December 12 2012 07:42PM
WHOA! Jason Strudwick's article yesterday and the comments that the fair citizens saw fit to leave was probably one of the more interesting conversations in the history of the Nation Network. We read them all late into the night and were floored at the quality of the debate that went down. All this time we thought we were hanging out with our fellow mouthbreathing Oilers fans, and instead it turns out that most of you are smart as all hell.
We will need to make, sure? that we use proper punctuation in: articles from - here on.
BABY MEET BATHWATER
Let's be very clear on one thing. Jason Strudwick as was noted in the comments of his article "is one of the good ones." Doesn't matter if he is an NHL player, Viceroy of Argentina or one of us regular working joes, he is a good guy and character has nothing to do with the amount of money in your wallet or what you do for a living.
Well respected among media, players and fans alike Studwick is a man of excellent character. There is a reason that he was in such high demand during his career (19 NHL teams all wanted his services for heavens sakes and he was only too happy to oblige) and why he was offered a gillion different hockey jobs when the on-ice portion of his hockey career came to a close.
If those in charge on both sides of this lockout were more wired like Jason Strudwick the lockout would certainly not be going into its 800th day. Let's be honest - there are ass hats on both sides of this negotiation, whose stubborn refusal to find common ground is costing us all the opportunity to see the Baby Nuge dingle dangle all over Rexall Ice.
Moderates and reasonable people are what's needed to bring this thing to a close.
It was good to see that the overwhelming majority of the comments in the article understood that this is the case. We would expect Jason Strudwick to take the side of the players in this dispute. It wouldn't make sense any other way. But we would caution people not to take out their understandable frustrations with the lockout on a sensible, moderate voice among a chorus of people hell bent on destroying the sport we love so much.
That Strudwick came forward to offer his thoughts on the matter is a good thing - it is only through respectful and constructive discussion that the lockout is going to finally come to an end. Good for him for doing it.
Both sides points of view as to why it is the other side costing us all our hockey season has been hammered to death. There really isn't much left to say as we wait for the final days of negotiations to go by. However once this lockout unpleasantness is behind us the focus needs to shift from squabbling and infighting to a new chapter of the business of the NHL.
Let's talk about that for a few paragraphs shall we?
GROW THE PIE BITCHES
How does the NHL improve the sustainability of the game in the long term? Certainly getting a more equitable cost structure in place that floats with revenues is a start. But then lets get to work on growing those revenues shall we? This is when the 30 billionaire owners and the suits in NYC show us all how they got so rich in the first place. The players get back to playing the game at the highest level and the business people get back to the business of the NHL.
Getting the game into new markets, developing new revenue streams, raising revenues. Getting Jordan Eberle a few more million and a few more millions still for Kay-Z too. We still hold out hope that there will be a new arena to start paying off at some point in the future.
Once the lockout is over, the NHL needs to thank its 11 remaining fans and then focus on making up ground on the crappier bigger sports all around the world. NHL players come from all over the world to take our North American dollars. Let's go overseas and start getting some of that money back by building the business there.
BUILD GLOBAL REVENUES
No one is holding a gun to anyone's head to make them watch hockey and many commentators in Strudwick's recent article talked about how they have filled the void in their life without hockey. We can't get behind the thinking that watching Season 3 of Two and a Half Men is nearly as exciting as watching King Jordan of Eberle go roof daddy on some unsuspecting tender.
And we also think that bringing in the best hockey talent from around the world makes perfect sense if you also monetize the game all around the world. This isn't really being done in this day and age. If you are pulling out the best players from Russia, who is leading the charge to make money off the considerable interest in top Russian players in Russia? Same goes for all the countries in Europe.
In our mind in the digital age in which we live building NHL revenues in hockey mad European markets is the next place to grow the NHL. There could be more money to be made off Swedish hockey fans in the next 10 years then badgering beleaguered fans in Phoenix to forgo paying the mortgage in favour of watching Shane Doan light the lamp. Especially if the American economy is going to be flat at best for the next while.
Other more popular sports around the world don't hold a candle to the NHL. We have tried filling the lockout void by going to MLB, NFL, Junior and the ECHL and it isn't nearly as awesome. Hockey - and NHL hockey for that matter - is the best entertainment there is except for watching Natalie Portman do pilates which we imagine nightly before we retire to bed.
Bet you were wondering what that was about in the title of the article didn't you? Did you think that your ol' pal Wanye had forgotten about Bret Michaels? Fat chance! Bret Michaels is never far from our mind.
The good folks at Knoxvilles on Jasper Ave emailed us asking if we would like to come down to the Bret Michaels concert on Friday. We sadly replied that we are in San Francisco and can't come but wondered if we could be put on the guest list for 50 of our closest friends instead.
"Tickets are $50 beans Wanye" came the reply. We can't just hand these out like candy on hallowe'en. Except they can!
If you want to go see the epic Bret Michaels formerly of Poison in concert for free we have 50 tickets preloaded up. All you need to do is click here and go print off the tickets. They will want them at the door and you need to be over 18 to attend.
Consider it an early Christmas present from OilersNation, Knoxvilles and Bret Michaels.