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2021 NHL Offseason - Let's Get Kraken


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2 hours ago, Sport said:

Where was the lie in anything I said? Or were you just trying to get off a cheap joke? 

No, you were right. I'm not sure I had a point besides "Phoenix is a terrible market, and everything else is just academic."

 

The Coyotes have never drawn a profit. Not when they played in Phoenix proper, not while playing in Glendale. They're a black hole of cash. Which wouldn't be so bad if it was just billionaires pouring money into them, but no. The NHL has somehow managed to get local governments to give this team millions in taxpayer dollars. All the 90s hipster kachina crap in the world won't make this team economically viable.

 

And that gets back to the only thing resembling a point; everything after this fact is purely academic. Would the Coyotes have become viable if they'd stayed in downtown Phoenix? Maybe! They made the playoffs five of their first six seasons and had some rockin' crowds. Maybe it would have been great if they'd stayed downtown.

They didn't though. They wallowed in what looks like a dystopian desert suburb and became an even lousier draw. Whether or not staying in Phoenix proper would have saved them is irrelevant (and not even a given) because after all of these years and millions upon millions wasted...that money is still gone. The debts are still there. The team's still a money pit.

 

And it irks me, because teams like the original Jets, the Nordiques, and Whalers were all unceremoniously yanked despite strong fanbases because of the economics of sports. Yet the Coyotes (who were the original Jets) get to waste millions upon million upon millions, never making a dime, while the NHL moves mountains to keep them where they are.

Gary Bettman threatened the new Jets with relocation at the press conference they were announced at, but the Coyotes are still in the desert because of some vague "grow the game" nonsense.

 

And yeah, Auston Matthews DID decide to play hockey because of the Coyotes, and yes he IS the face of the Toronto Maple Leafs. What? You think I should be thankful for that? How's that whole thing going?

 

In short...everything about Arizona hockey sucks and the league's continued presence there is a slap in the face to former markets that actually had fans who gave a :censored:

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Kachina Stans don't get it. They just want their cool jersey without giving a crap about the economics of the terrible team. You know what other former team had good jerseys?

 

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Nobody's trying to make terrible arguments about why the Thrashers should stick around and drain money. Let the Coyotes become part of the Heritage Collection. Then you can your precious Kachina and not have to worry about the economic implications of the team.

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On 7/27/2021 at 6:53 AM, Sport said:

 

Why do people do this? They do the same thing with the Rays. You can say Phoenix is a bad market for hockey, which it probably is, but the arena location is a significant factor in all of their problems. It was a terrible place to build because it's on the opposite side of a physically huge city far from the largest population center and the areas with the most income, and they moved there early in the franchise's time in a new hockey market, which killed fan culture. That's not a weak excuse. It's a big reason half the city doesn't go to games. 

 

Think about this - It takes my family in Gilbert over an hour to get to that arena. They're pretty big Coyotes fans, but getting to the arena is such a chore, especially on weeknights, that they don't go very often and opt instead to watch on TV. It's not because they're not devoted enough hockey fans, it's because they're people living their lives day-to-day and the arena is in too far a place to reasonably expect regular visits. Now extrapolate them to every person who lives on their side of the city. If the Coyotes played closer they might be season ticket holders. On top of that who wants to drive two hours round trip to sit in a half empty, lifeless environment? It's a bad cycle.  

 

Tampa's arena is in the perfect place for Tampa. Centrally located, on the good side of the bridges, and the Lightning draw because it's easily accessible from more high income areas. Not really analogous. Ottawa - Ottawa routinely had problems with attendance even when they were good for the exact same reasons people don't go to Coyotes games. They've been trying for a while to replace an arena that is only 25 years old because they want a more centrally located building. 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Coyotes are absolute butt and don’t even deserve the fans they currently have considering how much tax payer money they’ve syphoned off over the years. 
 

That being said, the arena location is far and away the biggest problem. People who haven’t spent a significant amount of time in Phoenix (the blessed) don’t realize just how far out that arena really is compared to the majority of the population. It might as well be on Mars. Phoenix is a HUGE city, and the three suburbs to the east (Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler) are straight up behemoths in terms of population. And south of Phoenix is also growing really fast. Glendale, in contrast, is way up in the Northwest corner of the metro area where the population, by comparison, starts to thin out a bit. It’s great because there’s a ton of dirty desert caliche that nobody wants to plop a stadium on top of, but it makes it an absolute NIGHTMARE to get to during the working week (The Cardinals, by contrast, don’t really have this issue because they play on Sundays). I made one trip out to a weeknight Coyotes game and it was easily the most miserable sporting experience I had while in Arizona (That’s with the 116 degree kickoff times for Sun Devils games and a full season watching Heath Bell and the miserable 2013 D Backs).

