charger77

NHL OFFSEASON - 2011

Recommended Posts

Honest question: to what extent has having the Blue Jackets changed the national/international perception of Columbus? Like Raleigh, it's now nominally a "major league town" by having a hockey team, but this hasn't "put them on the map" to me in ways that they wouldn't be without what they have already, which is Ohio State and being the state capital. Maybe some people in Finland are following Blue Jackets prospects/players and now Columbus awareness is at an all-time high in Espoo, but I think Columbus pretty much is what it is with regard to recognition, relevance, and economic strength with or without the Blue Jackets. I won't deny that Nationwide Arena is a state-of-the-art facility, but that doesn't mean it's not bad real estate. The NHL tried to go toe-to-toe with the Ohio State sports/government monolith and they failed inasmuch as the Blue Jackets can't seem to pay their rent without a taxpayer bailout. I don't think allowing them to fail would be as devastating as you make it out to be, especially since the opportunity cost of diverting tax revenue to corporate welfare can be pretty devastating itself.

You asked a question and then answered it on your own so I'll just leave that alone.

Allowing the team to fail means losing the arena district. That's a truth. Losing the arena district means losing the tax revenue it generates and everything else that goes with that area, which means jobs and business. If that wasn't a realistic fear then this proposal wouldn't have happened. We'll see before the end of the year if the boards of the City, County, and County Facilities are on board.

More thinking along these lines

commentary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm not mistaken, the Columbus Dispatch or its parent owner is a minority stakeholder in the Blue Jackets and/or the arena, so they're not exactly a disinterested voice.

I'm just having the hardest time believing that the success of a rock-solid medium-sized city's downtown is so largely predicated on the presence of a hockey team. Even if the Blue Jackets were a powerhouse, I would find this fallacious because of similarly-sized midwestern cities whose fortunes don't rise and fall based on sports-related entertainment districts. Downtown Milwaukee's bars and restaurants could easily withstand the Bradley Center losing the Bucks, and Milwaukee doesn't have have the benefit of being a state capital whose jobs never go anywhere. I'm sure the same can be said for downtown Indianapolis, which lacks a giant all-consuming Big Ten university.

Something to consider with the economy being as terrible as it is and projecting to be about this terrible for years to come: what if the abject lack of disposable income kills off these businesses without the Blue Jackets going away? It's hard enough to justify spending money on hockey tickets anywhere, let alone a team that's never finished above 7th place in a 15-team field, let alone spending money on tickets, parking, and food and drinks before and/or after the game. Entertainment just doesn't seem like a wise tax investment to me when it can be allocated to larger things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm not mistaken, the Columbus Dispatch or its parent owner is a minority stakeholder in the Blue Jackets and/or the arena, so they're not exactly a disinterested voice.

I'm just having the hardest time believing that the success of a rock-solid medium-sized city's downtown is so largely predicated on the presence of a hockey team. Even if the Blue Jackets were a powerhouse, I would find this fallacious because of similarly-sized midwestern cities whose fortunes don't rise and fall based on sports-related entertainment districts. Downtown Milwaukee's bars and restaurants could easily withstand the Bradley Center losing the Bucks, and Milwaukee doesn't have have the benefit of being a state capital whose jobs never go anywhere. I'm sure the same can be said for downtown Indianapolis, which lacks a giant all-consuming Big Ten university.

College kids don't go to the arena district and suburbanites only go there for hockey and concerts, and there's not enough downtown residents (as of yet, it's quickly getting better) to prop the place up without hockey dates. Trust me, the place struggled without hockey in 04-05 and the city would rather not mess around with losing that tax revenue.

Basically, they're giving the Blue Jackets a more favorable lease agreement, which at worst, will make them a loss leader for the arena district. At best, it levels the playing field, they'll be able to go about their hockey operations more smoothly, they'll win 4 Stanley Cups in the next ten years. It's not that the city wouldn't survive without it, it's that they don't want to lose it now that they have it.

Something to consider with the economy being as terrible as it is and projecting to be about this terrible for years to come: what if the abject lack of disposable income kills off these businesses without the Blue Jackets going away? It's hard enough to justify spending money on hockey tickets anywhere, let alone a team that's never finished above 7th place in a 15-team field, let alone spending money on tickets, parking, and food and drinks before and/or after the game. Entertainment just doesn't seem like a wise tax investment to me when it can be allocated to larger things.

I don't anticipate that being a problem as the team is getting better and Scott Howson has a farm system now, something Doug Maclean was too impatient for while he was signing and trading for all the wrong players. He set the team back at least 5 years. I guarantee the next 5 years will be better than the first ten. They'd better be.

But, if your hypothical situation occurs and the economy suffers that badly then I think McConnell probably seeks out a buyer who's okay with paying the 36 million departure fee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Still MIGHTY brings up a good point though. There are at least six teams in trouble, and only two, maybe three, relocation possibilities. There's Quebec City, Seattle, and maybe Kansas City. So what happens if/when teams move into those locales? You still have franchises that are in trouble in their current location. Short of crossing the line of "hey I want more teams in Canada but this is ridiculous" and actually putting a team in Saskatoon retraction and/or merging teams could very well happen. This is the end result of the league falling for the southern housing bubble like everyone else, to be fair, but still. It's going to get ugly.

