NHL Expansion: No Thanks

Jason Gregor
August 28 2014 11:25AM

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News broke yesterday that the NHL could be expanding by two teams, possibly as early as 2015. Gary Bettman downplayed the news and said the NHL currently has no plans, which is classic Bettman denial and likely sadly means the reports are probably true. 

For the sake of hockey fans, specifically Canadian hockey fans, I hope the reports are wrong.

Canadian hockey fans in Canada are getting ripped off enough as it is.

Last year, according to Forbes magazaine, Canada had six of the top seven most expensive average ticket cost (on the secondary market) in the league. Toronto was first at $368, Chicago ($313) was second followed by Winnipeg ($276), Edmonton ($272), Vancouver ($265), Calgary ($262) and Montreal ($257).

Ottawa fans got a bargain basement price at $137, 15th overall. Here is a quick link to see the prices for all 30 teams. Five of the top-six ticket prices were for NON-playoff teams. Ouch.

To be clear those aren't the average ticket price. It is hard to get an accurate cost for tickets, because season tickets are lower than single game seats, but on the Oilers site they are currently promoting Power Packs.

POWER-PACK-PRICING2

The prices of those 17 games average out to:

Gold: $264/seat.
Silver: $242/seat.
Executive: $166/seat
Exec. Terrace: $155/seat
Terrace: $119/seat
Colonnade: $88/seat
Gallery/Standing room: $55 seat

I took the average seat cost of three lower bowl sections, then combined the amount of seats in each section, (projection, not 100% exact, but close) 1,734 gold seats, 1,152 silver and 3,148 executive.and cross-referenced it with the exact lower bowl capacity of 6,034 (provided by Northlands) and came up with an average seat cost of $208/seat per game. Season ticket price are cheaper because you buy the entire season, but it is a good indicator of the overall cost.

Any way you slice it, Oiler fans, and fans across the country are paying big money to attend NHL games. And in many cases the fans are helping subsidize the weaker revenue teams in the USA like Florida, Phoenix, Carolina, etc.

The last thing Canadian fans should want is more expansion south of the border. I know Las Vegas sounds sexy, because it is a great place to party, but will fans in Seattle and Las Vegas sell out their rink, or pay top dollar to go to games after year two?

Canadian fans shouldn't have to foot the bill in hockey markets that don't work. If the NHL wants a team in Seattle or Las Vegas, then relocate Florida. The Panthers aren't making money on game nights. The owners make their money by owning the rink and having concerts.

We love hockey, but as a season ticket holder, I don't need to keep paying a ticket increase when I know a portion of that money is going down south to keep struggling franchises afloat.

From a purely financial reason NHL expansion makes no sense for Canadian hockey fans, unless they league puts the new teams in Canada.

LACK OF TALENT

But even if the scuttlebutt around expansion involved Canadian cities, I'd still be against it. There isn't enough talent, especially top-end talent, to fill out new rosters.

I, like most of you, have painfully had to sit through the last five season of Oilers hockey. They finished 30th, 30th, 29th, 24th and 28th. They finished this low in the standings for one simple reason; A lack of proven NHL talent.

Here is the list of players who have suited up for the Oilers since the start of the 2009/2010 season:

