Five off-the-ice issues to watch this NHL season

Turbo

Registered Member
#1
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CBA: To open or not to open, is that the only question?
At the end of this season, the NHL Players' Association has the option to reopen the collective-bargaining agreement it negotiated with the league in 2005. General consensus holds that the CBA has benefited players. The average salary for players with 10 or more games has risen from $1.85 million in the 2003-04 season before the CBA to nearly $2.2 million today, according to James Mirtle, a blogger with The (Toronto) Globe and Mail. That said, NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly hasn't indicated what the union plans to do. However, teams have begun questioning the deal. The salary cap ceiling rose to $56.7 million while the floor increased to $40.7 million this season, meaning that teams must spend a minimum of $1 million more than the $39 million maximum the first season under the cap in 2005.


Outdoor Game: One-hit wonder or something more?
The NHL gambled on an outdoor game in Buffalo last year on New Year's Day and the odds were against it. A drop in the temperature, rain rather than snow, or even too much snow would have been disastrous. Instead, the weather was ideal. More than 1.9 million households watched the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Buffalo Sabres, giving the league its largest regular-season audience in more than a decade. This year, the Winter Classic will take place in Chicago at Wrigley Field between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. Attendance won't be a problem. More than 14,000 fans have signed up for Blackhawks season tickets in part to have a chance to order Winter Classic tickets. But will the weather cooperate? Does it have to snow for the event to be novel? And if it doesn't snow, will viewers watch on TV? The answers to those questions will go a long way toward determining the future viability of the outdoor game.


The Canadian dollar: Will the loonie keep its crazy value?
Earlier this decade, the Canadian dollar was a weak currency worth just 62 cents in U.S. dollars. Its value was a problem for Canadian NHL teams that generated revenue in Canadian dollars and paid player salaries in American dollars. Then, last year, the Canadian dollar increased in value to more than 96 cents, fueling much of the league's revenue growth. But the loonie recently fell to 93 cents, its lowest level in more than a year, and has been fluctuating ever since. If it begins to slip during a faltering economy, that could spell trouble for the league. Not only would league revenue drop, but if it does, the escrow the NHL withholds from players during the season might not be returned at the season's end.


Expansion: Vegas or Europe?
Nearly two years ago, talk of NHL expansion boiled to the surface when news broke that Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, MGM Studios Chairman and CEO Harry Sloan and Wall Street financier David Bonderman were seeking a franchise in Las Vegas. Some now describe expansion talks as more dormant than ever, while others say they could heat up this year. At the same time expansion remains an issue at home, it also has become one abroad. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly recently told The Globe and Mail that expanding to Europe within the next 10 years was a real possibility. The NHL plans to increase the number of exhibition games in Europe next year, sending as many as eight teams.


Kontinental Hockey League: Nuisance or serious problem?
The NHL opened its season in Europe last weekend, playing in the backyard of its newest competitor, the KHL of Russia. The 24-team league, which is backed in part by Russian oil growth, has shown that it is intent on competing with the NHL for players and international interest. The two leagues went back and forth over who had the rights to Alexander Radulov, a Nashville Predator with one year left on his entry-level contract who signed a three-year deal with a KHL team. The leagues will go to arbitration to settle the issue but that won't answer the larger and more important question -- is Radulov an anomaly or is he one of a number of young European players who will opt out of the NHL?
i think this brings up a lot of key issues regarding the immediate future of the NHL and is a great discussion waiting to happen.
 

icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#2
Expansion: Vegas or Europe?
Nearly two years ago, talk of NHL expansion boiled to the surface when news broke that Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, MGM Studios Chairman and CEO Harry Sloan and Wall Street financier David Bonderman were seeking a franchise in Las Vegas. Some now describe expansion talks as more dormant than ever, while others say they could heat up this year. At the same time expansion remains an issue at home, it also has become one abroad. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly recently told The Globe and Mail that expanding to Europe within the next 10 years was a real possibility. The NHL plans to increase the number of exhibition games in Europe next year, sending as many as eight teams.

I like this one.... I want to see a Club in Vegas to be honest. It'd be huge for the NHL. Big time money pit over there.
 

Turbo

Registered Member
#3
If there was expansion it would need to be Vegas and another city in order to stay at an even number of teams.
 

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
#4
I think it would be great if the NHL expanded in the NHL, I personally believe it would work really well. I don't think the NHL is ready to expand in Europe as of yet. Maybe in five years from now.
 

padd

Registered Member
#5
If there was expansion it would need to be Vegas and another city in order to stay at an even number of teams.
teams dont have to be even, we can work something out with 31 teams. No point in gaining in 1 expansion town just to loose in another.
 

Turbo

Registered Member
#6
true padd, but it'd screw up the conferences and divisions to just add 1 new team.
 

padd

Registered Member
#7
yeah, ]something like this would work;

Eastern Final playoff spots
7.Tampa Bay- 91
8.Toronto- 90
--------------------
9.Wasington- 88
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

Western Final playoff spots
7.Calgary- 93
8.Vancouver- 92
-----------------------
9.Las Vegas- 91

10,11,12,13,14,15,16.....

in this case Las Vegas would snatch the final playoff spot of the Eastern confrence, and Toronto would miss the playoffs, since the West has more teams it's only fair. Although don't be confused now, let's say the 10th place team in the West has more points than the 7th place team of the east, that DOES NOT MEAN that he can steal another spot.. no no no. ONLY THE FINAL (16th in the league) PLAYOFF SPOT is up for grabs between the two confrences...

they do that in the CFL anyways, since it's a small league, confrences can cross over to the final playoff spots.