Guest blogger: Marfar

115

By Marfar (David Hes)

Having written on this blog before a couple of times, the topic was hockey, more specifically, the numerous thrills and occasional disappointments the Rangers provided for us last season. Also included in my musings was how our favorite hockey team could improve for the 2012-13 season. All of that seems to be in serious jeopardy as a lockout looms, becoming more probable with each passing day.

Why would the owners and participants of a sport which has not fully caught on in the USA and is still a distant fourth place among the four major team sports be on the precipice of taking a risk of driving away a significant portion of its fan base just at a time when a major TV network is carrying its games, when its popularity finally seems to be growing and when at least some of its players are growing name recognition in the sports industry?

This almost seems like a suicide pact between the players and owners. Is it greed or stupidity or a little bit of both? As for the owners, signing players to multi-year contracts for mega-millions, and this includes a majority of teams engaging in this practice, doesn’t alleging a shortfall in revenues and lack of profit fly in the face of this practice? And players whose salaries are slowly increasing to the level of athletes in some major sports, what sense does it make for you to jeopardize your growth both on and off the ice?

As a person who normally does not advocate compromise, but sticking to your guns for something in which you strongly believe, I find myself having to rethink that approach when it comes to this stalemate. There has got to be some way, some understanding on the part of both sides that this impending lockout will hurt everybody connected with the great sport of hockey. If there are owners out there who cannot afford their franchise, well, then put it on the market and sell it to someone who can, and if that’s not possible, contract the league and the quality of play will improve with less dilution of talent. If this meets with the objection of the players, that’s too bad. What makes hockey different from any other industry? If there are too many employees that the company cannot afford to pay, unfortunately the payroll gets cut. Millions in this country can explain to you that sad reality.

I beseech both the owners and players to wake up and start smelling the coffee. This mess must be settled now. The risk both sides run is stopping in its tracks the growth of our great sport. Your fans are excited about the start of a new season. But we also have lives where there are a lot of other diversions to entertain us. We love hockey, but we don’t NEED hockey. But you need us. Just go into a room, shut the door, park your egos outside the door, or put them on ice if you will, find middle ground and settle this thing now. If you don’t, you will all be sorry. And you will very possibly have introduced a brand new word into the sports lexicon — hockeycide.

 

 

About Author

115 Comments

  1. Marfar

    By Jove you’ve really nailed it. I don’t go around bestowing undeserved praise on folks, but this is cogent and yes grim an indictment on a sports organization that one could find. Congratulations for telling it like it is.

  2. Marfar – i might ask the Oxford English Dictionary to add your new word:

    Hockeycide – when a rapidly growing popular sport, ridiculously stops playing while the employees and employers argue over who gets the bigger slice of the pie, only to the detriment of both of them.

    You know, because 43% or 46% of something is a lot more than 50% of nothing!

    Bettman’s statement of “unanimous vote” for lockout – just stinks, i’ll bet a few owners abstaned or voted against it. Can we ask Cal Lightman to join the negotiations?

  3. Yup, the fans come last…but, hey, we’re the ones that make these “negotations” possible. We’re supposed to understand that this is a business squabble…obviously, they think they have us by the *alls and are each using us to their advantage. Guess professional hockey tickets will come with discounted air fare to Western/Eastern European destinations this season. Would be funny but sad if the NHL lost their fan base and their players to foreign couintries. Russia would have to clean up its act, though…to attact the US hockey tourists.

  4. Good morning all! Sigh, aren’t we supposed to be moaning over bad the Rangers are cause they lost a pre-season game by now? This is ridiculous.

  5. Doan signing today 2 teams coyotes and Canucks down to.

    Expect some Rfa and doan signing today before 5pm to get league approval before CBA expires

  6. Marfar,

    Thanks for a well written piece. I commend everyone who steps in to pinch hit here. But I must disagree with a one of your key assumptions.

    Are the parties really “taking a risk of driving away a significant portion of the fan base?” I think not. Fact is, we’re not going anywhere. Yes, the casual fan will float in and out, they always have. But they’re not the sport’s bread and butter. And as much as everyone involved (owners, players, commissioner, fans) all hope hockey would grow to truely be a major sport in this country, that hasn’t happened and probably never will.

    The real hockey fan, like every one here, will wait, and wait, and complain, and wait. Both sides know we’ll be right there when the zambonis fire up again, dollars in hand ready to spend on tickets, jerseys, overly priced steak sandwiches, etc. Or should I say hockey related revenue burning a hole in our collective pockets?

    I doubt either side is worried that screwing up one individual season could significantly alter the future of the sport. Why would they? History tells them otherwise.

    So, sadly, I think losing the fan base is not a risk at all. If it were, the practice rinks would be buzzing right now.

