Author Topic: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)  (Read 10218 times)

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Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2014, 11:07:02 PM »
When they quickly expanded the league from 6 teams to 16 in six years and also had the WHA competing with the NHL, we saw a degradation in how the sport got played. No question. But I think that's long been corrected and surpassed.

Beyond a brief growing period for an expansion team to get competitive, I think they can add these four teams with barely a blip in the growing talent pool and how well the game is currently executed at the NHL level.

The problem with that is that despite how I phrased it initially, the dilution of talent isn't as top down as I made it sound. These 80 new players aren't just going to be on the four new teams, they're going to be spread throughout the league. The worst #1 centre in the league will now be the #34 centre in the league, rather than #30. This will lead to worse #1 goalies and #1 defensemen and #2 centres and so on and so forth. In a league that is already devoid of top to bottom great teams, this will make everyone noticeably weaker.

The league, I think, could really stand to let the reverse happen. Let teams get stronger. Try, at least, to bring back some of the era where individual teams were actually great compared to their competitors.
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Offline Tigger

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2014, 11:24:48 PM »
If the nhl added 4 new teams the cap ceiling would be diluted too, no?
"My father was born shortly after the Wright Brothers" Charlie Duke

Offline Peter D.

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2014, 01:49:32 AM »
I think there has to be some truth behind this despite the NHL's denial. The fact there are arenas being built in Quebec and Las Vegas as we speak would lead to this belief.

Offline hockeyfan1

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2014, 06:42:09 AM »
If the NHL did choose to cash in on what SportsBusinessNews.com reported would be roughly US$1.4 billion in expansion fees by expanding to 34 teams by the centennial season of 2017-18, a second team in Toronto could play in the Western Conference. The size of the Toronto market has long made it an interesting possibility, whether the expansion team shares Air Canada Centre with the Maple Leafs or has its own arena.

Getting to 32 teams — 16 in the East and 16 in the West — makes for better playoff math and easier scheduling and would also tie the NHL with the NFL as the leagues with the most teams. Going to 34 would surpass North America’s most popular professional sports league.


http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nhl-denies-las-vegas-expansion-report/

Offline cw

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2014, 08:18:14 AM »
When they quickly expanded the league from 6 teams to 16 in six years and also had the WHA competing with the NHL, we saw a degradation in how the sport got played. No question. But I think that's long been corrected and surpassed.

Beyond a brief growing period for an expansion team to get competitive, I think they can add these four teams with barely a blip in the growing talent pool and how well the game is currently executed at the NHL level.

The problem with that is that despite how I phrased it initially, the dilution of talent isn't as top down as I made it sound. These 80 new players aren't just going to be on the four new teams, they're going to be spread throughout the league. The worst #1 centre in the league will now be the #34 centre in the league, rather than #30. This will lead to worse #1 goalies and #1 defensemen and #2 centres and so on and so forth. In a league that is already devoid of top to bottom great teams, this will make everyone noticeably weaker.

The league, I think, could really stand to let the reverse happen. Let teams get stronger. Try, at least, to bring back some of the era where individual teams were actually great compared to their competitors.

The talent pool of the U20 youth they will draw from by 2017 will have grown substantially more since their last expansion than the 13% of new players they'll add. I'd guess in the order of 50% or so.

In fairness to all the kids taking the shot with very, very slim odds, it's not unreasonable to maintain something resembling similar chances on the basis of order of magnitude to make it. By 2017, they'll be roughly 50% more kids than 2000 and 0% more NHL jobs without expansion. At some point, something ought to give there. If it doesn't, a bunch of that talent will go to the KHL or Europe to help those leagues.

I think that's part of the reason #1 centers are not as dominant. The overall quality of hockey players throughout the league is getting better.

The price fans of existing team will "pay" short term is the arguably steady rise in hockey ability due to a talent pool that has grown substantially will get interrupted. But, coming out the other side, the expansion grows the talent pool for down the road.