Player GP
Player GP
Sam Gagner 326
Teemu Hartikainen 52
Jordan Eberle 275
Andy Sutton 52
Ladislav Smid 272
Darcy Hordichuk 47
Ryan Jones 247
Martin Marincin 44
Taylor Hall 246
Mike Comrie 43
Shawn Horcoff 236
Mark Arcobello 42
Jeff Petry 236
Jesse Joensuu 42
Ales Hemsky 231
Fernando Pisani 40
Tom Gilbert 208
Steve Staios 40
Ryan Smyth 201
Steve MacIntyre 38
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 182
Sheldon Souray 37
Andrew Cogliano 164
Mike Brown 35
Magnus Paajarvi 163
Marc Pouliot 35
Theo Peckham 144
Matt Hendricks 33
Dustin Penner 144
Ryan O'Marra 31
Ryan Whitney 139
Will Acton 30
Nick Schultz 128
Philip Larsen 30
Justin Schultz 122
Chris VandeVelde 28
Jason Strudwick 115
Ryan Stone 27
Corey Potter 111
Cam Barker 25
Nail Yakupov 111
Mark Fistric 25
Zack Stortini 109
Colten Teubert 24
Gilbert Brule 106
Mark Fraser 23
Eric Belanger 104
Aaron Johnson 19
Jean-Francois Jacques 100
Oscar Klefbom 17
Lennart Petrell 95
Dean Arsene 13
Anton Lander 94
Tyler Pitlick 10
Ben Eager 84
Alex Plante 10
David Perron 78
Jerred Smithson 10
Ethan Moreau 76
Alexandre Giroux 8
Kurtis Foster 74
Josh Green 7
Boyd Gordon 74
Steve Pinizzotto 6
Patrick O'Sullivan 73
Shawn Belle 5
Andrew Ference 71
Charles Linglet 5
Colin Fraser 67
Chris Minard 5
Luke Gazdic 67
Taylor Fedun 4
Linus Omark 66
Brad Hunt 3
Ryan Potulny 64
Philippe Cornet 2
Jim Vandermeer 62
Ryan Hamilton 2
Robert Nilsson 60
Roman Horak 2
Anton Belov 57
Colin McDonald 2
Taylor Chorney 57
Richard Petiot 2
Lubomir Visnovsky 57
Milan Kytnar 1
Denis Grebeshkov 54
Johan Motin 1
Liam Reddox 53
Bryan Rodney 1


Some of those players would be hard-pressed to make an expansion team.

Some players have gone on to succeed on other NHL teams: Cogliano, Brodziak, Gilbert, Horcoff, Hemsky, Visnovsky, Penner, Lupul, Souray, Staios, Fraser, McDonald and Smid, but most of the players who played for the Oilers during that time, and aren't here anymore, are no longer in the NHL.

Others retired, Strudwick, and a few had their careers ended due to injury, Pisani, Whitney, but the vast majority of those other players simply weren't good enough to play on an NHL team that wasn't a bottom-five team.

Expansion will provide 46 more NHL jobs, but most of the players taking those jobs won't be productive or NHL calibre players. There simply isn't enough quality talent to fill two more rosters and make those teams competitive in four or five years.

The Oilers have had five top-seven picks and they still haven't finished better than 24th. You need more than just a few young stars to be competitive.

I'd much rather see some teams like Florida relocate to Seattle, Las Vegas, Quebec or Toronto than expand to a 32-team league.

Gary, please say no to expansion. We don't need it.

Recently by Jason Gregor:  

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 A-Mc
August 28 2014, 04:42PM
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http://www.macleans.ca/society/the-united-states-of-hockey/
Articles like this help to illustrate exactly why expansion makes sense (with in reason).

"Since the early 1990s, when the NHL embarked on its aggressive expansion into the U.S., the number of Americans playing the game has ballooned by 257 per cent. Canada’s registration levels have remained comparatively flat, averaging 550,000 over the last decade. Surprisingly, much of the upsurge has occurred in sunbelt regions whose mere mention still induces snickers from the sport’s northern purists. By the end of last year, fully 42,988 players had registered in U.S.A. Hockey’s southeast region, encompassing former hockey wastelands like Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. That’s a near-tenfold increase from the number playing 20 years ago, and has been accompanied by similar growth in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific regions."

This is how you grow your sport and it appears that Bettman subscribes to this idea; revenue sharing be damned.

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#102 The Last Big Bear
August 28 2014, 04:43PM
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"There simply isn't enough quality talent to fill two more rosters and make those teams competitive in four or five years"

I know you guys are all drinking this self-reassuring Kool-Aid about how (re)building a team takes a really long time, but within 5 years of expansion:

Florida had been in the cup finals.

Minnesota had made the conference finals.

San Jose had been past the first round twice.

Ottawa had started an 11-season playoff streak.

Anaheim and Tampa had both made the playoffs.

Nashville took 6 years to make the playoff from scratch.

A sound majority of the recent expansion teams who started from nothing were in the playoffs within 5 years.

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#103 Mantis
August 28 2014, 04:48PM
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murray wrote:

Where are you finding $150 round trip flights to Vegas!? I don't think it's usually quite that cheap

Standard return is ~$400 at the cheapest. YMMV of course.

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#104 Bishai in the Benches
August 28 2014, 04:51PM
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I agree with Gregor. The following players suited up for an NHL game WORTH ACTUAL POINTS IN THE ACTUAL STANDINGS.