  7. This is going to be the *best* lockout *ever* !!!

    I am already working on party favors and menus for finger foods so we can have a great *lockout* party.

  8. Good morning, boneheads!

    Well written, David. You said it. Sport, hockey included, is an industry. Food is an industry. It shouldn’t be, but it is. Pharmaceutical is an industry. Don’t get me started on that.
    We all will be back….

  9. Is there anything worse than the Bears v. Packers game being on the NFL network which I, like many others, don’t get? Even the NHL wouldn’t bury such an important divisional game.

  10. Is there anyone else tired from having woken up at 3am to order the new iPhone?

    That extra row of apps is really worth it … or not.

  11. If you have an 8 week old baby, waking up at 3 am becomes daily routine, folks. And it’s much, much more than just that extra row, Miami…I’m sure you know that.

  12. Yea. There are new headphones as well as no more google maps and it’s lighter. Which is good because with all the new features I will have less time to work out.

  13. Sounds like, Miami. The description sounds out of this world. The new lightning connection is annoying, but sounds like it allowed them to save some space for extra battery capacity. As expected, they’re already short on adapters….

  14. People (aka morons) expected them to continue to use the old pin connector forever … and they’re complaining. Complete clowns. Do they not understand “innovation”?

    I swear.

  15. can del zaster beat the deadline and sign. hes a moron if he doesnt take whats being offered
    reportedly 2.2-2.5 mil.

  16. I love how Apple NEVER uses focus groups. Good for them. They understand that the majority of the population is just plain dumb. Like “Joe” from down the street could possibly tell them what the new mobile phone or next-generation TV should be like …

  17. eric: please don’t interrupt the iPhone conversation with this Hockey Talk!

    Joke.

    Del Zaster better sign today.

  18. Good point, Pimp. It would be like that Simpsons episode where Homer develops the car for the “regular” man and it’s called the Canyonero and it costs $80,000 (in 1995 or whatever).

  19. iWicky "Rupp Yours!!!" on

    Ilb
    You have a baby? ;)

    Did doan sign somewhere yet?

    This embassy crap is pure bettman, someone needs to take charge in D.C. about a week ago!!

  20. The Capitals have announced that they have signed defenseman *John Carlson* to a *six* year deal worth *$23.8 million.*

  21. Marfar, Beseeching will get you nowhere! Nice post. We’re not going anywhere, except a little batty. Maybe we lose some potential new fans.

    Why not set up a new league? Is the NHL a monopoly? It might be the only chip Fehr has, although he may be …loathing it.

    If the season is a wash, I think the NHLPA should try working with a new league. Then what will the owners do? …That’s right, lawsuits! Litigation!

    So really, setting up a new league will hurt both sides, as players wont get as much pay, at least the first few years. And the new league org will be sued by the NHL. And the owners will have nothing, but legal bills and empty shells.

    Is the lack of compromise really worth all that? Really, split the diff and move on with a season.

    I have to imagine they both want this to end, and I expect now the real negotiating will start.

  22. Focus groups are lowest common denominator. I applaud anyone with the cajones to skip them.

    One thing I always enjoyed about apple was they knew you were paying a premium so they didn’t gouge you on the adapters like everyone else did, changing the type for every phone so you’d have to buy all new ones. And the iPad adapter works with the iPhone and the iPod and that was cool. I am up for an improved -smaller- adapter, they earned my trust.

    Hopefully this new change is a good one and will remain standard for years to come. If they start switching them up I’d be pissed.

  23. Don’t see how a new league could possibly work minus the big arenas in the big cities, minus the TV deals, minus the big ticket prices. The players could be guaranteed 80 percent of the revenue in a new league and it would still be an enormous pay cut.

  24. If Carlson getting six years, $24m coming off his entry level deal is any sort of reasonable comparable, Del Zotto’s agent would be a moron for settling for $2.2m-$2.5m per in the same situation.

  25. Especially since Mr Snider is planning to sign MDZ to an offer sheet worth $500m over 38 years -which the new CBA he wants will slash to 65 cents over the same 38 years-

  26. still waiting for the guest post on the rise and fall of Mikko Leinonen

    will NHL teams field replacement players during the lockout? I’d pay to see some of youse guys flopping around out there trying to score an empty netter

  27. If a players’ contingent ran its own league and had 80% to divide as a “democracy,” it wouldn’t be too long before the “majority” of the league who are scrubs would eventually resent that the really big money was going to the stars and they would demand give-backs by the stars to the struggling scrubs. Then, when the stars complained to no avail, they’d finally pull an Ayn Rand and move overseas where they could get the big bucks they deserve and the “league” would fold. Sound familiar?