So I see "spending" some "excess" of their growing talent pool as an investment for the good of the game and the NHL. For a few years, hockey execution won't improve quite as much or it might step back briefly a little. But longer term, it's very likely to bear substantial fruit.

USA used to have about 10-15% of the young players Canada had in the 50s/60s/70s and provided 2% of the players to the NHL. Since then, Canada's grown the game within it's own country substantially. But the USA now has about 69% of the young players Canada has
http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/TS_PlayerNationalities.php
and now provides 25% of the league's players while Canada has fallen from providing 98% of the league talent to 52%.
As the studies show, NHL expansion to the US has a ton to do with that growth and with the US closing the gap on Canada.

From a business perspective, we have:
$1.4 Billion in expansion fees
$2.0 Billion roughly to build four rinks
$5.5 Billion in increased league revenues over 5 years
$1.0 Billion increased investment in grassroots hockey around those teams (minimal guess over 5 years)
===============
$9.9 billion spent benefiting the NHL

The entire NHL is currently valued at $11 billion plus change. So that's a lot of "investment" money for the league's benefit. It's a no brainer financially on most levels. If they've got folks lined up to spend that sort of dough, they're crazy to ignore it with one caveat: they do not project the NA economy to be mired in the toilet.

I think the cap system has much, much more to do with the competitive balance we see. I don't think the lack of a dynasty is a measure of the talent playing the game. The talent to play the game at a high level is still in the league and improving - it's just spread around more evenly. The cap system just makes it much harder to build and sustain a dynasty.

When I watch the U20 WJCs or the Memorial Cup, the overall talent is not NHL caliber but some of those games are pretty darn good to watch - better than a big bunch of NHL games I've seen. It's a good game to watch and the talent level playing it isn't everything.

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2014, 08:41:10 AM »
I think that's part of the reason #1 centers are not as dominant. The overall quality of hockey players throughout the league is getting better.

I disagree. I think the main reason #1 centres aren't as dominant(by which I'm guessing you mean leading the league in scoring by a comparable % to earlier years because I think there's less turnover at the top of the scoring charts these days than ever before) is because the talent is spread so thin that even the best teams only have a handful of good offensive players. A team couldn't game plan their defense solely around stopping Joe Sakic for the Avs because Peter Forbserg would kill them. Conversely a team can gameplan around going after John Tavares and live pretty safe knowing that they can probably handle Franz Nielson.

From a business perspective, we have:
$1.4 Billion in expansion fees
$2.0 Billion roughly to build four rinks
$5.5 Billion in increased league revenues over 5 years
$1.0 Billion increased investment in grassroots hockey around those teams (minimal guess over 5 years)
===============
$9.9 billion spent benefiting the NHL

That strikes me as a pretty optimistic number. Forbes pegged the Leafs as having the highest revenues in the league in 2012-2013 at 142 million. If all four teams generated as much revenue as the Leafs per year, which won't happen, that would amount to under three billion.

I think the cap system has much, much more to do with the competitive balance we see. I don't think the lack of a dynasty is a measure of the talent playing the game. The talent to play the game at a high level is still in the league and improving - it's just spread around more evenly. The cap system just makes it much harder to build and sustain a dynasty.

The fundamental result of which is that the product being sold at the highest levels, the playoffs, don't feature the same quality of play as they did 15 years ago. To combat that, and I absolutely admit I'm making an aesthetic argument and not an economic one, I think the league should try and let more talent get into the league.

When I watch the U20 WJCs or the Memorial Cup, the overall talent is not NHL caliber but some of those games are pretty darn good to watch - better than a big bunch of NHL games I've seen. It's a good game to watch and the talent level playing it isn't everything.

Well, yeah. That's my point.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 08:43:26 AM by Nik the Trik »
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Offline bustaheims

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2014, 10:05:35 AM »
I think there has to be some truth behind this despite the NHL's denial. The fact there are arenas being built in Quebec and Las Vegas as we speak would lead to this belief.

