Saturday, June 18, 2005


It's not official yet, but the NHL will return on time next season.
That's the news I received Friday night when I ran into some hockey players who were out and about. They claim that the NHL and the NHL Players Association have reached agreement on most of the major issues. There are some small details that need to be ironed out and both sides are willing to take their time because they know an agreement is near.

There will be a $32 million salary cap, which seems small. But in a compromise the owners will lower the luxury tax for teams that go over the cap. That's good news for the Red Wings because owner Mike Ilitch can continue to spend slightly more than most teams.
The players also won arbitration.
They agreed on rule changes which includes smaller goalie equipment. Goalies will have 11 inch pads. The other rule changes are to promote scoring.
An announcement should be coming in the next three to four weeks.


Anonymous Tony Hamera said...

Hey thats great news and it looks very promising. However, like Art has been saying, until its signed on the dotted line I dont want to even hear ANYTHING from Bettmen and Goodenow about 'progress'. They've already used that card in Feb when there was heavy talk about the season being saved.

10:36 AM

Anonymous llocket said...

Good news for Detroit....

However, eighty percent of the rest of the country don't really care.

It seems that if Hockey went away, the rest of the country wouldn't miss it.

I just find it ironic that after such a long lock out, there isn't the same disdain that there is when NBA or NFL players have contract disputes.

I can't say that I have heard anyone utter the phrase, "greedy players."

Is there a double standard?

11:05 AM

Blogger GeorgeW said...

Look at the last NBA lock out.

11:11 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

Well I can speak for the non hockey fan from outside michigan I don;t care either way. I wonder if detroit really is a hockey town I think it is a marketing gimmick. The only reason why i am happy that it is back is because of the businesses and employees that rely on hockey for money. To prove my point if the people had a choice back when detroit won it's first hockey cup or the lions win one superbowl guess who wins. Also to me hockey has not promoted itself to black and spanish and asian communities. MAybe if they promote that brother from calagary maybe more non hockey fans will watch and enjoy it. I agree with Pat until it's signed whatever

11:15 AM

Anonymous Brian said...

I thought hockey was illegal...?

3:17 PM

Blogger GeorgeW said...


3:26 PM

Blogger naXos said...


1. I have lived in 7 different states in the last 10 years(and 2 Canadian provinces to boot) and there are few places outside of Michigan in the U.S. that support hockey like the Detroit area. Hockeytown, U.S.A. is more than a fitting title.

2. I think the lack of 'greedy' comments has more to do with the fact that hockey isn't even a major sport anymore and less to do with some racial double standard. Besides, an NBA 'superstar' will make enough more money than 4 or 5 NHL 'superstars', and with this new salary cap Shaq is on par to make more money than a whole hockey team next year.

3. That 'brother' from Calgary is a half-white Canadian who is married to a white woman. He has very little in common with urban blacks.

3. Hockey needs to work on selling its sport as a whole. This may come as a shock to you, but most fans of the NBA and the NFL(both predominantly black leagues) are white.

7:09 PM

Anonymous Layd bak said...

It's too sad that so many don't miss hockey, even here in Dee-troit, the capitol of North (American) ice sports.

I long for the good ol' days of braving the elements to take in a game at the Joe, and don't even get me started on a potential NBA lockout. I want to see the game come back with a chance at winning over some new fans.

Terry ... hope your sources are right. Let's see if the spin doctor has his take right.

Good blog, btw. Love it. Read it religiously.

Oh, and ... Pistons in seven. Yeah.

Gotta get the most revenue for each city, dun'yanno?

2:47 AM

Blogger DonVitoCorleone said...

Detroit wasn't much of a "hockey town" when the Wings were crappy in the early 80s. You had thousands of empty seats at playoff games.

No, Detroit isn't "Hockeytown." They are like any other city in the United States. If the team is good, the fans will come.

"Hockeytown" is an effective marketing gimmick. Very effective.

The only real "hockey towns" are north of the border.

9:23 AM

Blogger dt said...


In addition to the near billion dollars in lost wages last season, this agreement has cost the NHL players an additional $ 300 million annually.

And for what.

The NHL has been paying with play money for years - its 'revenue' enhanced by the false security of franchise fees. An agreement one year ago could have been reached with a cap figure in the $ 40-45 million per team range AND at least a portion of the season would have been salvaged.