  28. Yea – the Carlson deal really effects the Del Zaster deal. Which will effect every other D-Man deal we have.

  29. One diff John Carlson is a stud del zaster isn’t. If sather ever offered a offer sheet which I know isn’t possible Carlson would have been
    My guy.

  30. Mikko Leinonen. once had 5 assists in a playoff game against Philly. also had the puck bounce under his stick in overtime against the Islanders in 1984, with a open net in front of him. just thinking of that game makes me sick! till this day that is the worst loss I have ever had as a Ranger fan.

  31. By the time new hockey league generates the same revenue as the NHL does, Chris Kreider will be pushing 50

  32. There’s a reasonable solution to all of this… raise the salary cap substantially or remove the salary cap altogether… so the players can get paid the money they deserve. Then increase the owner’s share, so they get the share they deserve. A nice compromise that will never happen.

  33. Burning flags is sweet because, much like owning assault rifles, it exercises one of our basic Constitutional freedoms.

  34. ZzZz NYR ZzZz©"Don't stepan the logo,Nash!!"...says Greg L. on

    “We love hockey, but we don’t NEED hockey. But you need us.” – Marfar

    WE LOVE RANGERS!!!!!

    RANGERS!!!!

    WE NEED THE RANGERS!!!! OR THIS BLOG WILL TURN INTO A FOOTBALL BLOG!!!!!

    We need , want ,have to have hockey.Period. Rangers need to get Nash out there!!! We neeeeed to get Kreider playin. We NEED to start winning again!! We need our beloved Rangers back or I’ll cry!!! The Rangers are the reason half of us know eachother…

    WE need to kick Prusts azz!!! We need to scream POTVIN SUCKS!!!! We need GO TIME!!!
    Need it, BIGTIME!!!!

    I WANT (the real) GO TIME!! We need the Rangers or all our live will be incomplete. We really do. The Rangers balance us out and we need that. Really we do.

    All I care about is the Original six minus Boston, Chicago and Montreal.

    Good news is our team can bond together while we wait, make a Euro trip or something. More dog walks…When the NHL starts up we will be ready!!! Waiting …to score or in Hanks case make a big save. Us Rangers fan will be waiting . Not going anywhere cuz thats what we do. We are Ranger fans . Ready when you are.

  35. I wonder when the Habs or Leafs or any of the Bruins division will ever get any better. We’re stuck in the toughest divisions in 3 of the 4 sports, and they’ve got cakewalks in 3 of the 4 sports.

  36. hey bull dog…my worst loss as a human was the game 4 vs. penguins in 1992…if we win that game we win series…if we win that series we win the cup in ’92…if we win the cup in ’92,we win multiple cups because,most likely,weight,amonte wouldn’t have been dealt…unlike drury,that loss DID ruin my summer….

  37. emikeyj,
    that was a bad one too. Francis from the red line. 1 period from being up 3 games to 1.

  38. The real answer is contraction. It’s time for the NHL to become a free market economy. Enough of teams like the Rangers subsidizing teams like the Blue Jackets. If teams can’t survive on their own, then so be it. Also, by contracting to for example, a 24 team league, the quality of play of the league rises… there becomes less room for goons and thus, the possibility of less injuries/deaths.

  39. Ok, please correct me if I’m wrong, only because I don’t know all the details and I read it in Brooks today (I refuse to call him LB) … but is the league seriously complaining that part of its costs problems are because of the deal with the Ed Snider network???!!!! Obviously that’s not the crux of the issue here, but reading that (in my car) almost made me Prust my windows out.

  40. ZzZz NYR ZzZz©"Don't stepan the logo,Nash!!"...says Greg L. on

    Emikeyj , I also remember that ..faintly. That goal did suck as I recall. I can’t believe the series turned and Mario and Jagr took over . It was ours . 92 – 95 shoulda been Ranger cups.

  41. ZzZz NYR ZzZz©"Don't stepan the logo,Nash!!"...says Greg L. on

    Thanks blogmomma!! The strike may go on but so will all of us!! Get the games on already!!!

  42. Now, when bluecolor Prince Doan finally sign in Deserttown, I can justly celebrate the beginning of Lockoutshana with a peace in mind and slight hope to find cure for this strange illness – “thirstforhockeysitis”.

  43. 4ever, bluecolor may still be accurate. he held his breath for so long before signing, I’m sure he turned at least a little aqua :)
    Also, I think the disease is buttmanitis….cause I know he makes me sick.

    Greg, yes we will!!

  44. Ella 'DuckMao' Platypus Correo on

    Can i make a suggestion to guest bloggers everywhere? Keep your work shorter. Some of you are writing great stuff, but it is just too long.

    BTW Miami Pimpernickel’s pieces was brilliant and the best thing since my buddy E-cubed.