 

While I was there, the Suns were also an enormous tire fire, but I went to a TON if their games because it was a light rail ride away and tickets were usually dirt cheap. That’s the whole thing with Phoenix sports. None of the teams out there have any real sense of healthy functionality. They’re all going to have stretches where they’re unwatchable to the fullest degree, and they’re all going to have somewhat disappointing showings for fans even when they’re successful. Considering that, plopping probably their hardest sell on the other side of the county in the opposite direction of how everything flows is a magnitude of stupid I can’t even comprehend. It’s like, did they do ANY research before they made that move? Make that commute once and you’ll see how suicidal of an idea that was. 
 

The whole issue with the Coyotes really just kind of follows a certain trend of inconsistency this league seems to constantly work with. It’s one of the MANY reasons why I just can’t take this league seriously any longer.

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13 minutes ago, FiddySicks said:

Considering that, plopping probably their hardest sell on the other side of the county in the opposite direction of how everything flows is a magnitude of stupid I can’t even comprehend.

OITGDNHL

 

13 minutes ago, FiddySicks said:

It’s like, did they do ANY research before they made that move?

Refer to the above point 😛

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On 7/27/2021 at 1:49 PM, Sport said:

Never said that. Here's what I said - "You can say Phoenix is a bad market for hockey, which it probably is, but the arena location is a significant factor in all of their problems. "

 

Listen, Phoenix is not my favorite place. It's hot, it's huge, everything looks the same, they're not a great market for any sports team, and their residents are some of the craziest in the nation, but to dismiss the arena's location as a "weak excuse" is weird. Some excuses are valid! Hockey in Phoenix, Arizona was always going to be an uphill climb that needs all conditions to be perfect for the team to do well financially, but the decision to move to Glendale made success impossible. They put the team very far away from most of their should-be fanbase. You make an entertainment destination harder to get to and fewer people will be drawn there. Location is a pretty basic principle in business yet people here always to want to argue with that.

 

Oh goodie, now you're putting words in my mouth. Arena location obviously is important. Due to bad arena location in the case of both the Senators and Coyotes, it's an obstacle to be overcome. Ottawa, historically, has done a much better job at coming through than Phoenix. Because, unlike Phoenix, it's a worthwhile hockey market that's home to an organization that's currently in the sh**ter.

 

On 7/27/2021 at 1:49 PM, Sport said:

 

No, they've had similar results too. I didn't imagine the constant discussions during the 2017 playoffs when the Senators had a hard time selling playoff tickets throughout their run, which included Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. You make an entertainment destination harder to get to and fewer people will be drawn there also applies to Canadian cities. 

 

Ottawa? Similar results? No. Every year from 2006 through 2016, they were good for a posted occupancy of at least 94% on the season, with multiple season sellouts in there. You can question whether their numbers are truthful or not, but I could easily do the same for whatever the Coyotes were reporting.

 

I'm guessing you missed the 'until recently' disclaimer covering the team's recent BS; right now the Senators are getting the 90's Oilers/00's Blackhawks treatment due to the organization falling into disarray at multiple levels and the owner becoming more and more of an antagonistic turd in response.

 

On 7/27/2021 at 2:35 PM, spartacat_12 said:

Leafs fans & Habs fans are still hockey fans, and they were willing to buy tickets to watch games in Ottawa even if it wasn't their team.

 

And Phoenix (supposedly, depending on whether or not it strengthens the case for an NHL team in the desert or not) has always been full of transplanted hockey fans. Why were they not buying tickets to see the local team in a poorly-located arena while people in Ottawa were?

 

On 7/27/2021 at 2:35 PM, spartacat_12 said:

Trying to compare Canadian hockey fans to Arizona hockey fans is like trying to compare the Green Bay Packers to an NFL expansion team in London, England.

 

Because one is a worthwhile hockey market, and the other is Phoenix.

 

On 7/27/2021 at 2:35 PM, spartacat_12 said:

As for a player like Matthews, I'm pretty sure the NHL is better off for having a player like him around. Not only has he quickly become the face of one of the league's marquee franchises, but it is also about the exponential growth of the game in non-traditional hockey markets. In 15-20 years maybe we see 10 more elite hockey players coming out of the Phoenix area who started playing because of him.

 

Okay, Gary.

