7
Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – Is there concern of NHL teams folding?

Welcome, Nation, to yet another edition of the online college replacement known as the Monday Mailbag! Obviously, we’re working through a worrisome time to be alive right now but we still wanted to put together your questions and try to come up with whatever answers we can As always, this feature depends on you so please send me your questions by email or Twitter for next week and I’ll try to sneak you in. Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful week and please enjoy the free learning opportunity.

Local Input~ Edmonton Oilers’ Todd Marchant (26) scores the fourth and winning goal for his team as Dallas Stars’ goalkeeper Andy Moog tries to block the puck, April 29. Edmonton defeated Dallas 4-3 and advances to the second round of the playoffs. SPORT NHL

1) Julien asks – What was the best Oilers playoff series you can remember and what made it so special?

Jason Gregor:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

1990 first round against the Jets. Oilers were down 3-1, but won three straight to win in seven. They would go on to win the Stanley Cup, but that first round series against the Jets was incredible. Jet won game one 7-5 with an empty netter and the next five games were all decided by one goal, before the Oilers won game seven 4-1. The Jari Kurri-Mark Lamb-Esa Tikkanen line was excellent in the first round, and Bill Ranford was outstanding all playoffs, but he was the reason the won the first round.

Robin Brownlee:

I have to go with the first round of the 2006 playoffs against Detroit. The Red Wings were huge favourites — they finished 29 points ahead of the Oilers in the regular season, 124-95 — and almost nobody gave the Oilers a chance. That deciding Game 6, with the Oilers winning 4-2 after trailing 2-0, was high drama and set the ball rolling for a ride all the way to the SC final. It was a huge upset and a lot of fun to cover.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Well, I was nine when the Oilers went on their Cup run in 2006 so while I do think that the series against the Red Wings was great, I really only know the details of it because I’ve rewatched a lot of it and read about it. For me personally, I’ll say it was the first-round series against San Jose in 2017. The way the city celebrated the first playoff berth in over a decade was tremendous and something I really had never experienced before. I’ll never forget watching Desharnais score and jumping around like a lunatic in celebration.

Nation Dan:

We kind of touched on this a bit on Oilersnation Radio, but my favourite series from my lifetime has to be the Red Wings/Oilers in ’06. The way that the “best 8 seed in a long time” came along and changed their style of play to beat the President Trophy winning Wings, retiring Stevie Y in the process. It was special to see.

Baggedmilk:

I’ll never forget when Todd Marchant scored the series winner against Dallas in overtime because that was the very same day that I picked up my Nintendo 64. Needless to say, that was a hell of a day for young Baggedmilk.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

2) Trevor in Toronto asks – Do you believe that this NHL puts any smaller market teams at risk of folding? With no ticket revenue and no games on TV, I’m wondering how budget teams like the Florida Panthers or Carolina Hurricanes will make it.

Jason Gregor:

I don’t see teams folding. They lasted a year during a lockout. They will be able to withstand this, but I firmly believe the NHL financial landscape will look much different once the dust settles from Covid. Revenue will be lower, and so the salary cap will eventually go down, or escrow goes way up. Either way I suspect we will see a shift. Many fans simply won’t pay the high prices for tickets, food/beverage and parking when the NHL returns. I’ve long felt sports needed a reset, financially, and this could be it.

Robin Brownlee:

In short, no. All teams are going to take a huge revenue hit, not just small market teams. We won’t know the economics of the situation until we get through this, but Gary Bettman isn’t going to allow teams to fold. Teams share the good times and they’ll share these bad times. Every team will get through it.

RELATED ARTICLE:
Edmonton Oilers 2019-20 player review: Andreas Athanasiou

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Nope. I’m not even slightly concerned about a team folding. The league will do everything in its power to keep small market clubs afloat if they need financial support.

Nation Dan:

It’s definitely not helping teams for sure, but along with not making money, the teams aren’t having to pay to put on the games and the costs that go along with that. I imagine the ownerships of these teams have the ability to see through a couple of years of nothing from their hockey team before we see any issues. That all said, I don’t pretend to know much about how billionaires handle their money.

Baggedmilk:

Honestly, I’m not nearly smart enough to understand the ins and outs of team finance, but I would certainly guess that it will not help. That said, I can’t imagine Gary Bettman allowing teams to fold during this period as he will likely come up with solutions to keep everyone afloat.

3) Stephen asks – I’ve understandably seen a lot of historical articles going up on the site since the season was paused and I’m wondering which Gretzky record do you personally think is the most impressive?

Jason Gregor:

Most points in a career with 2857. He was great for two decades and dominated the game offensively like no one we’ve ever seen. His 1963 assists are more than Jaromir Jagr’s combined point totals (1921) and Jagr is 2nd all-time in NHL scoring.  He was so dominant during his prime it was ridiculous. Over a seven-year span, he produced 1,383 points. Those seven years would put him 24th all-time. Take away his most dominant seven seasons and he has 1474 points in the other 13 seasons. He’d be 18th all-time in the NHL if he sat out the seven best years of his career. It’s amazing how much more productive he was from anyone else.