Aaron Johnson, Ryan Whitney, Dean Arsene, Shawn Horcoff, Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Potulny, Ethan Moreau, Patrick O'Sullivan, Dustin Penner, Ryan Jones, Fernando Pisani, Charles Linglet, Jeff Deslauriers, Taylor Chorney, Jason Strudwick, Zack Stortini, Tom Gilbert, and Mike Comrie.

I think you can make a case for only 25% of those players being "NHL Calibre". The talent pool in the NHL is diluted, and icing 2 expansion teams would be like icing the team mentioned above every night for 3-4 years.

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#105 The Soup Fascist
August 28 2014, 05:23PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

"There simply isn't enough quality talent to fill two more rosters and make those teams competitive in four or five years"

I know you guys are all drinking this self-reassuring Kool-Aid about how (re)building a team takes a really long time, but within 5 years of expansion:

Florida had been in the cup finals.

Minnesota had made the conference finals.

San Jose had been past the first round twice.

Ottawa had started an 11-season playoff streak.

Anaheim and Tampa had both made the playoffs.

Nashville took 6 years to make the playoff from scratch.

A sound majority of the recent expansion teams who started from nothing were in the playoffs within 5 years.

Oilers 8 years and counting out of the playoffs.

Flames 5 years and counting out of the playoffs.

As an Albertan ...Embarassing.

Honest question. Which of these teams - given their current organizations, division, conference, etc. - will go the longest without making a playoff appearance, in terms of consecutive seasons?

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#106 madjam
August 28 2014, 05:24PM
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Bishai in the Benches wrote:

I agree with Gregor. The following players suited up for an NHL game WORTH ACTUAL POINTS IN THE ACTUAL STANDINGS.

Aaron Johnson, Ryan Whitney, Dean Arsene, Shawn Horcoff, Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Potulny, Ethan Moreau, Patrick O'Sullivan, Dustin Penner, Ryan Jones, Fernando Pisani, Charles Linglet, Jeff Deslauriers, Taylor Chorney, Jason Strudwick, Zack Stortini, Tom Gilbert, and Mike Comrie.

I think you can make a case for only 25% of those players being "NHL Calibre". The talent pool in the NHL is diluted, and icing 2 expansion teams would be like icing the team mentioned above every night for 3-4 years.

With the over abundance of talent being bought on the hockey market now from Europe and N.America as an example ,that diluted talent you speak of does no longer exist . Rapid change , that appears to be only growing not diminishing . 32 teams will not dilute the league talent pool any where near what you seem to expect . Will it drive away hockey fans , or just increase them as it has always done in the past ? Just look at the talent on the 30 teams now for prospects ! Lots of talent to fill another 2 teams beyond any question . That's not even considering the players in the next draft .

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#107 ubermiguel
August 28 2014, 05:27PM
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Ryan14 wrote:

I don't understand the relation between expansion and hockey ticket prices in Canada.

Prices in Canada are that high because the fans are more than willing to pay. The constant sellouts and wait list to get season tickets suggest this. If fans in Edmonton or TO weren't willing to pay the prices, they wouldn't fork over the money and prices would drop to Ottawa level prices.

It doesn't matter if it is a 30 team leagues, a 34 team league, or a 24 team league. The prices would still be the same in hockey mad markets.

Agreed, it's basic economics; the best price to charge for your item is the maximum that at least one person will pay. And Edmontonians are willing to pay a lot more than fans in other markets.

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#108 ubermiguel
August 28 2014, 05:27PM
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Ryan14 wrote:

I don't understand the relation between expansion and hockey ticket prices in Canada.

Prices in Canada are that high because the fans are more than willing to pay. The constant sellouts and wait list to get season tickets suggest this. If fans in Edmonton or TO weren't willing to pay the prices, they wouldn't fork over the money and prices would drop to Ottawa level prices.

It doesn't matter if it is a 30 team leagues, a 34 team league, or a 24 team league. The prices would still be the same in hockey mad markets.

*accidental duplicate post deleted*

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#109 Fresh Mess
August 28 2014, 05:30PM
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The game is much worse to watch now compared to 25 years ago. The difference? Nine teams.

Also no Gretzky or Messier.