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5 hours ago, who do you think said:

 

Oh goodie, now you're putting words in my mouth. Arena location obviously is important. Due to bad arena location in the case of both the Senators and Coyotes, it's an obstacle to be overcome. Ottawa, historically, has done a much better job at coming through than Phoenix. Because, unlike Phoenix, it's a worthwhile hockey market that's home to an organization that's currently in the sh**ter.

 

I didn't put words in your mouth. You said arena location was a weak excuse for Phoenix. It's just one of the reasons they're a s*** hockey market, but it's not a weak excuse. 

 

5 hours ago, who do you think said:

 

Ottawa? Similar results? No. Every year from 2006 through 2016, they were good for a posted occupancy of at least 94% on the season, with multiple season sellouts in there. You can question whether their numbers are truthful or not, but I could easily do the same for whatever the Coyotes were reporting.

 

I'm guessing you missed the 'until recently' disclaimer covering the team's recent BS; right now the Senators are getting the 90's Oilers/00's Blackhawks treatment due to the organization falling into disarray at multiple levels and the owner becoming more and more of an antagonistic turd in response.

 

You've lost the plot. You cited Ottawa and Tampa as two examples of teams who draw fans despite bad arena locations. Tampa's arena is in the ideal place in their city, so, no, and people from Ottawa complain about the arena location All. The. Time. A centrally located arena in a Canadian city would probably draw close to 100% capacity even in bad years. 

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54 minutes ago, tBBP said:

I feel like digging up that all-time classic post about "skating on the frozen blood of non-believers" now...


Fun fact: that exact post never existed. It’s an amalgamation of several posts by BigMac12 and Mings, IIRC. 

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7 hours ago, who do you think said:

Oh goodie, now you're putting words in my mouth. Arena location obviously is important. Due to bad arena location in the case of both the Senators and Coyotes, it's an obstacle to be overcome. Ottawa, historically, has done a much better job at coming through than Phoenix. Because, unlike Phoenix, it's a worthwhile hockey market that's home to an organization that's currently in the sh**ter.

...

Because one is a worthwhile hockey market, and the other is Phoenix.

 

So exactly what makes something a "worthwhile" hockey market? It seems like a completely subjective idea, and feels like it only applies to Sun Belt markets.

 

Before they won the Lemieux lottery, and again before the won the Crosby lottery, Pittsburgh was a complete tire fire. I don't think people have ever said Pittsburgh isn't a worthwhile hockey market. Give Arizona 2 of the 5 best players of all time and this could be a different story. 

 

Once upon a time Nashville, Tampa, and Dallas weren't considered "worthwhile hockey markets". Leading up to the debut of the Golden Knights there were constant complaints from hockey fans rooting for hockey to fail in Las Vegas. Most of this talk just boils down to bitter Canadians who are insecure about hockey becoming something more than just "Canada's game". 

 

If you look at the Sun Belt success stories (Tampa, Vegas, Nashville, Dallas) compared to the ones who have struggled (AZ, Carolina, Florida), it is pretty obvious. The biggest successes have been places with a centrally located, easily accessible arena, and stable ownership that has provided a relatively consistent on-ice product.

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I know everyone trashes "growing the game", but I'm literally living proof of it working. If there was no AHL team in Charlotte (not a traditional hockey market) that I could go and see live, I'd never have become a hockey fan. I'm not going to claim that Charlotte is a better hockey market than, say, Winnipeg, but I will say that a team in Charlotte could possibly be better for the league than Winnipeg, simply because it's so much larger. So I'd argue that at this stage in the game, when just about every traditional market is covered, and has been covered for decades, "growing the game" and placing teams in non-traditional hockey markets is not only smart, but the right thing to do. Not to mention that Southern markets are large. TV deals will reflect that. I guarantee the reason the Yotes have been allowed to flounder for so long is because the Phoenix TV market is so large.

 

People who say that hockey should only be played where snow naturally falls don't strike me as true fans of hockey, only fans of gatekeeping it from people who probably didn't grow up with it. That argument becomes valid when teams start playing on natural ice again.

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2 hours ago, QCS said:

I know everyone trashes "growing the game", but I'm literally living proof of it working. If there was no AHL team in Charlotte (not a traditional hockey market) that I could go and see live, I'd never have become a hockey fan. I'm not going to claim that Charlotte is a better hockey market than, say, Winnipeg, but I will say that a team in Charlotte could possibly be better for the league than Winnipeg, simply because it's so much larger. So I'd argue that at this stage in the game, when just about every traditional market is covered, and has been covered for decades, "growing the game" and placing teams in non-traditional hockey markets is not only smart, but the right thing to do. Not to mention that Southern markets are large. TV deals will reflect that. I guarantee the reason the Yotes have been allowed to flounder for so long is because the Phoenix TV market is so large.

