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Nashville decision will say a lot about Bettman's legacy


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#21 eva unit zero

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 09:03 PM

I cannot stand you 'move Nashville, they don't go to games' types. Why? Because you're the same people who felt it was a travesty that the Jets left Winnipeg, even though they NEVER ONCE cleared 14k attendance in Winnipeg, and have done so numerous times since moving. So Nashville should be moved because of low attendance, even though they get better attendance than Winnipeg did?

And as far as the expansion thing is concerned; there is far more NHL-level talent than there was twenty years ago. This is a point I have made over and over, but there are 10 teams worth of Europeans and 5 teams worth of Americans in the league, compared with 1 team worth COMBINED in 1987. That means, assuming Canadian hockey has stayed the same quality and not degraded, that there are 5 teams worth of NHLers from Canada who aren't in the league. Even if there is not a single additional American or Euro, two more teams could still be composed of 100% NHL-level talent. Plus, adding two teams in the West means Detroit moves East.


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#22 Yzermania19

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 09:45 PM

No one is talking about talent level here...it's about a market's ability to support a team. However, if you have a good, talented team you have a better chance of building a solid fan base. But even having a good team doesn't necessarily equal success. I think that was one of the points of the article...Nashville was one of the best teams in the NHL last season, leading the central division - and the league - for most of the season. But they still couldn't put butts in the seats.

Then there's Anaheim, that also shows you can have an extremely talented, championship-caliber team and still have very few people give a rat's fart about them.

Winnipeg was a small market team with a small but very loyal following. I hated to see them move but I know it was necessary for the survival of the team. I think it is the same way with Nashville - if the franchise is to survive it may have to move. Bettman has put teams in non-traditional markets...some have worked, some haven't. Nashville is one of those that hasn't.
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#23 akustyk

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 04:02 AM

QUOTE(Legionnaire11 @ July 16, 2007 - 02:36AM) View Post

yuk it up, I hope you can laugh so much next summer while you're trying to choke down a mouth full of crow.

are you serious?

I mean... I'm not a Predators basher (in opposite) unless Tootoo plays against Wings, but c'mon... we're talking about non-traditional market team which never ripped the headlines in local newspapers and is not exactly amont state's top sport franchises. we're also talking about a mess created by Buttman and about the GM who seems to make firesale. if you call this a good sign and the way to bring people to the games...

if the Nashville based group is about to buy the franchise and your GM is gonna shop for some names and the team finds enough chemistry to fare well rather than float around the bottom of Central Division (there's always Blackhawks and BJ's so Preds nevertheless stand a chance to be 3rd after all) and Tennesse media picks up some hockey coverage (and I mean: ice hockey, not floorball etc.) then I can see the attendance not falling hard and maybe even some growth. other than that, I'd never make a statement like above. that's very risky and without much to cover


having said that - I wish your team stayed put as it was last season, maybe with some adjustments towards more skilled players and fewer s***dicks like Tootoo and Hartnell. Predators have been the single team worth those 8 meetings in the season and being a real competitor made Wings sweat to win those points. I really can't see it happening, but I'd like to see Preds fighting for top spot again. Wigns may as well decrease their level this season (compared to other Western teams) but for now it's the Preds who have teh biggest chance to regress a big lot. hope I'm wrong

Edited by akustyk, 16 July 2007 - 04:07 AM.


#24 eva unit zero

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 07:49 AM

QUOTE(Yzermania19 @ July 15, 2007 - 10:45PM) View Post
No one is talking about talent level here...it's about a market's ability to support a team. However, if you have a good, talented team you have a better chance of building a solid fan base. But even having a good team doesn't necessarily equal success. I think that was one of the points of the article...Nashville was one of the best teams in the NHL last season, leading the central division - and the league - for most of the season. But they still couldn't put butts in the seats.

Then there's Anaheim, that also shows you can have an extremely talented, championship-caliber team and still have very few people give a rat's fart about them.

