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Sands through the hourglass.......


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I have heard this rumor from my local newspaper all the way up to the mighty ESPN......after the final sip of champagne is sipped from Lord Stanley's Cup this season, the NHL will be dead forever.  Say it isnt so.  They are saying that even if the labor agreement can be met in a reasonable time frame, it will still mean the contraction of no less than 5 and up to 10 NHL franchises.  WTF!!!!!!!  How did it come to this?  I live for hockey, in any American league, federation, association, what have you. From the minor leagues up to the big show I follow it all.  But now, to take away clubs, that have developed important and great rivalries???  What gives.  I mean I have even read that the Chicago Blackhawks could be one of those contracted because the ownership is completely incompitent and the team is barely filling its arena (i think the figure i read was 70% capacity on GOOD nights).  I mean this is an original six club with roots that go back nearly a century, and as a DIE HARD Red Wing fan, I need the Blackhawks as a traditional rival to my team.  I live for those Wings-Hawks fight filled extraveganzas.  I dont know what others are up for termination, but common sense can only tell you a couple (*cough* Pittsburgh *cough*) of them.  I am just wondering what the rest of you guys think about where the NHL is headed, what can be done to fix it and which teams you think are definitely skating on "rapid melt" ice in their rinks.


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My guess is that the NHL will be back, although perhaps not for a year or two. And the Blackhawks, hated just as much in the Lou as in Hockeytown, will still be in the mix. Even if it isn't with present ownership, clearly Chicago will support NHL hockey and some business enterprise will see to it that any potential void is filled. The franchise may be a shadow of its former self, and frankly since 1962 that's pretty much what it's been anyway, but it will be there.

I think a lot of this doom talk, while not wholly fanciful, is for the most part posturing. Let's be serious here, is it really in the best interest of the players union to have several hundred of its members suddenly unemployed and practically unemployable at their present salaries doing anything else? The labor strife will cause temporary interruptions to the continuity of the NHL, but not its death.

If I was a betting man, I'd put the over/under on the number of folded-contracted-suspended franchises at 8. My best guess is that 4 may fold outright and another 4 may suspend operations pending reorganization or sale.

Now, off to the General Discussion board we go . . . . . .

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