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#110 Mole
August 28 2014, 05:42PM
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The NHL is throwing out feelers for promotion and research.Look how much traffic and publicity this is getting in 1 or 2 days. (Bertuzzi distraction) No doubt they have paid people tracking responses, web-site traffic and throwing out polls on every news feed/blog page possible, anything to try and keep up the coverage with the NFL. Why wouldn't the league want to one up on there biggest competitor in terms of the amount of teams and media coverage in North America. They will eventually Walmart the product!

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#111 Lowe Expectations
August 28 2014, 05:57PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

The game is much worse to watch now compared to 25 years ago. The difference? Nine teams.

Also no Gretzky or Messier.

Totally agree. But we were a bit spoiled in Edmonton with such a great team. But don't forget how many other great players played in that era. Stastny, Bossy, Hawerchuk, Lemieux, a young Stevie Y, Trottier, Denis Savard (his skill was unreal) + a whole bunch more.

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#112 Towersofdub
August 28 2014, 06:18PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

There is a decent trade in travel packages in Toronto EDM and elsewhere that include tickets to see the oil play in PHX or the leafs play in Tampa.

My question was how often do you go to watch hockey in Florida because you can't get a ticket in Edmonton. I didn't ask if decent trade packages exist. Now, please, with all due respect, answer the question.

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#113 Zarny
August 28 2014, 06:26PM
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I think 4 divs of 8 is inevitable. I expect 2 new franchises and 2 to relocate.

I think the subsidizing US franchises argument is overstated from a fans perspective. I don't believe for 1 second the Leafs, Habs, Oilers, Flames or Canucks would lower or not raise ticket prices if Florida and Arizona were relocated or contracted. They charge the maximum they think the market can bear. Practically, US franchises needing to be subsidized just takes money out of MLSE and Katz' etc pocket.

The flip side is expansion fees put $$$ in the owner's pockets. Which is why no team will ever "relocate" to the Toronto area. The owners will sell that spot to the highest bidder.

Expansion would certainly water down the league a bit more theoretically; but I'm not sure it would make a practical difference at this point. Collectively 30 teams would give up 4-6 difference makers and the difference between the bottom 200 players now compared to another 46 is definitely inches not miles.

Death by a thousand cuts I suppose. It certainly wouldn't improve the product on the ice that is for sure.

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#114 bwar
August 28 2014, 06:39PM
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32 teams makes sense. Balance out the conferences and divisions. The so called 'talent pool dilution' won't be noticeable in a few years and assuming the salary cap does its job real talent will slow get distributed to the new teams.

I think at this point expansion is inevitable. The game seems like it is growing and a 32 team league makes sense.

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#115 madjam
August 28 2014, 06:43PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

The game is much worse to watch now compared to 25 years ago. The difference? Nine teams.

Also no Gretzky or Messier.

I just reviewed my VHS tape on Oilers winning their last Stanley Cup . My how hockey has changed over those years . The old Oilers look slow in comparison to todays game . Todays game much faster and an incredible amount of more talent . Every generation of ten years is only relative to the years they excelled in . Just ask our old players like Gretzky how much better the athletes are today .

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#116 ubermiguel
August 28 2014, 06:59PM
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madjam wrote:

I just reviewed my VHS tape on Oilers winning their last Stanley Cup . My how hockey has changed over those years . The old Oilers look slow in comparison to todays game . Todays game much faster and an incredible amount of more talent . Every generation of ten years is only relative to the years they excelled in . Just ask our old players like Gretzky how much better the athletes are today .

I know! They're just kind of floating around with occasional flashes of awesome. And it's like defence hadn't been invented and the goalies just learned how to play the week before too. It's stunning how far goalies have come in that time.

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#117 Serious Gord
August 28 2014, 07:05PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Agreed, it's basic economics; the best price to charge for your item is the maximum that at least one person will pay. And Edmontonians are willing to pay a lot more than fans in other markets.

That maximal pricing idea works if you have only one event to sell. The oil are 41 events (assuming no playoffs) per year every year indefinitely. Too high a price for events now could hurt attendance in the long run. And too high a price definitely discourages young fans from attending. That was a lesson learned in Toronto both with the jays and the Argos. And it could bite the leafs if a scene team comes to town much as there was significant backlash against the Yankees that moved to the mets when they were created - outdrawing the Yankees in the mid sixties through to the early seventies.

