not the fans will come back. Sure the die-hard ones [such as my nephews and niece] will be watching. But I think they lost many of the casual fans as well as those that just got into the game.

If ratified by both sides, the good thing is that it will give 10 years of labor piece [and hopefully Gary Bettman will be gone by the time they have to negotiate for the next labor contract.

Now they have to figure out all the small things like how this would affect the television contracts.

Although, I doubt they would do it at this time [as the owners would object], as I said before, kill off the first round of the playoffs for this year. This would add about 8 games to the season.

Well, at least ushers, food stands, near-by sports stores, and others can finally get their jobs back.

No hockey season? Do we care?

Well, about 40% of the NHL hockey season is gone. Today would have been the day when the Detroit Red Wings would of played the Toronto Maple Laughs in the annual Winter Classic in front of an estimated 100,000 people in a stadium around Detroit.

Instead, there is none because of the strike/lockout.

Really, I don’t care who is to blame. Overpaid hockey players who whine about small things or greedy owners who complain about losing money [well a few of them] but play in non-hockey markets like Tampa, Phoenix, and Nashville.

If there are those in the cities I mentioned who are reading this and the other usual suspects, they are not hockey towns. Heck. They don’t even get snow – or very limited. Commissioner Gary Bettman would do anything to expand the NHL into the US, even in areas that don’t really have much of a fan base. Meanwhile, two major Canadian cities that could keep a team running – Hamilton and Quebec City – are denied any franchises – either new or relocation from US cities.

I’m shocked that Bettman allowed Winnipeg to get a team – aside from their small arena.

Meanwhile you have the players who are whining about low pay, free agency issues and getting concussions. Some are taking the NHL to court for not coming out with rules to reduce concussions.

Hey, instead of moaning about other stuff, how about striking for rules to be enforced to prevent concussions. I think any player going into hockey knows that a concussion is very possible. It is part of the game. You can’t blame the owners for something that you knew about. It’s like taking car manufacturers to court because a car can cause an accident [other than a malfunction or defect in the car].

Concussions occur because the player was hit mistakenly by another player or not mistakenly. Even if it was the later, many times they are not hit on the head by the other player [which there are penalties for already] but when they tumble.

If the season actual resumes in the next month [because the NHL has said that if they can’t get a 48 game season, the season will be cancelled], boycott them. Don’t wear anything from an NHL team. Don’t go to a game. Don’t watch a game. Don’t listen to a game. Instead, go out and support the minor leagues.

Are the Habs done?

They didn’t seem to have much if anything in the first half of the game and showed limited life for the second half on Sunday night.

Some already wondered if the team is done after they traded Hal Gill and a conditional 2013 fifth-round pick to the Nashville Predators, getting back Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney and a 2012 second-rounder. Gill has a bigger contract. Gill is an unrestricted free agent after the season and may not play much more than 25 games. He’s also 36 years old.

Neither player the Habs got will immediately help them with Geoffrion heading for the minors. In case you didn’t guess it, Blake Geoffrion is Boom Boom Geoffrion’s grand-son. He also knows little to no French. 🙂

So at best the Habs may pick up an extra second round draft choice this year. Of course, knowing them, they’ll go after a defenceman.

Seriously, we will know in a week if they are in dead after the trading deadline ends – if they dump further “above average” players [not many left!]. But one wonders why?

They’ve been improving of late. At or above “500” for the last couple of weeks, slowly climbing up the standings. They [if they can score] can probably pick up the games needed to squeeze into eighth place.

[Oh, when Geoffrion comes up from the minors, he can’t use his number 5 jersey that he normally wears. The Habs retired the jersey.]