Winnipeg was a small market team with a small but very loyal following. I hated to see them move but I know it was necessary for the survival of the team. I think it is the same way with Nashville - if the franchise is to survive it may have to move. Bettman has put teams in non-traditional markets...some have worked, some haven't. Nashville is one of those that hasn't.




Bettman has been at the helm for four expansion teams. Two of them had previously had an NHL team (Atlanta and Minnesota), another was a Northern city with a strong college hockey following and no competition from other pro sports (Columbus) and another was a city with many transplants from Detroit (Nashville). Also, people sit and complain about Nashville having a good team and not getting good numbers. Nashville's failure was corporate support. For Nashville to have had corporate support last year, they would have had to have been good the PREVIOUS few years. Nashville has now been good for two seasons. Regular Joe fans go to the games as much or more than any other market. Give the businesses a chance to catch up.


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#25 WingsZR2

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 10:11 AM

The corporate support isn't coming any time soon. The current owner of the Preds did nothing to build up that support in the last 10 years. It would make no sense for large businesses to suddenly get involved now with so much speculation surrounding the future of this team. Do you have to be the most successful team to garner backing from corporate America? No, in some cases having your name present is all that is needed. Being one of the transplants from Detroit I simply think if they would have struck when the iron was hot when Nashville first got the rights to expansion we wouldn't be having this discussion. Then again I bet they planned on all the people who left MI, NJ, OH, etc would just start following the Preds because they came from the north and knew what hockey was. Legionnaire is right about how ass backwards they do things around here. They wait until the brink of failure before discussing a resolution. I personally hope that the Preds do make it in Nashville, I really enjoy the 4 games I attend each year.
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#26 Opie

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 11:07 AM

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And as far as the expansion thing is concerned; there is far more NHL-level talent than there was twenty years ago. This is a point I have made over and over, but there are 10 teams worth of Europeans and 5 teams worth of Americans in the league, compared with 1 team worth COMBINED in 1987. That means, assuming Canadian hockey has stayed the same quality and not degraded, that there are 5 teams worth of NHLers from Canada who aren't in the league. Even if there is not a single additional American or Euro, two more teams could still be composed of 100% NHL-level talent. Plus, adding two teams in the West means Detroit moves East.

EVA
That is kind of a miss leading statement, yes there is more "NHL" caliber talent, becuase there is more room for them. NHL level talent has been watered down due to the fact that there is a need for a lot more players.
Think about adding 2 more teams to the league.
They're going to come in on the bottom wrung of the talent ladder. So that would mean 2 more Blackhawks.
I can't comment on other teams as I only see the Bruins enough to make this judgement, but the Bruins do not have a team full of NHL talent. Their roster was filled with numerous guys throughout last season that didn't belong above AHL ranks. Part of that is the blame of the org and part is the watered down talent level.
That is why teams that can roll four legit lines win more often than not. If you have 3 solid NHL lines and a line of guys that should be down on the farm, you are not going to win a cup!
I just think that there really isn't enough talent to go around, there is enough bodies to be spread out to make the league 40 teams deep if necessary but are they all NHL caliber guys, or just good enough to fill out a roster?

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#27 akustyk

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 12:19 PM

QUOTE(Opie @ July 16, 2007 - 06:07PM) View Post

That is kind of a miss leading statement, yes there is more "NHL" caliber talent, becuase there is more room for them. NHL level talent has been watered down due to the fact that there is a need for a lot more players.
Think about adding 2 more teams to the league.
They're going to come in on the bottom wrung of the talent ladder. So that would mean 2 more Blackhawks.

not necessarily.

recent expansion took place at the moment when the NHL started to look for more and more Euro players. in early 90's when the Eastern Europe escaped from communism the door was open even further, and a number of Czech, Slovak and Russian (+few Latvian and Polish) has found their way to the NHL. which basicaly invalidates the "talent watering" argument. the talent has been found behind the Atlantic. where before there were few Euro players now there are many and the very Red Wings are prime example of an NHL team built with Euro born guys smile.gif

the valid question is whether there is any room for 2 more teams. in a couple of years, with NHL scouts getting more and more involved into European leagues I could say: yes, there is. do we need 2 more? hell no. we've got some 6 too many smile.gif

#28 GordieSid&Ted

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 02:40 PM

QUOTE(eva unit zero @ July 15, 2007 - 10:03PM) View Post

I cannot stand you 'move Nashville, they don't go to games' types. Why? Because you're the same people who felt it was a travesty that the Jets left Winnipeg, even though they NEVER ONCE cleared 14k attendance in Winnipeg, and have done so numerous times since moving. So Nashville should be moved because of low attendance, even though they get better attendance than Winnipeg did?