Boxing thought it was the smart thing to go 100% to pay per view decades ago. In hindsight that looks to have been a very big mistake.

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#118 Serious Gord
August 28 2014, 07:08PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

I know! They're just kind of floating around with occasional flashes of awesome. And it's like defence hadn't been invented and the goalies just learned how to play the week before too. It's stunning how far goalies have come in that time.

THE most remarkable /visual change to the game has been the size of goalie equipment. With predictable results.

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#119 ubermiguel
August 28 2014, 07:14PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

That maximal pricing idea works if you have only one event to sell. The oil are 41 events (assuming no playoffs) per year every year indefinitely. Too high a price for events now could hurt attendance in the long run. And too high a price definitely discourages young fans from attending. That was a lesson learned in Toronto both with the jays and the Argos. And it could bite the leafs if a scene team comes to town much as there was significant backlash against the Yankees that moved to the mets when they were created - outdrawing the Yankees in the mid sixties through to the early seventies.

Boxing thought it was the smart thing to go 100% to pay per view decades ago. In hindsight that looks to have been a very big mistake.

I didn't want to complicate things but yeah, it's 18000 units over 41 dates with a variety of perceived values and elasticities so the optimal profit calculation would be a bit more complicated. But the principle holds that tix here cost more because more people are willing to pay more.

But that's talking about the optimal price. Pricing for building new markets and customers does require some discounts.

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#120 Serious Gord
August 28 2014, 07:32PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

I didn't want to complicate things but yeah, it's 18000 units over 41 dates with a variety of perceived values and elasticities so the optimal profit calculation would be a bit more complicated. But the principle holds that tix here cost more because more people are willing to pay more.

But that's talking about the optimal price. Pricing for building new markets and customers does require some discounts.

Sports like many other things like insurance, software, cable, telephones - are essentially sold on a subscription basis. It is a delicate balance between getting the most out of the client but not too much that they go elsewhere.

The key difference and complicating factor with sports franchises like the oil is that it is a finite product supply in the short-term. And alternatives to the client are much more limited. More can be charged but getting the number right is much more difficult.

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#121 Quicksilver ballet
August 28 2014, 09:31PM
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Just need a 70 cent Canadian dollar and this could all come crashing down no doubt. Once that Canadian gravy train dries up, and the league has to start compensating the Canadian teams for the difference in the US/Canadian dollar. Things could change rather quickly. No way this doesn't happen though. There are 30 owners anxiously waiting to get their hands on their share of that nearly 2 billion dollar influx of cash.

Feel bad for the 25-40 yr old crowd. These are their good old days, if you could call it that. Let us keep our team no matter how bad it gets, and we'll just force ourselves to like it.

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#122 Chris
August 28 2014, 09:33PM
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@Serious Gord

Wow 18/20 top comments in the trash heap to serious Gord, well done that must be some record!

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#123 toprightcorner
August 28 2014, 09:35PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Actually at the margins LV seattle and Toronto will reduce demand for tickets in EDM. Those three locations will host the oil and oil fans can see them there rather than tolerate the dreadful experience that is provided by rexall and the oil (and provide some competitive pressure in that regard too).

PHX and anaheim et al provide nhl product that us consumed by oilers fans on vacation already. Three new cities that have significant numbers of Edmonton visitors will do the same. That's why Florida and Tampa are in the same conference as Toronto.

An d there is also the shaming aspect. No doubt a second team on TO for example will dampen demand for leafs tickets. That said both teams will be perpetual sellouts. But the rate of ticket increases will decline as will the cost of concession goods. A similar thing happened in the mlb a few years ago when comparisons were made between ticket and concessions in Toronto and other markets - the result was changes were made to both in Toronto.

your a moron. If I go to vegas the last thing i would do is go see a hockey game, you see the clubs, the show , the restaurants and to gamble.

Arixona has the highest number of Canadian snowbirds that stay for an average of 5 months a year and how are their attendance records.

There will be no devout fans of vegas in vegas, minimal merchandise sales an all around bad team to grow fans of the game. 90% of tickets will be corporate and perks and giveaways at casinos.

