Sunday, October 7, 2007


Gary explains the net-worth of
the NHL with him at the helm

As the reigning "Biggest Sabres Fan in France" I am of course well-apprised of all the happenings of the NHL. Therefore it came as a great surprise when I learned that the NHL season had started like a month ago...Ok this isn't all true. I had heard rumors on ESPN and stuff, but had no idea that it was starting. Christ, Gretzky could've missed the start of this season, for all the fanfare there was.

Anyway, today in that biodiesel-burning, hemp-growing, Al-Gore-voting, liberal love-fest, Slate, there's an article advocating a relegation system in the NHL.
Now, I know that every sports bar in North America has a guy with a Wayne Rooney shirt prattling on about the greatness of relegation, and how baseball would be better if the Colorado Springs Sky Sox got their shot at the top. That guy is drunk. Don't listen to him.
Yeah, that's the contributors of OH in 2003 or so (minus the Rooney kit)...I think that it was a Thursday night at around 11:30pm in the pub formerly known as Walsh's (we'd left work at 5 and hadn't been anywhere but since...) and RV, Kammann and I had this all figured out.

Anyway, it's nice to see a professional writer (using the definition of "professional" as 'anyone who gets paid to do a task') discuss the possibility of relegation in hockey. As stated, it could contract the league by 5-10 teams, making it more streamlined. Although DiMeo doesn't mention it, this could result in reducing the regular season by 10 or 15 games as well, because let's face it, no matter what you do, there's going to be a greatly reduced amount of interest in the games in October than there will be in May...Even I can't bring myself to watch a Sabres game...wait, scratch that...I tried. I happened to be up at the game-time start of last night's shitkicking and went first on ('cause I signed up for the free trial of NHL Center Ice). Every fucking game was blacked out! What is the point of buying NHL Center Ice when every game is blacked out? My billing address for that is in upstate is not possible that upstate NY is in viewing range of Vancouver vs Calgary...
Yes, Gary, I'm going to pay $150/year (or whatever) for you to blackout every fucking game of the season...BRILLIANT! The marketing of this league is fucking amazing. If only they could find a way to start playing these games in empty arenas, then the league would have perfected everything. Anyway, so after trying to "legally" watch the game, I flipped to Sopcast. There was a fairly decent amount of games available for my viewing pleasure...but no Sabres-Isles. I watched a few minutes of OTT beating up on NYR and then crashed.

Relegation would be great for the league and it would deal with the ballooning of the league without actually, you know, contracting the league. It would be difficult (the Sabres farm team could technically become better than the Sabres...Hell imagine the Lowell Devils vs the New Jerseys Devils in the second round of the playoffs? "New Jersey has called up Lowell player ___ and ____ and starting goalie ____, they have sent [fourth line winger] ____ and [3rd string goalie] _____ down to Lowell."), but I think that if the league wanted to (NO!) and the team-owners really wanted to fix the system (NO!), Bettman could make the right move (NEVER! Let's put a team in Vegas, instead).

I'm not going to hold my breath for this to happen...While Gary "I suck" Bettman's in office, nothing is going to change...Well, yeah, they'll play a game in the Czech Republic...they'll make some more rule changes (maybe they'll decide that all jerseys must have 10% pink on them next) and the league will continue to sputter along. But some day, the change or die will really come to pass, and maybe they'll consider radical new ideas, like the one we've been throwing around since 2002, relegation.

That is all.

Oh and Bettman Sucks.