Mail from a Canadian hockey player
Canada is a hockey Nation. As you walk the streets in my Northern
Ontario town, you feel the passion for the game. Kids playing street
hockey, not just boys, girls also play the game. This game is more
then a game, it is a way of life for Canadians....
(13-12-00) My name is Clay Lane. I am 17 years old and I am captain of the Chapleau
Hurricanes. This year, the Hurricanes are in our Own Independant
league. Therefore we can pick and choose where and when we want to
play. Our team consists of 16-17 year old players. SO far, we have
played 4 games. Our first game was against Wawa. We had lost that
game 6-4 due to line problems. We only had 2 centermen. Myself and
Andrew Orton. Therefore we had to double shift to make up for the 3rd
line. Hehe, it was very exhausting! Our goaltender let in some soft
goals, in the end losing 6-4. Then, our team was invited to Sault Ste.
Marie, home of Ron Francis:) The tournament was called Steel City
Tourny. It was a great tournemant with teams from all over Ontario and
1 team from USA. Our first game was against the team from the USA. I,
was not able to play because I had a suspension to fill. We won't go
there.....lol:) The first puck drop, our gritty Andrew Orton had
jumped right on the puck, brought it into their end, and scored! Must
have been about 10 second and we opened up the scoring! With another
goal at the end of the first, we were in the lead with 2-0. We let go,
and ended up tieing the team 4-4. The second game, was my return. It
was great, we were the best hitting team on the ice. We had won that
game 4-0. The 3rd game, was a close game. Our team was not playing to
it's full potential, and ended up losing 2-0. But, our team is just
getting started. We are attending a tournament in Timmins, Ontario in
(05-07-00 xRadis) First article on non-european hockey comes from Canada. Echo analyses the question of NHL expansion and relevant problems. But the article does not concern Europe only at first view.
Author: © Echo
Another language: Czech
The upcoming 2000 - 01 NHL season will include two more expansion teams,
Columbus and Minnesota. Is this to many teams? No! Although some in the
media would like us to think so. They believe there is not enough quality
players to fill 30 NHL team rosters, therefore making the overall product
less competitive. The problem with expansion is not expansion itself, it is where the expansion is occurring.
The NHL talks about how important it is for the future of hockey to grow in all areas. This is very important, but the problem is they are only
trying to grow the game in the United States. If you really were serious
about growing the game, you would try to grow the game world wide. The
league has added nine new franchises in ten years, and all but one were in
the United States. This massive growth in such a short period of time, has
caused many teams to struggle financially and attendance has dropped in
many cities. Why has expansion had this negative affect on the
league? With more teams added means new resources must be found, and in a
business where the resources are limited, means competition for those
resources are at a much higher demand. When a product is in high demand,
the product becomes more expensive, as we have seen with players salaries
rising by four hundred percent in the last ten years. This has caused
ticket prices to rise to a much higher level, and now fewer fans can
afford to attend games. With fewer fans being able to attend games means,
teams are not bringing in as much money, this is what has caused
attendance problems and teams to struggle financially.
The NHL will have to solve this problem, and they believe if they stop expanding everything should settle down and work out in the end. I don't
believe this solution will work. There is to many cities that are in the
same financial markets and have to compete with each other for advertising
and sponsors. These franchises that are struggling should be moved, but
not to other cities in North America, that solution is just not
working. So who are these teams and where should they be moved?
This list of teams should be moved, because they will never survive in the
end. The fans who support these teams should not feel ashamed, or angry,
because there simply is just not enough resources and fan support in North
America for the game of Hockey.
-Carolina Hurricanes, this is not a hockey market, and how can you
support a franchise when your attendance is only 6000 almost every game.
-New York Islanders, they have the same attendance problem as Carolina,
and one team is enough in the city of New York.
-Atlanta Thrashers, this team in a few years will have problems, because
hockey is just not a sport that will thrive in Georgia.
-New Jersey Devils, like I said New York should only have one team, and on
most nights it is Ranger fans filling the building.
-Pittsburgh Penguins, the fans in this city love their team, but it is a
small market team, who are on the verge of staying or going right now.
-Tampa Bay Lightning, it is first few years it done well, but has been on a steady decline ever since.
-Anaheim Mighty Ducks, if it was not for Disney does anyone really think
this franchise would be in Anaheim. Lately Disney has been talking about
getting out of hockey, this is not good news for the Mighty Ducks.
-Edmonton Oilers, they pack the building every night, and probably have
the best fans in the NHL, but it is just to small of a market.
-Minnesota Wild, they already lost a franchise a couple of years ago, I am
still wondering how they received another one.
-Buffalo Sabers, they are to small of a market relying to heavily on
hockey fans, advertising and sponsorship from the Toronto area.
I guess the big question is where should all these teams be moved to? In
my personal view they should be moved to cities in Europe. This would be
the best solution to all the problems facing the NHL. Twenty percent of
the players playing are from Europe, and there is lots of large market
cities in Europe who can financially support franchises. If the NHL is serious about growing the game, then I think it is time they expanded to the proper
spot. This may happen some day, but I would not look for it to happen any
time soon. The NHL would give the excuse, that Europe is to far away, and
it would cost to much for teams to fly back and forth. Well it would only cost to
much for the teams that are struggling now, and if they were moved to
Europe they wouldn't be struggling anymore.
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