Nonis speaks out about free agency and the schedule.

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Postby Larry Goodenough » Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:17 pm

Larionov wrote:I'm not sure what prompted the outburst either, but regardless of the inspiration he had better get ready to open his wallet. No way does a rip on the new CBA like that go without a fine. His whining about the schedule is something he might have gotten away with in isolation, but not the CBA. Those comments simply have to be made behind closed doors at GM meetings, and not out in the open like that.

Besides, I think he's wrong on both counts. First, the unbalanced schedule:

For years and years, Vancouver GMs bitched about the schedule, in particular the long, brutal Eastern road swing that always took place in January, and always took a terrible toll on the team. That is now gone, with games in Atlanta and New York replaced with games in Calgary and Colorado. If the unbalanced schedule was going to benefit anyone, it should have been the West Coast teams who had the farthest to fly. Well, guess what? Another Vancouver GM is AGAIN crying about the schedule. You would have to excuse the other GMs for thinking that there is no way to ever make Vancouver happy.

How can Nonis say with a straight face that the team travels just as much? They may have to get on airplanes just as much, true, but when a flight to the southeastern U.S. gets replaced with a flight to Calgary, then the number of air miles simply has to be down. If someone can show me an actual miles flown breakdown of the old schedule vs. this one, and the numbers are the same, I'll gladly eat my words, but for now I'm not buying.


First, Atlanta is farther west than Detroit is - so if you're using ATL as a reference point to compare long distances, I'm already questioning you.

Secondly, if you went on an eastern road trip, you would fly one long distance (ie New York) and play 3, 4 or 5 games without going more than another 100 miles between all games combined. Instead, now Vancouver must fly to Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, St Louis, Chicago twice a year each and Colorado, Minnesota, EDM and Calgary 4 times a year. A lot of these games are 2 game trips and then a return flight home. Two "short" road trips (such as the upcoming trip to Colorado, then Minnesota then home) would equal one long road trip to New York, but the trip to NY would get you 4 games, not 2. Now add up all these short 2 game, three game road trips to places like Detroit (father east than Atlanta) and I can easily see Nonis' point. They are traveling as much as ever.

Third - the east has a distinctive advantage for promoting this schedule.(ie Bobby Clarke and the flyers who i heard pushed hard for it in retun for their support for the lockout) They have a fresher team in the finals as they travel a lot less during the season and alot less during the playoffs. Then they play a travel weary western team in the finals. Second, they get better tv money as they don't have to play too many games that start at 10pm at night eastern time. But yet we miss lots of first and second periods when we have to play games that start at 4pm. I'm glad Nonis is calling bullshit.
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Postby Kel » Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:22 pm

Larionov wrote:Those comments simply have to be made behind closed doors at GM meetings, and not out in the open like that.


It's a gray area. He was speaking to members of BC Chamber of Commerce, not the general public or a reporter. Brian Burke used to say things to season ticket holders that he would not say to the public too.
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Postby mband » Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:41 pm

hoopsjunky wrote:My suggestion:

5 games each against divisional rivals = 20 games
3 games each intraconference = 30 games
home and home interconference = 30 games
plus two "rivalry" games


This proposed schedule looks exactly like what I would have come up with. Only I'd scrap the two "rivalry" games and go with an 80-game season.
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Postby MarkMM » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:21 pm

After reading the full article on TSN, I don't really have a problem with what he said. He did clearly say that he thought the CBA was on the balance good, so I don't think he's been inconsistent when he now criticizes a PART of it, Larry Goodenough has addressed the legitimacy of the travel argument, and like a number of us have said, and as has been said by other people from other teams as well, they really went overkill trying to play up the rivalry, to the point that we're a part of a league that has teams that fans will only hear about.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=182410&hubname=
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Postby Fred » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:38 pm

The attempt to play the rivalry aspect of the new league play was nothing short of a deceit to deflect criticism. It was in short a Red Herring to distract the fans. Nothing more nothing less. Fortunately for the NHL 98% of the fans fell for it. It's about money plain and simple. The players agreed because they get 54% of the profits.

Greed straight and simple
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Postby Linden Is God » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:01 pm

I just realized that next year there won't be a Hockey Day in Canada if they keep this same schedule
GO CANUCKS GO !!!

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Postby Kel » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:03 pm

Fred wrote:The attempt to play the rivalry aspect of the new league play was nothing short of a deceit to deflect criticism. It was in short a Red Herring to distract the fans. Nothing more nothing less. Fortunately for the NHL 98% of the fans fell for it. It's about money plain and simple. The players agreed because they get 54% of the profits.

Greed straight and simple


Sorry, but I think that's completely wrong. Players get 54% of revenues. In other words, not profits. Travel costs do not count towards their share of 54%.
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Postby Fred » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:11 pm

Now that u mention it, makes there deal a lot sweeter ie they get 54% before costs ? Doesn't leave much for the owners they get 46% of revenue to pay out 100% of the costs, man oh man that's a sweet deal for the PA and players.

But the rest about the fans I believe and that was the important part id right on , we were sucked in and fell hook line and sinker
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Postby Kel » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:26 pm

Fred wrote:Now that u mention it, makes there deal a lot sweeter ie they get 54% before costs ?


That's not entirely true, because costs associated with injuries do count towards the 54%. that is, the money paid to injured players (including ones retired due to injury) and to the callups. There are probably other miscellaneous costs that count towards 54%, but travel doesn't.

Generally speaking though, if a business can get more than 45% of revenues after paying all the employees, (and it's service-based and no inventory), I'd think it's doing quite well. It's even sweeter for the NHL because it'll stay at 45% even if revenue goes down.
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Postby Jyrki21 » Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:14 pm

MarkMM wrote:First, I do think it's ridiculously much to play at eam eight times in a season, run for the playoffs or not, it really does just lose the novelty after the FOURTH time or so. I'd be happy to play six times max, actually four would be preferable, and let every city see each team in the league at least once.