    I love you all…that is all!™

  45. Where are you, faithful blog’s armor-bearers? What a lethargic state of mood. Is it lack of thoughts, words or simple desire? Losing hope or faith?

  46. ORR missing in action; ilb – understandably busy, CCCP – obviously drunk and checking coats in Tatiana, Tiki – stuck somewhere between Florida and Boston, Blogmama writing un-payable article about animal’s cruelty, Manny preparing for job interview and does a captivating reading of 600 pgs. of The Civil Law, but where are others?

  47. Checking in. Lockout tomorrow? Go for it, A-Holes! I can keep busy for awhile, with Giants football, MLB playoffs, Minor League hockey, Elmira College Hockey, and a decent supply of Ranger Hockey tapes from playoffs going back to 1986. I just hope if they do halt operations that both players and owners lose more money than they could possibly recover from. I’m not spending a dime on hockey until they settle, and not much after that. I will miss hockey just as soon as the Giants win the Super Bowl and all that is left to watch is basketball. Then I can start to sweat.

  48. 4ever, are we sure Manny is able to read, and if he is, able to understand what he reads?? :)

    Izzy, can you tell me if you’re certain the Giants will repeat as SB Champions? I promise I wont gamble on it if you’re psychic, I dont care about the money, j

  49. I live in western NY. I told a bunch of Buffalo Bills fans, “Are you happy now? The Bills have the same record as the Super Bowl Champion Giants…”

  50. The Bills are and will always be losers. The only positive they can boast is that they have Sally as a fan.

  51. ZzZz NYR ZzZz©"Don't stepan the logo,Nash!!"...says Greg L. on

    Don’t worry Olga , Sather will be gone . Messier will replace him!! Ahh even better.

  52. Olga Folkyerself on

    Sorry if I sound a little pessimistic but after last seasons performance, that is all there is left to do… Sather has had 12 years,most of them out of the playoffs. Bring on the next guy. If it is Messier, so be it.

  53. Izzy Mandlebaum on

    Even if Mess is GM, Sather will still be El Presidente. Dolan will still be the owner. I’m not optimistic about the chances…

  54. ZzZz NYR ZzZz©"Don't stepan the logo,Nash!!"...says Greg L. on

    Exactly Izzy , Optimistic about changing the Gm will result in a ultimatly new decision? NO WAY. Sather had his nose into everything from 12 years to the rest of your life. Dolan will teach his children to run it “his way”. So ALL im saying , why whine and complain? Pick a new team if this one smells of stench.

  55. ZzZz NYR ZzZz©"Don't stepan the logo,Nash!!"...says Greg L. on

    I myself , look past old man Sather. The team is bigger then him. If I wanna be upset with him , I wont bring up his name and ignore his presence like I usually do.

  56. Olga Folkyerself on

    I did pick another team. The Chicago Black Hawks. and they won a Cup in 2010, After the dope that ran the team dropped dead and a new regime took over. And in three years, they won the Cup. They were the dregs of the NHL for years. It shows that when someone that knows how to run the team is in charge, good things happen.

    I still like the Rangers but I see the same scenario. An old fossil running the team, when new blood is needed.

  57. Izzy Mandlebaum on

    Look past Sather all you want. But he’s running the show now. Are you happy with his performance so far? I haven’t seen a Cup for 18 years. the last 12 are under his watch.

    I’m not satisfied.

  58. I agree with all 3 of you regarding Sather. BUT…. why change things now when the Rangers are progressing towards perennial Cup contention?

  59. Olga Folkyerself on

    Tiki, keep that question in mind until after the end of the next season. If the Rangers move on to the finals, or win the Cup then you are correct. They went to the semi-finals this year, so improvement would be expected. no? If not, then, were changes in management necessary? How many chances does Sather deserve? After last years semi-finals performance maybe Sather deserves another year. But if they regress at all, is it not time to move in another direction?

    I’m convinced that Sather is past his prime (based on the last twelve years) and the Rangers will not improve over last years final four performance. I hope I am wrong. But I think not. Bring on the next guy.

  60. ZzZz NYR ZzZz©"Don't stepan the logo,Nash!!"...says Greg L. on

    Chicago won the cup because they were BOTTOM feeders with the draft picks of Taves and Kane amoungs others. Chicago has been a joke only because they suck. No Larmer no Denis Savard no Chicago wins get it Olga?

    Tiki is right , why rock the boat.

    Izzy , the record is awful but with Jagr and all Sathers moves , Ive come to think that we had a shot at the cup. Chicago never did. Got a cup and sold everyone.Pathetic organization really.

  61. Olga Folkyerself on

    I bet I’m happier having won the Cup in Chicago, then you are with “a shot at the Cup”. If Chicago is pathetic, then what is Sather’s Rangers?

Leave A Reply