And as far as the expansion thing is concerned; there is far more NHL-level talent than there was twenty years ago. This is a point I have made over and over, but there are 10 teams worth of Europeans and 5 teams worth of Americans in the league, compared with 1 team worth COMBINED in 1987. That means, assuming Canadian hockey has stayed the same quality and not degraded, that there are 5 teams worth of NHLers from Canada who aren't in the league. Even if there is not a single additional American or Euro, two more teams could still be composed of 100% NHL-level talent. Plus, adding two teams in the West means Detroit moves East.



Eva, with all due respect I think your argument is flawed on several levels. Opie beat me to this but i'd like to add a few things.

1. Its alot to assume Canadian hockey hasn't degraded at all. It is what it is, hard to quantify that really but if more Euro's are taking their jobs it could be a little of both.
2. Sort of coinciding with that point is the idea that if there are all these new Euro's in the league that are better than the Canadians whose jobs they may have taken, doesn't that mean that the NHL-level talent bar has been raised and those Canadian guys are no longer NHL-level talent?
3. You look at the players stinking up NHL rosters like Shawn Thornton and Jeff Hoggan. Maybe they bring a particular skill to the rink but not to the degree of a Georges Laraque in Thornton's case, or a 4th line plugger in Hoggan's case. If you run the stats you'll see there were enough players last season who played 40-82 games and didn't register more than 6-10 points to fill up 2 and 1/2 more NHL rosters alone. IMO, that means there's roughly 65 guys in the league who couldn't score a goal or pass a puck if their lives depended upon it. Maybe some are there for other reasons like an Andrew Peters but that list of 60 some odd players isn't all enforcers. There are far too many players who shouldn't be in the league as it stands. OPIE said it already, the league talent is watered down. If you added more teams all you'd have is 2 more teams with 1 good scoring line, 1 average line and 2 mediocre lines with players like Hoggan and Thornton on them. Frankly, there are enough of those teams already in the league. Hell, we saw it firsthand last year, a guy like Josh Langfeld has no business being on NHL ice anymore than I do.


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#29 Jwo

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 02:55 PM

QUOTE(eva unit zero @ July 16, 2007 - 08:49AM) View Post

Bettman has been at the helm for four expansion teams. Two of them had previously had an NHL team (Atlanta and Minnesota), another was a Northern city with a strong college hockey following and no competition from other pro sports (Columbus) and another was a city with many transplants from Detroit (Nashville). Also, people sit and complain about Nashville having a good team and not getting good numbers. Nashville's failure was corporate support. For Nashville to have had corporate support last year, they would have had to have been good the PREVIOUS few years. Nashville has now been good for two seasons. Regular Joe fans go to the games as much or more than any other market. Give the businesses a chance to catch up.


I remember seeing this list last year. How much corporate support do they need?

http://predators.nhl...e...age&id=9711


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#30 BlakChamber

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 02:58 PM

QUOTE(Jwo @ July 16, 2007 - 01:55PM) View Post

I remember seeing this list last year. How much corporate support do they need?

http://predators.nhl...e...age&id=9711

How does that list compare to other teams?

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#31 Legionnaire11

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 03:51 PM

at first I looked at that list and said "dang, that's more than I thought it would be"...

then I pasted it into excell and it turned out to be 780. And that's not just corporate sponsors, it includes any business that owns season tickets. At 1,800 corporate season tickets, that's about 2.5 per company.

How does it compare to other teams?