I don't really understand this specific criticism, because it has always been this way. It's simply that there are more teams in the league right now, so the interconference games had to be scaled down to make room for it.

When I started following hockey, there were 21 teams in the league. The Canucks played their Smythe Division rivals – each of the Oilers, Kings, Flames and Jets – between 7 and 9 times a season. Nobody complained then, because you also saw all the other team. I believe everyone else (including the other Campbell/Western Conference teams – 'Conferences' meant nothing until the third round of the playoffs) were 3 times a year.

I do think they should play the non-Northwest Western teams more than the East (i.e. Chicago shouldn't = Tampa for a team in Vancouver, as it used to), but the only problem I have is the virtual elimination of Eastern games altogether. Even once a year is surely not impossible. (Twice a year basically is, with 30 teams... it would multiply the travel a ton from the 21-team league if these games were at the expense of NW opponents).
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Postby MarkMM » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:35 pm

Jyrki21 wrote:
MarkMM wrote:First, I do think it's ridiculously much to play at eam eight times in a season, run for the playoffs or not, it really does just lose the novelty after the FOURTH time or so. I'd be happy to play six times max, actually four would be preferable, and let every city see each team in the league at least once.


I don't really understand this specific criticism, because it has always been this way. It's simply that there are more teams in the league right now, so the interconference games had to be scaled down to make room for it.

When I started following hockey, there were 21 teams in the league. The Canucks played their Smythe Division rivals – each of the Oilers, Kings, Flames and Jets – between 7 and 9 times a season. Nobody complained then, because you also saw all the other team. I believe everyone else (including the other Campbell/Western Conference teams – 'Conferences' meant nothing until the third round of the playoffs) were 3 times a year.

I do think they should play the non-Northwest Western teams more than the East (i.e. Chicago shouldn't = Tampa for a team in Vancouver, as it used to), but the only problem I have is the virtual elimination of Eastern games altogether. Even once a year is surely not impossible. (Twice a year basically is, with 30 teams... it would multiply the travel a ton from the 21-team league if these games were at the expense of NW opponents).


I'm not sure we're disagreeing; the problem I have is that we're not seeing some of the teams in the league so that we can play a rival eight times, but not even ONCE get a chance to see the likes of Crosby? Sure, when there were 21 teams, we could play 7-9 times, that wasn't an issue because as you said, everyone got to play everyone, THAT is what I miss. Reduce it to 4-6 games for rivals, and get at least one game for each team in the league on home ice for the fans to see, and I'll be happy.

BTW, Bettman was on 1040, and said it's something the NHL will be looking into, it was pointed out that this is unusually quick for the NHL to respond to something, so it's likely a sentiment felt strongly throughout the league (and others have complained as well).
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Postby Jyrki21 » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:01 pm

MarkMM wrote:I'm not sure we're disagreeing; the problem I have is that we're not seeing some of the teams in the league so that we can play a rival eight times, but not even ONCE get a chance to see the likes of Crosby? Sure, when there were 21 teams, we could play 7-9 times, that wasn't an issue because as you said, everyone got to play everyone, THAT is what I miss. Reduce it to 4-6 games for rivals, and get at least one game for each team in the league on home ice for the fans to see, and I'll be happy.


Ya, sorry, I wasn't trying to pick on you, it's just that you phrased the problem in a way I've heard expressed a few times. That we see the NW teams too much. Which obviously is a different problem than us seeing the East teams too little.

I think a lot of the people voicing this criticism (not you) don't actually seem to realize that we're only playing the divisional rivals as much as we ever did. It's just that there's more teams now, so we're missing out on more, too.

By the way, I still maintain that the source of the problem is that the NHL's fanbase in the Northeast likes it this way. Most Leaf fans I know here want nothing more than to have 41 games against Ottawa and 41 games against Montreal. When I lived in Montreal, those folks would have liked 82 games against Boston. (And I've never heard a fan of the Flyers or Rangers express disappointment that they don't see San Jose or Edmonton more.) The Canucks did not draw sellout crowds in Montreal even when they were the most exciting team in the league. And everyone draws sellout crowds in Montreal.
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Postby SRsez » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:55 pm

Jyrki21 wrote:That we see the NW teams too much. Which obviously is a different problem than us seeing the East teams too little.

I think a lot of the people voicing this criticism (not you) don't actually seem to realize that we're only playing the divisional rivals as much as we ever did. It's just that there's more teams now, so we're missing out on more, too.


I'd say both are problems. We play too many divisional games. I see Calgary & Minny far too often.

One game per year should be a marketing tool to use.
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Postby Linden Is God » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:28 pm

Bob McKenzie has a god suggestion on his Insider Column.

"Let's use the Northwest Division as an example on how it could work.



The Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche would play each other eight times each for a total of 32 games.

They would then play three games each against their 10 Western Conference rivals in the Pacific and Central divisions, for a total of 30 games.

Now comes integrating the West and East.

The Northwest teams would play a home-and-home series against the Northeast teams, which consist of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins. That is another 10 games.

The five Northwest teams would then visit, say, the five Atlantic Division teams for another five games and play host to the five Southeast Division teams for another five games and that could be flip-flopped the next year.

So voila, you have an 82-game schedule. "
GO CANUCKS GO !!!

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Postby Island Nucklehead » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:52 pm

Seeing as we already see the Western Conference plenty (with the regular season and then playoffs), I think a little more balance would be nice. I would say one home and home with every team in the east would be enough. (32 Games) This leaves 50 games to play against your own conference, and we get to see every player in the league at least once.
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