Actually, it'll be a little bit hilarious if the Coyotes aren't one of the teams relocated to Seattle, Quebec City, or Kansas City. Like Bettman just keeps throwing troubled but salvageable markets away to save the 'Yotes.

I'll bite on Seattle being a relocation possibility.

It seems like everyone believes the NHL will be successful in Seattle except those that actually live in Seattle. The Key Arena wasn't exactly built for hosting NHL hockey, and the voters/taxpayers will vote against funding a new arena. And that guy proposing to privately build an arena in suburban Seattle plans to do so in a place where public transportation doesn't quite make it there. For the most part, it's mainly Vancouver fans wanting a team in Seattle so they can see a couple road games a season. And seeing as how Safeco Field is pretty much empty most nights, I don't see Seattle rabidly supporting a losing product for 41 home dates.

Am I missing something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Still MIGHTY brings up a good point though. There are at least six teams in trouble, and only two, maybe three, relocation possibilities. There's Quebec City, Seattle, and maybe Kansas City. So what happens if/when teams move into those locales? You still have franchises that are in trouble in their current location. Short of crossing the line of "hey I want more teams in Canada but this is ridiculous" and actually putting a team in Saskatoon retraction and/or merging teams could very well happen. This is the end result of the league falling for the southern housing bubble like everyone else, to be fair, but still. It's going to get ugly.

Actually, it'll be a little bit hilarious if the Coyotes aren't one of the teams relocated to Seattle, Quebec City, or Kansas City. Like Bettman just keeps throwing troubled but salvageable markets away to save the 'Yotes.

I'll bite on Seattle being a relocation possibility.

It seems like everyone believes the NHL will be successful in Seattle except those that actually live in Seattle. The Key Arena wasn't exactly built for hosting NHL hockey, and the voters/taxpayers will vote against funding a new arena. And that guy proposing to privately build an arena in suburban Seattle plans to do so in a place where public transportation doesn't quite make it there. For the most part, it's mainly Vancouver fans wanting a team in Seattle so they can see a couple road games a season. And seeing as how Safeco Field is pretty much empty most nights, I don't see Seattle rabidly supporting a losing product for 41 home dates.

Am I missing something?

Whether or not it'll work is secondary to the fact that the NHL wants to be there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For better or for worst, they're still there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's Quebec City, Seattle, and maybe Kansas City.

Is Las Vegas still a thing? Last I heard there was allegedly some grandiose arena in the works to replace/surpass Thomas & Mack, and Jerry Bruckheimer was allegedly interested in fronting an operation, but then again, Las Vegas is allegedly not a barren wasteland of false hope, crippling despair, and underwater housing.

Portland and Houston get tossed around from time to time, and there's certainly sustained interest at a lower tier, as well as ready facilities, but I don't know if the money's there in either market to make the leap up.

And if the Bucks skip town, I think you have to consider Milwaukee. At least, I hope you consider Milwaukee, if for no reason other than to give that old bastard Wirtz a few more spins 'round the coffin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Milwaukee's hockey team is the farm club for the one in Nashville. Is that the most backward affiliation in sports or what. I've said it before and I'll say it again: imagine if the Blackhawks' come-from-behind Game 5 win had been against not Nashville but Milwaukee. As it was, it was an awesome ending, but that would be serious hockey lore if it had been an old-fashioned NHL regional rivalry.

And no, the Blackhawks and Predators are not engaged in a regional rivalry. They are engaged in something, but I don't know what I'd call it. Maybe large-scale jock itch.

The Key Arena wasn't exactly built for hosting NHL hockey, and the voters/taxpayers will vote against funding a new arena.

Actually, it was built precisely to keep the NHL out. That's even worse! The NHL could've carved out a decent niche there, but there's probably not going to be an NHL facility coming up any time soon. Seattle and Milwaukee were both huge missed opportunities. The windows are closed now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is apparently a study being done to determine the suitability of the :censored:ing Tacoma Dome for NHL hockey, a venue that was unsuitable for the Rockets prior to their blasting off to Kelowna.

I'm assuming the study will say something to the effect of, it's a bad venue for anything other than boat shows, it would be a less than suitable stopgap until a real arena is built, and that Tacoma itself smells like feet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tacoma Stars, presented by Odor-Eaters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's Quebec City, Seattle, and maybe Kansas City.

Is Las Vegas still a thing? Last I heard there was allegedly some grandiose arena in the works to replace/surpass Thomas & Mack, and Jerry Bruckheimer was allegedly interested in fronting an operation, but then again, Las Vegas is allegedly not a barren wasteland of false hope, crippling despair, and underwater housing.

I was about to say, I thought the whole "major leagues to Vegas" got shot in the head in 2008. I think they're still trying to dig out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's Quebec City, Seattle, and maybe Kansas City.