Well, consider that most teams enjoy 65% corporate ticket holders and 35% individual ticket holders. And then look at Nashville where we had something like 9,000 season tickets last season and 1,800 of them were corporations. That's only 20% corporate ticket holders.

Now lets take an average building. 17,500. and give them 95% capacity (about average for the top 2/3 of the league). That's about 16,600 fans at every game. 65% corporate tickets to those games is 10,790. Far, far greater than 1,800 in Nashville.

Take our 7,200 individual ticket holders from last season (13,815 paid average), and add in the 1,800 corporate tickets, puts us at the 9,000 level (you can also see how awesome our walk up crowd is, over 4,000 walk ups per game). Give us the 3,000 extra corporate tickets that Our Team Nashville is trying to sell, and you can see how easily we would sell out every night. (I don't think they need to get to 3,000 since individual tickets are also up as well).

So, you can see how foolish people look for just laughing off the Preds and Nashville. It's plain as day to see how easy it is for the ship to be righted as soon as the corporate support gets on board. But they choose to ignore the facts, these are probably the same people who think Nashville is full of barefoot, toothless, overall wearing rednecks who would rather bang their sister than brush their 3 remaining teeth. It's pretty much a hopeless cause to convince them otherwise, but still I continually bang my head on the wall with my constant efforts.
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#32 akustyk

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 03:57 PM

QUOTE(Legionnaire11 @ July 16, 2007 - 10:51PM) View Post

So, you can see how foolish people look for just laughing off the Preds and Nashville. It's plain as day to see how easy it is for the ship to be righted as soon as the corporate support gets on board. But they choose to ignore the facts, these are probably the same people who think Nashville is full of barefoot, toothless, overall wearing rednecks who would rather bang their sister than brush their 3 remaining teeth. It's pretty much a hopeless cause to convince them otherwise, but still I continually bang my head on the wall with my constant efforts.

nobody is laughing. just asking. why, if this all is that simple, could the Predators not do what you say the season before? and why is it expected to achieve the goal now after the poor firesale and an uncertainty looming over the franchise.

nobody's contradicting the facts. it's just the question if what you call simple is indeed that simple

#33 Legionnaire11

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 04:13 PM

QUOTE(akustyk @ July 16, 2007 - 03:57PM) View Post

nobody is laughing. just asking. why, if this all is that simple, could the Predators not do what you say the season before? and why is it expected to achieve the goal now after the poor firesale and an uncertainty looming over the franchise.

nobody's contradicting the facts. it's just the question if what you call simple is indeed that simple


Well, in years past you've got a bunch of kids fresh out of college in sales and marketing, being led by Leipold from Racine, Wisconsin, and Steve Violetta who I believe came to us from Ottawa.

The big difference is that they're not pushing tickets this year. This time around it's "Our Team Nashville" which is a group of successful Nashville businessmen. They know how to get their foot in the door and rally the corporate community for a local cause in ways that Leipold never could.

Just wait and see. Friday morning we should have an updated season ticket number. It will surprise a lot of people.
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#34 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 04:28 PM

QUOTE(Legionnaire11 @ July 16, 2007 - 01:51PM) View Post


Well, consider that most teams enjoy 65% corporate ticket holders and 35% individual ticket holders. And then look at Nashville where we had something like 9,000 season tickets last season and 1,800 of them were corporations. That's only 20% corporate ticket holders.


Link?

I'd be curious to see how it breaks down for the various franchises.

Edited by haroldsnepsts, 16 July 2007 - 04:29 PM.


#35 b.shanafan14

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 04:30 PM

thought it was a pretty good article. I think Canada could definately use another Franchise. To keep expanding in the U.S. when there are already too many teams in poor markets would be foolish. Move the Preds to Hamilton and be done with it. I wish the U.S. appreciated hockey more and I think its half the fact that NASCAR and Poker are more televised in the states and half that the markets chose for most teams aren't interested.

Not everyone in the states love hockey as much as us die-hards, Bettman has to think of something better than expansion and trying to cram hockey down the throats of pissy markets like Kansas City and Las Vegas.