Robin Brownlee:

For me, it’s the 1983-84 season when Gretzky started the year with points in 51 straight games. On top of that, he averaged three points a game — 61-92-153 — during the streak, which would have been enough to win the scoring title by 27 points.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

We talked about this Friday on Oilersnation Radio and my answer was the fact that he hit the 200 point mark as many times as he did with a close second being the 50 in 39. Only a handful of players his 50 goals during the course of the entire season in today’s NHL and I don’t think anyone will ever do it in 39 games again. As for 200 points, it’s just mind-boggling to think of a player being that dominant and productive.

Nation Dan:

We talked about this impromptu on Oilersnation Radio again this week and even though it was right off the cuff, this one still for me is 50 goals in 39 games. It’s just untouchable. Unless you’re making the nets soccer sized and the goalie tiny. Players are lucky to reach 50 by the end of the season, let alone in 48% of the season’s games.

Baggedmilk:

For me, it has to be his 92-goal season. These days, guys struggle just to hit 50 over 82 games so the idea of nearly doubling that is absolutely mindblowing.

Mar 13, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The statue of Wayne Gretzky watches over an empty Rogers Place as the NHL suspends games because of the COVID-19 outbreak at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

4) Craig asks – Rank in order which situation is toughest to write through: NHL Lockout, NHL Hockey in August, COVID-19 Suspension. Explain your choice.

Jason Gregor:

NHL lockout because it was a full season. And it didn’t need to happen. It disgusted me that both sides couldn’t come to a resolution. Hockey in August you can find many positive angles or “things to watch this season.” And Covid-19 is very fresh, and it is bigger than sports. I hope it doesn’t last a full season, but if it does, at least I can understand why there is a pause. The lockout, 15 years later, still irks me.

RELATED ARTICLE:
NHL Releases Phased Return to Sport Protocol

Robin Brownlee:

I would say it has to be now. You have a chance to find newsworthy updates during a lockout year. I actually covered the Edmonton Roadrunners of the AHL during the 2004-05 lockout and it was a blast seeing cities I hadn’t been to before. In August, you can dissect drafting and off-season moves and look ahead to training camp and the coming season. With this, there’s nothing to do but wait.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I didn’t do this back during the lockout so I wouldn’t really know but I think this current COVID-19 situation is far worse. Just the uncertainty of the whole thing and the fact that the entire continent is shut down makes it so challenging. It’s hard to plan out content and come up with ideas when we have no idea when the league will even come back or when society will come back to normal. Back during the lockout, at least there was still junior hockey to watch and cover. Right now, there’s nothing.

Nation Dan:

1. COVID-19
2. NHL Lockout
3. NHL Hockey in August

It’s pretty simple. With COVID-19 there is nothing to talk about other than the occasional tidbit that comes through to speak of. The lockout is not much further behind, but at least in that scenario there are other subjects/things going on like other sports to bring into discussions. COVID-19 has shut everything down. Every bit of it and so it’s just devoid of a lot of uniqueness and ability to talk about new things. NHL hockey in August is full of promise and intrigue as to what we could do, things we need to do and how the season will go.

Baggedmilk:

There’s no doubt that this is way harder because the entire league, and society at large, is at a standstill. People are understandably more concerned with what’s going on in their own lives, which makes reading about hockey a secondary item to say the least.

Mar 13, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Rogers Place sits empty as the NHL suspends games because of the COVID-19 outbreak at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

5) Sarah asks – What’s the thing you look forward to the most when all of this is over?

Jason Gregor:

Being able to visit with by family and friends and to be able to hug them and hear their laugh and see their smiles in person.

Robin Brownlee:

Freedom — in all forms. To move around. To be with friends and family. You don’t appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Sitting on a patio with my friends drinking an ice-cold beer or meeting up with people to watch an Oilers game.

Nation Dan:

Seeing other Oilers fans. Being able to interact with groups of people. I am at my personal best when I am able to talk to people one on one and have a real meaningful interaction. We don’t have that right now, and I don’t know when we will again, but I can’t wait.

Baggedmilk:

I will never again take for granted an invitation to go out somewhere. I cannot wait to hang out with friends, family, and Nation citizens again. On Saturday, I wrote about a bus trip that we had cancelled and while it sucked to miss out on the final Battle of Alberta of the season, it was losing the chance to hang out with everyone that really hurt.

OODLE NOODLE IS OPEN FOR TAKE-OUT AND DELIVERY

Are you out of the house and hungry? We’re offering 15% off on all pick-up orders at all locations. To order pick up, call into the store directly or order at the till. If you’re staying in and practicing your social distancing, no-contact delivery is available at www.oodlenoodle.ca.