I hope - at least for the sake of the players - that the new agreement also includes a salary floor, and that the final numbers are tied to overall league revenue like the NBA and NFL. Otherwise, it looks like the NHLPA has overtaken even MLB owners as the dumbest group in professional sports.

And that's saying a lot.

11:22 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

naxos that is not necessarily true as far as fans of the nba and nfl. Those in attendance yes I would say it is predominatly white but fanship overall i say it is just as many whites as blacks and hispanics and asians as a whole go to any bar and see. As far as Jerome Iguinla he may be half white however when you see him at first glance he is a brother just like Tiger. I hate to say it but in my opinion if the inner city is not into the sport then it does not fly nationally Off course I don;t have any statistical data to back it up but it is just a thought in my head. But even you must admit that Toronto is more of a hockey town than detroit. Also, most redwing fans deep down would prefer a superbowl than the stanley cup. I will say this if hockey wants to gain some national audience they have got to market there players and they have got to get more scoring. Plus I think they should make overtime a shoot out except for playoffs. With all that it still may not be enough what does it say when Poker outdraws you yikes

11:45 AM

Blogger naXos said...


There are roughly 240 million white Americans, opposed to roughly 50 million Hispanics(which is an ethnicity, Hispanics can be balck, white, and anything in between) and roughly 40 million Blacks. I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that most fans in general are white, just by the numbers.

At the moment, selling to the innercity is the last thing hockey needs to do. It needs to sell itself to hockey fans in general. Drop 6 or 8 franchises from less hockey-friendly markets. Shorten the season to 50-60 games, and I'd love shootouts in overtime.

I said Hockeytown U.S.A., Montreal and Toronto are definitely bigger 'Hockeytowns'. What else have they got, curling?

I'd trade 2 Stanley Cups for a Superbowl:-D

I attended playoff games in both '84 and '85 when the 'crappy' Red Wings teams made the playoffs. They were second in attendance in both years, lagging slightly behind the Edmonton Oilers. You know that team with the Great One and won the Stanley Cup both those years? It's called fact checking my friend, you should do it once in a while. We won't even get into the late 80's, when the Red Wings average attendance was thousands more than the vaunted northern hockey citadels.

12:38 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


I cant disagree with you more. On the following comments you made:

"Those in attendance yes I would say it is predominatly white but fanship overall i say it is just as many whites as blacks and hispanics and asians as a whole go to any bar and see.".

"I hate to say it but in my opinion if the inner city is not into the sport then it does not fly nationally."

Hockey fan base at home and in the arenas are predominantly white.

Also, there are a number of sports that don't florish in the inner city that have a strong fan base. Tennis, Golf, Baseball. None of these are the NBA or the NFL but they have a fan base that sustains them.

1:21 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

I know the hockey purest will cringe, but the best thing they could do is widen the goal decrease the goalies pads and open up the scoring.

I think the average person that doesn't have an interest in hockey might take a second look if there was more scoring.

Otherwise, its like watching the Pistons in one of their notorious scoring slumps....boring.

1:29 PM

Blogger DonVitoCorleone said...

Hey Naxos,

Next time read and comprehend before informing me to check my facts.

First of all, your flawed reply (more on that later) simply reinforces my point. When the Red Wings made the playoffs the fans came out. Big Deal. When a team does well, attendance typically does well. How does that make this area different than any other area?

A team that calls its city "hockey town" is going to have good attendance whether their team makes the playoffs or not. Sorry if that's news to you.

When they didn't make the playoffs (note I said early '80s in my post), fans wore bags over their heads. Remember the term: THE DEAD WINGS? Yeah, quite a "hockey town."

Second, you aren't the only one who attended the playoff games in '84 and '85. However, if you truly did attend the game against Chicago in the '85 playoffs, you would know that there were THOUSANDS OF EMPTY SEATS. Really poor example to use when trying to make a point with some "facts."

Now, I'm sure you are going to tell me next that a true "hockey town" would leave thousands of seats empty for a playoff game.

Not a chance. Sorry. Thanks for helping me prove my point.

This area is no different than any other area. If the team wins they come out...except if it's the 1985 playoff-bound Red Wings and they are in a playoff game against Chicago of course.

Hockeytown = huge, effective, marketing gimmick.

3:15 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

Good point corleone, its just like the Pistons BS theme, "playing the right way", and "going to work" it is clever marketing but when you look at it, it is utter BS..

What I can't believe is how many people fall for it and think the Pistons are, "playing the right way" whatever that means.

3:59 PM

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