Since the math you do doesn't have any true valuable correlation to the actual success of teams. So you keep a team in Florida that loses about $15 mil a year and expand a team to Quebec that makes $20 million a year you know have 2 teams combines making $5 mill.

Or

You take FLA an their $15 mill losses and move it to Quebec where they make $20 mill. So would you rather have 2 teams making a combined $5 mill or 1 team making $20 mill.

Team talent suffers greatly makes for a worse product which would actually negatively affect ticket sales and TV viewing satisfaction which would then reduce the audience and reduce the value of the next television deal. TV deals are based on eyeballs on a program, who in Vegas are going to spend they evening watching hockey on TV.

You failed in your initial intent to be a smart ass and make Gregor look stupid and ever since then the perception of you IQ from others as dropped dramatically.

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#124 Quicksilver ballet
August 28 2014, 10:04PM
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@toprightcorner

your a moron.

___________________________________________________________________________

Oh my. That certainly didn't pack the punch you thought it would, eh.

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#125 Wax Man Riley
August 28 2014, 11:01PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Oilers 8 years and counting out of the playoffs.

Flames 5 years and counting out of the playoffs.

As an Albertan ...Embarassing.

Honest question. Which of these teams - given their current organizations, division, conference, etc. - will go the longest without making a playoff appearance, in terms of consecutive seasons?

Which of the Alberta teams go longer?

Pfffft! Edmonton. There's no way Calgary goes 10 years out of the playoffs.

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#126 Serious Gord
August 28 2014, 11:26PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

your a moron. If I go to vegas the last thing i would do is go see a hockey game, you see the clubs, the show , the restaurants and to gamble.

Arixona has the highest number of Canadian snowbirds that stay for an average of 5 months a year and how are their attendance records.

There will be no devout fans of vegas in vegas, minimal merchandise sales an all around bad team to grow fans of the game. 90% of tickets will be corporate and perks and giveaways at casinos.

Since the math you do doesn't have any true valuable correlation to the actual success of teams. So you keep a team in Florida that loses about $15 mil a year and expand a team to Quebec that makes $20 million a year you know have 2 teams combines making $5 mill.

Or

You take FLA an their $15 mill losses and move it to Quebec where they make $20 mill. So would you rather have 2 teams making a combined $5 mill or 1 team making $20 mill.

Team talent suffers greatly makes for a worse product which would actually negatively affect ticket sales and TV viewing satisfaction which would then reduce the audience and reduce the value of the next television deal. TV deals are based on eyeballs on a program, who in Vegas are going to spend they evening watching hockey on TV.

You failed in your initial intent to be a smart ass and make Gregor look stupid and ever since then the perception of you IQ from others as dropped dramatically.

You are naive to think that fla and the other southern teams are just about the gate. It's much more about national presence for the purposes of driving advertising revenue.

Sure LV will be a lot about corp perks - just as it is in EDM and Toronto. The vast majority of seasons tickets are corporately owned. And those seats spend lots on concessions. LV succeeding is a long way from guaranteed and a lot of what is driving it is the need for a tenant in a new arena - as it was back in the day in FLa and PHX and Tampa to name just a few.

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#127 Wax Man Riley
August 28 2014, 11:54PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

You are naive to think that fla and the other southern teams are just about the gate. It's much more about national presence for the purposes of driving advertising revenue.

Sure LV will be a lot about corp perks - just as it is in EDM and Toronto. The vast majority of seasons tickets are corporately owned. And those seats spend lots on concessions. LV succeeding is a long way from guaranteed and a lot of what is driving it is the need for a tenant in a new arena - as it was back in the day in FLa and PHX and Tampa to name just a few.

Building the tv market in the US is huge for the NHL, just like it is for he NFL.

The thing is, the NHL is a gate-driven league. Florida has failed building the brand in the US. Anaheim looks to have worked out. LA has definite cache. San Jose has a following. Dallas is still working on it, nashville has a following too. Florida has failed though. Tampa bay is struggling too. The NHL will gain more financially with another team in Canada.

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#128 toprightcorner
August 29 2014, 05:53AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

your a moron.

___________________________________________________________________________

Oh my. That certainly didn't pack the punch you thought it would, eh.

~wow, impressively well thought out comment, keep up the great contributions~

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#129 The Soup Fascist
August 29 2014, 05:59AM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Which of the Alberta teams go longer?