How about a team in the U.P. ph34r.gif haha, New York has 4 teams....

#36 Legionnaire11

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 05:16 PM

QUOTE(haroldsnepsts @ July 16, 2007 - 04:28PM) View Post

Link?

I'd be curious to see how it breaks down for the various franchises.


don't have a link, but that's the number that has been tossed out by everyone around the league, even Preds detractors. I think Buffalo has the second lowest ratio, which is why a move to Hamilton would kill them, they'd lose a large portion of the canadians who trek down to see them every game.
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#37 NC WINGS FAN

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 05:30 PM

Why they ever put a team in Nashville is beyond me. It's not only a non traditional hockey market but a very small one at that. Okay, so it may be growing but it aint gonna be Atlanta or Dallas- Ft. Worth any time soon. They and Anaheim were two of the best teams in the league last year and they could not even sell out their own home rinks so move them both.

I doubt Nashville's fate will have much of an effect on Bettman's legacy because the Predators are only one in a handful of teams in the NHL that fans of any caliber could not care any less about.

The only thing that will save Bettman's legacy is sound marketing/exposure( ESPN) and a little luck (big market teams like NYR, Chicago, and Boston becoming consistent cup contenders)

#38 eva unit zero

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 08:52 AM

QUOTE(akustyk @ July 16, 2007 - 04:57PM) View Post

nobody is laughing. just asking. why, if this all is that simple, could the Predators not do what you say the season before? and why is it expected to achieve the goal now after the poor firesale and an uncertainty looming over the franchise.

nobody's contradicting the facts. it's just the question if what you call simple is indeed that simple




I cannot say this enough: NASHVILLE WAS NEVER HAVING A FIRESALE.

Timonen and Hartnell signed for crazy amounts, and Nashville said they were traded because of their contract demands and the fact they were about to be UFA. Better to get something than nothing. Vokoun was traded because he costs several million dollars more than Mason, who outperformed him last season and has been healthier. Kariya left because of uncertainty about the sale, and because St. Louis offered him way more than he is worth.

If Nashville were having a firesale, don't you think guys like Arnott and Sullivan would have been dealt?



QUOTE(NC WINGS FAN @ July 16, 2007 - 06:30PM) View Post
Why they ever put a team in Nashville is beyond me. It's not only a non traditional hockey market but a very small one at that. Okay, so it may be growing but it aint gonna be Atlanta or Dallas- Ft. Worth any time soon. They and Anaheim were two of the best teams in the league last year and they could not even sell out their own home rinks so move them both.




And move Ottawa because they had many years near the top of the league where their attendance was just as terrible. Wait, they're Canadian, so their team isn't allowed to be moved even if they don't support it. I am sick of this racist BS that bad Canadian markets like Quebec, Hamilton, or Winnipeg deserve to have a team but equal or better American markes don't.


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#39 Opie

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 09:07 AM

Eva,
Even you have to admit that if we were to compare hockey interest, as in fan interest in the sport, a Canadian city the size of Hamilton will have a lot more interest than a Southern US city like Nashville.
In Tennessee they have NASCAR, NFL, NBA, and many NCAA teams to follow. Add to that the fact that hockey is a tier two sport in the US.
Now having said that I really don't like the idea of bouncing a team around. Like you said Ottawa, good years for a long time, horrible attendance.
Because hockey is a 2nd tier sport here you need to give the teams longer to develop that fan base.(IE Carolina, their fan base is getting stronger and stronger.)
I think a move to KC is a horrible idea.
I also like the idea of how closely grouped the Central Division is, I just hate how far away the rest of the west is!!
What the NHL needs to do is find a way to fill the seats, lower prices, weird wacky give aways, something anything. Because once someone has seen a hockey game live they are hooked. At least the people I know who saw their first game live are!!!

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#40 vangvace

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 10:04 AM

QUOTE(Opie @ July 17, 2007 - 10:07AM) View Post

What the NHL needs to do is find a way to fill the seats, lower prices, weird wacky give aways, something anything.


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Edited by vangvace, 17 July 2007 - 10:05 AM.

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