I think the league made it pretty clear they were looking to expand to 32 teams when they announced the new conference and divisional alignment - not 34, as the article states, though. As for the arenas . . . I don't think they're really indicative of anything. There have been other NHL calibre arenas built without teams being awarded to those cities - like the Sprint Center in Kansas City, for instance. They're more the result of poor municipal decision making than anything else.
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Offline hap_leaf

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2014, 10:30:33 AM »
I think there has to be some truth behind this despite the NHL's denial. The fact there are arenas being built in Quebec and Las Vegas as we speak would lead to this belief.

I think the league made it pretty clear they were looking to expand to 32 teams when they announced the new conference and divisional alignment - not 34, as the article states, though. As for the arenas . . . I don't think they're really indicative of anything. There have been other NHL calibre arenas built without teams being awarded to those cities - like the Sprint Center in Kansas City, for instance. They're more the result of poor municipal decision making than anything else.

Maybe, but the fact is, if you don't have an arena, you don't even get a sniff of attention from the NHL.  You must have a "build it and they will come" optimism.  Just as MTS Centre was designed with the hope in mind that an NHL team would return some day.

Offline cw

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2014, 12:06:47 PM »
I think that's part of the reason #1 centers are not as dominant. The overall quality of hockey players throughout the league is getting better.

I disagree. I think the main reason #1 centres aren't as dominant(by which I'm guessing you mean leading the league in scoring by a comparable % to earlier years because I think there's less turnover at the top of the scoring charts these days than ever before) is because the talent is spread so thin that even the best teams only have a handful of good offensive players. A team couldn't game plan their defense solely around stopping Joe Sakic for the Avs because Peter Forbserg would kill them. Conversely a team can gameplan around going after John Tavares and live pretty safe knowing that they can probably handle Franz Nielson.

Forsberg and Sakic began together in a 26 team league and for roughly about half their years together, played in the 30 team league we're in now. So I don't get that as a big sign of a result prior to talent dilution. The Avs were typically a top 5 or top 6 scoring club - not absolutely dominant - during one of the lower scoring eras of the NHL.

They were two of the best centers in the game at the time on the same team. But we have Hart winners Crosby and Malkin on the Pens now for example.

For the John Tavares we have now as a lone top center, we had Mat Sundin during the Forsberg-Sakic years and many others of lesser ability:

For example, when Sakic-Forsberg were in the top 10 in scoring in '96 with 116-120 pts in a 26 team league, here's the top scoring centers for various teams:
Yashin led the Sens with 39 pts
Hawerchuk (almost done) led the Blues with 41 pts
Sykora led the Devils centers with 42 pts
Rob Niedermayer led the Panthers with 61 pts
Janney led the Sharks with 62 pts
Cassels led the Whalers with 63 pts
Titov led the Flames with 67 pts
Travis Green led the Isles with 70 pts
Brian Bradley led the Lightning with 79 pts
Pivonka led the Caps with 81 pts

So convince me that there were plenty of "top centers" available to other teams in the league during the Sakic-Forsberg era. Where's all this great league depth of centers you're talking about?

Now, at this point, you could be saying to yourself "ah ha, see? the league lacks depth!!" But it has lacked superstar depth for decades. If the benchmark for expansion is such that a league cannot expand until every team has a starting lineup of superstar Hall of Famers in their prime, you'd have a point. But no league has done that. The closest might have been the original six league. And if the NHL had done that, they would have grossly curtailed the growth of their league and the game.

I don't see 32 Hall of Famer / superstar quarterbacks in the NFL - or the equivalent caliber of Sakic-Forsberg. I don't see every MLB team with a Cy Young pitcher and champion home run hitter - the equivalent caliber of Sakic-Forsberg. Sakic-Forsberg is an unfair yardstick just like Crosby-Malkin is today, like Montana-Rice were for the 49ers or Mantle-Ford were for the Yankees. They were all special pairs of talent that not every team had.

I also think some of those 90s teams were able to collect talent and hang on to it because of their capless budgets. Avs were one. Wings another for example. Because of Stavros financial problems, the Leafs couldn't add Gretzky for example and neither could many of the bottom feeders prior to the 2005-6 CBA.