Pfffft! Edmonton. There's no way Calgary goes 10 years out of the playoffs.

So should I mark you down for 11 or 12?

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#130 Hockey fan
August 29 2014, 07:21AM
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I can count on one hand the number of NHL teams I"d pay to watch. I don't see this improving with the addition of 4 more rosters full of AHLer, grinders and assorted plugs.

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#131 madjam
August 29 2014, 08:00AM
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Hockey fan wrote:

I can count on one hand the number of NHL teams I"d pay to watch. I don't see this improving with the addition of 4 more rosters full of AHLer, grinders and assorted plugs.

Between Oilers games and snippets of all the other games hilites most probably watch over 1,000 games in part at least a year just on your TV's , computers , etc.. Surprisingly no matter whom Oilers play most are interested in watching the game . Could get NHL and pay a small monthly price to watch more if you prefer . Don't mind significant games of Flames and other Canadian teams as well . 2-4 more teams will just further add to our enjoyment not diminish it .

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#132 Serious Gord
August 29 2014, 08:11AM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Building the tv market in the US is huge for the NHL, just like it is for he NFL.

The thing is, the NHL is a gate-driven league. Florida has failed building the brand in the US. Anaheim looks to have worked out. LA has definite cache. San Jose has a following. Dallas is still working on it, nashville has a following too. Florida has failed though. Tampa bay is struggling too. The NHL will gain more financially with another team in Canada.

Well someone in fla is still writing checks and I don't think they think it has failed. Lots of local non-gate issues - tenancy etc. - that help out. And there are other places where hockey failed the first time round and then has flourished - denver for example. Winning would go a long way towards changing the outlook. Yzerman isn't there out of the goodness of his heart either.

Time will tell, but it's not "failed" yet.

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#133 Parallex
August 29 2014, 08:54AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Oilers 8 years and counting out of the playoffs.

Flames 5 years and counting out of the playoffs.

As an Albertan ...Embarassing.

Honest question. Which of these teams - given their current organizations, division, conference, etc. - will go the longest without making a playoff appearance, in terms of consecutive seasons?

The smart money would be on the Oilers.

Just because of the three year lead they have in the current count. Even if the Oilers were to make the playoffs this year the Flames would still need to not make the playoffs for 4 more in order for the Oilers to "win" that contest and a lot can happen in 4 years (random percentage spikes ala Colorado, drafting a generational level player, overall talent drift between conferences making the west weaker).

I mean if you were able to bet on a single game result when the score was 1-0 the smart bet would always be on the team with the lead right? So it would be with this.

If I were betting on who makes the playoffs first I'd probably give the Oilers a slight edge but that's not this.

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#134 madjam
August 29 2014, 09:02AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

B.S. on $150 to Vegas. Unless you are flying on a Wednesday with 2 stops on a seat sale, you are looking at minimum $500 with taxes.

Please post the airline and times of the $150 roundtrip with taxes flights. I seem to be missing those. I will be forever in your debt.

Flight Center has Vegas on for $249.00 plus $143 Tax = about $ 392 .00 Sept.3-6 with room included at the Quad (old Imperial Palace) with WestJet . Not $150.00 but much lower than $500.00 , and with hotel included .

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#135 A-Mc
August 29 2014, 09:17AM
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Chris wrote:

Wow 18/20 top comments in the trash heap to serious Gord, well done that must be some record!

And the interesting part is he's not even trolling. He's legitimately stating 1 point of view that is entirely valid. His reputation is taking a toll on the trash/cheers counter.

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#136 TigerUnderGlass
August 29 2014, 10:06AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

The game is much worse to watch now compared to 25 years ago. The difference? Nine teams.

Also no Gretzky or Messier.

The worst players in the NHL today would have been stars 25 years ago.

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#137 5minutesinthebox
August 29 2014, 10:47AM
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Having a team in Seattle would actually be good for the Western teams, as it would (at least somewhat) soften the travel schedules of teams from California and Western Canada, and create a new rivalry where Vancouver fans could make the trip to Seattle and vice versa for games.

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#138 Parallex
August 29 2014, 11:57AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

The worst players in the NHL today would have been stars 25 years ago.

While I agree that the overall talent level of hockey is higher today then it has ever been there is no way that John Scott would be a "star" in any era.

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