We’ve Got A Season

As I do every year, I’m planning on firing up the blog again.  I thought I’d hit on the right recipe for something that would keep me posting last season, and I still believe that.  The larger issue for me, typically, is my work schedule.  However, we’ll not worry ourselves about such things right now.

The good news:  there’s hockey again.  What does this mean?  Well, with all the reading that I’ve done on the topic, I’ve pulled out essentially 4 major points.  Let’s take them one by one, and I’ll throw in my analysis as we go.  If you’re inclined, first take a moment to review something that I wrote back when the lockout got settled in ’05.  It’s amusing that the owners did just about as well this time through:

1)  There will be a 48 or 50-game season, played entirely intraconference.

Analysis: Well, it’s hockey.  But it also means that the Rangers won’t be able to measure themselves against certain clubs during the season.  I’m not sure this is tragic, for a couple of reasons, but not seeing the defending Stanley Cup Champions come into the building is a bit of a bummer.   However, given the style of hockey the Rangers play, the short season and relatively light travel schedule may benefit them big time.  Net-net, I think this is a good thing for the Rangers, despite being a net loss for the fans.

2)  Contracts are now capped at 7 years max (8 if you’re resigning your own player)

Analysis:  It’s so funny.  The owners beg for a salary cap in the 04-05 lockout.  They get it, then give their GMs carte blanche to go insane with long contracts and backloaded deals to try to avoid the real implications of the salary cap.  Now, in this lockout, they’re crying about deal length is killing their business.  It’s unbelievable just how much these guys talk out of both sides of their mouth.

3)  Revenue split 50/50 between owners and players (was at 57/43 players/owners for 2011-12

Analysis:  It may not seem like it, but this is more about billionaires and millionaires arguing over what’s essentially a rounding error for both of them, when you look at the specifics.  I just think this happens to be a huge loss for the players, even if it isn’t in real dollars.  Never lower your price, guys.

4)  Pension stuff:

Analysis: Some of what they lost in HRR, they gained here, but this would be more cool if this had anything to do older hockey players that played for next to nothing for all those years, while taking pucks to the helmetless head.

One conspicuous absence here that I don’t see a lot of people talking about is conference/division realignment.  In light of all the other things that there were to discuss, it’s not too surprising, but this is going to come up again with the NHL’s ridiculous proposal that the players basically said, to a man, that they hated.  That’s still out there.

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