Is Las Vegas still a thing? Last I heard there was allegedly some grandiose arena in the works to replace/surpass Thomas & Mack, and Jerry Bruckheimer was allegedly interested in fronting an operation, but then again, Las Vegas is allegedly not a barren wasteland of false hope, crippling despair, and underwater housing.

Portland and Houston get tossed around from time to time, and there's certainly sustained interest at a lower tier, as well as ready facilities, but I don't know if the money's there in either market to make the leap up.

And if the Bucks skip town, I think you have to consider Milwaukee. At least, I hope you consider Milwaukee, if for no reason other than to give that old bastard Wirtz a few more spins 'round the coffin.

Probably not. Not only does LAS lead the nation in home foreclosures, some casinos have been hit too.

That said, the newest LAS proposal calls for a new stadium, renovations to Thomas & Mack, retail and student housing.

This new propsal wants UNLV to "issue" the bonds, but not be responsible for thier repayment.

Yea, right!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is apparently a study being done to determine the suitability of the :censored:ing Tacoma Dome for NHL hockey, a venue that was unsuitable for the Rockets prior to their blasting off to Kelowna.

I'm assuming the study will say something to the effect of, it's a bad venue for anything other than boat shows, it would be a less than suitable stopgap until a real arena is built, and that Tacoma itself smells like feet.

Feet? You are far too kind.

The only way the Tacoma Dome could be suitable for the NHL (or NBA, which is also part of the study) would be to gut the inside and start over. Despite what the Lightning will tell you, putting a rectangular playing surface on a round floor means you are either going to have terrible sightlines or a poor seating setup. The T-Dome had both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tyler Myers gets a new 7/$38.5M deal from Buffalo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is apparently a study being done to determine the suitability of the :censored:ing Tacoma Dome for NHL hockey, a venue that was unsuitable for the Rockets prior to their blasting off to Kelowna.

I'm assuming the study will say something to the effect of, it's a bad venue for anything other than boat shows, it would be a less than suitable stopgap until a real arena is built, and that Tacoma itself smells like feet.

Feet? You are far too kind.

Tacoma smells worse than any city or town I've ever been to, and I've been in some paper mill towns in Ontario that'd make your head spin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is apparently a study being done to determine the suitability of the :censored:ing Tacoma Dome for NHL hockey, a venue that was unsuitable for the Rockets prior to their blasting off to Kelowna.

I'm assuming the study will say something to the effect of, it's a bad venue for anything other than boat shows, it would be a less than suitable stopgap until a real arena is built, and that Tacoma itself smells like feet.

Feet? You are far too kind.

Tacoma smells worse than any city or town I've ever been to, and I've been in some paper mill towns in Ontario that'd make your head spin.

If it weren't for the Almond Roca factory, I'd say level the whole thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought this was neat. I was just reading today's Second City Hockey post, regarding whether Patrick Kane would break 100, but I'm not posting about Kaner per se. Take a look at these numbers:

Before I get into Kane's case, let's take a quick look at the post-lockout 100+ point club.

  • 2010-2011 - D. Sedin (104)
  • 2009-2010 - H. Sedin (112), Crosby (109), Ovechkin (109), Backstrom (101)
  • 2008-2009 - Malkin (113), Ovechkin (110), Crosby (103)
  • 2007-2008 - Ovechkin (112), Malkin (106)
  • 2006-2007 - Crosby (120), Thornton (114), Lecavalier (108), Heatley (105), St. Louis (102), Hossa (100), Sakic (100)
  • 2005-2006 - Thornton (125), Jagr (123), Ovechkin (106), Heatley (103), Alfredsson (103), Crosby (102), E. Staal (100)
As you can see by both the number of 100 point producers and by the Art Ross winning point totals, scoring is trending down. League wide goal totals from the same time frame confirm this general trend:
  • '10-'11 – 6721 goals
  • '09-'10 – 6803
  • '08-'09 – 7006
  • '07-'08 – 6691
  • '06-'07 – 7082
  • '05-'06 – 7443

In the two seasons preceding the 2007 draft, the league produced 7 three figure scorers per season. It was natural that in the summer of 2007, many assumed that Patrick Kane would be one of the next crop of the league's future elite to reach this milestone. In the four years since, it has become increasingly difficult to be a 100 point producer in the NHL.

Scoring's already down 10% from the first year back. Is it time again to shock the pool and get the refs to call those penalties they're supposed to call? Goaltending is strong across the board right now, but it can't be this strong. I don't think the video game tendency of the 05-06 is an ideal, but I worry that we're slowly regressing back into clutch-and-grab trap hockey, and that's really bad. I mean, all it did was practically kill the league last time.

Personally, I think three or four players hitting the century mark is the sweet spot for scoring distribution. The length of that 2006 list is crazy, even though everyone but Eric Staal certainly seems deserving of the honor. If we only have one or zero, and that one is the lesser Sedin, something's broken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blue Jackets sign RJ Umberger to a 5 year extension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.