 

People who say that hockey should only be played where snow naturally falls don't strike me as true fans of hockey, only fans of gatekeeping it from people who probably didn't grow up with it. That argument becomes valid when teams start playing on natural ice again.

 

Imma have to back up my boy here.

 

And lemme let you know something, kinfolk: I grew up in Pensacola, Florida. Didn't nobody in the Panhandle know or care nothing about no hockey until the first two Mighty Ducks movies came out.  Understand I come from the DEPTHS of SEC football territory--it was all either Gators (ugh) or Seminoles (yeah!) back then--so to see young black boys playing hockey in the neighborhood streets on rollerblades with broken-off chair legs, nerf balls and turned-over shopping carts as goals in the early '90s was definitely something to behold. On the heels of that, then the ECHL dropped a team from Nashville (of all places) into the Pensacola Civic Center, rebranded them as the Ice Pilots, put them in much the same jerseys as their parent club Quebec Rafales,  and from '96 and on, well...it was on.

 

Now yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers showed up shortly before the Pilots, but I wouldn't have even known nor cared who Pavel Bure, Vincent LeCavalier or John Vanbiesbrouck was without all that having happened first. And sure, Pensacola sho' ain't no Charlotte, or even any other half-major market for that matter--but that makes @QCS's point even more to me.  To that, the Pilots were the reason I became a pro hockey fan, specifically of the Washington Capitals, due in particular to one player, one of the best Pilots to have played in that system, Glen Metropolit. (Also helped that they had my favorite sports uniforms of all time--still to this day they're my favorite of all-time.)

 

None of this means I know all the fine lines and details of the game, but I still enjoy it nonetheless, and I doubt that would have happened, nor would I necessarily care about hockey, had it not expanded into northwest Florida way back when. So yes, count me also as one for whom "growing the game" left its mark.

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10 hours ago, Sport said:

 

I didn't put words in your mouth. You said arena location was a weak excuse for Phoenix. It's just one of the reasons they're a s*** hockey market, but it's not a weak excuse. 

 

You've lost the plot. You cited Ottawa and Tampa as two examples of teams who draw fans despite bad arena locations. Tampa's arena is in the ideal place in their city, so, no, and people from Ottawa complain about the arena location All. The. Time. A centrally located arena in a Canadian city would probably draw close to 100% capacity even in bad years. 

I think he meant the rays

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8 hours ago, TBGKon said:

If you cant beat 'em, join 'em...

 

 

 

Marian Hossa 2.0

 

That aside, it was cool for a few moments to see him in a Habs uniform. Too bad they couldn't get him in 2008.

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8 hours ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

Hot take: I think the success of NHL 94 on Sega Genesis has had as much influence on growing the game as landing a franchise in Phoenix.

 

I agree that it's a hot take to think that it had as much of an influence as the Coyotes existing, but I don't think it's a hot take to say that NHL 94 wouldn't have been a big influence itself. Sports video games are pretty big for "growing the game", whatever the game may be.

 

Personal anecdote, getting a PS3 back in my life four years ago and being able to play NCAA Football 14 again is the reason I really got into college football (I hesitate to say "again" because even when I was playing it back in the PS3 days, and some back in the PS2 era, I never really cared about following college football outside of playing the game). A couple factors, namely one big one, played into the school I chose to become a fan of, but I would have picked one eventually regardless.

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My peak NHL fandom -- from 1998 through the lockout year -- was prompted by 3 things: NHL 94, the 1998 Olympics, and the 98-99 Buffalo Sabres. The lockout, and what felt like the NHL being relegated to third-tier cable, made it tough to care.

 

I'm pumped for the Kraken though!

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9 hours ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

Hot take: I think the success of NHL 94 on Sega Genesis has had as much influence on growing the game as landing a franchise in Phoenix.

I believe it. The NHL's video-game sector was particularly strong in the 16-bit era. You had the EA games and that Brett Hull series that seemed to get a lot of coverage in the magazines and such. Obviously, Sega's version with the fights and blood got the most attention (same can be said for the MK games). The simplicity of hockey lends itself to video games really well. You can't get lost in the weeds like you can with Madden, but it's still fun.

If you dig into the depths of Google Groups, you can find posts on news:rec.sport.hockey from 1996 about the Jets moving to Phoenix and they're all about how this is good because people in Winnipeg will just be hockey fans anyway. There is truly nothing new under the digital sun. 

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