Kopitar, Carter (played some wing as Forsberg did some), Richards and Stoll are a darn good collection of four centers on one club. None of them are as good as Sakic-Forsberg but as a group of four, they'd certainly be right up there with a bunch of the best. Coach Sutter said as much and I'm inclined to agree with him. They have been very key to the success of the Kings because every forward line Sutter put out had a good quarterback and strength down the middle. Even Stoll might be a #2 on some clubs (not positive of that but he's good enough that I'd wonder).

I think you're cherry picking a bit to make your argument and overlooking the lack of superstar center talent further down in the league - like we see in all of pro sports and have for decades.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 12:08:26 PM by cw »

Offline cw

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2014, 12:15:57 PM »

From a business perspective, we have:
$1.4 Billion in expansion fees
$2.0 Billion roughly to build four rinks
$5.5 Billion in increased league revenues over 5 years
$1.0 Billion increased investment in grassroots hockey around those teams (minimal guess over 5 years)
===============
$9.9 billion spent benefiting the NHL

That strikes me as a pretty optimistic number. Forbes pegged the Leafs as having the highest revenues in the league in 2012-2013 at 142 million. If all four teams generated as much revenue as the Leafs per year, which won't happen, that would amount to under three billion.

Yes, I must have punched in a wrong number grossly there. That $5.5 should be $1.8 for a total of $6.2 billion - which is still a huge chunk of change for the league.

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2014, 12:23:17 PM »
Forsberg and Sakic began together in a 26 team league and for roughly about half their years together, played in the 30 team league we're in now. So I don't get that as a big sign of a result prior to talent dilution. The Avs were typically a top 5 or top 6 scoring club - not absolutely dominant - during one of the lower scoring eras of the NHL.

They were two of the best centers in the game at the time on the same team. But we have Hart winners Crosby and Malkin on the Pens now for example.

You're sort of confusing the two distinct things we're talking about here though. You said that you thought that the reason that #1 centres don't "dominate" the way they used to is the overall increasing level of talent, I said that I thought it was because elite centres used to be part of dominant offenses that didn't just rely on their own talents. Whether it's Forsberg and Sakic or Messier and Gretzky or Lemieux and Francis or Yzerman and Fedorov, teams that had two truly great centres didn't have offenses that began and ended with their truly great centres in the way the modern Penguins sort of do. The Avs, at various times, had guys like Rob Blake and Hejduk and Ray Bourque and the Oilers had Coffey and Kurri and Anderson and the Red Wings had Lidstrom and Shanahan and the Penguins had Jagr and Murphy and...you see? Nowadays, teams either have two great centres, like the Pens, and virtually nothing else, or they maybe have an elite winger and an elite centre and very little on a second line.

But my pointing that out isn't making the argument that there was an equal amount of parity then as there is now. The larger part of my argument is that the parity has led to the absence of great teams and a weaker product at the highest levels. Because of that the league, again from an aesthetic point of view, should be trying to recapture some of that rather than add four teams all at once(although the extent to which that's a "done deal" seems less likely now).

edit: It's also worth mentioning, I think, that the effect that the cap has had on the league in terms of diluting the talent on the top teams in the league is really only just starting. Chicago is probably the closest thing we have right now to the successful pre-cap teams but that's really only because of their RFA contracts and backdiving contracts there's really nobody on that team outside of maybe Corey Crawford who's getting their market value. When Kane and Toews' new contracts kick in they're going to have to get thinner and eventually, when we no longer see contracts like the ones Hossa and Keith have, building a team like that probably won't be possible again.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 12:54:09 PM by Nik the Trik »
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Offline cw

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2014, 02:20:20 PM »
I think the cap system has much, much more to do with the competitive balance we see. I don't think the lack of a dynasty is a measure of the talent playing the game. The talent to play the game at a high level is still in the league and improving - it's just spread around more evenly. The cap system just makes it much harder to build and sustain a dynasty.

The fundamental result of which is that the product being sold at the highest levels, the playoffs, don't feature the same quality of play as they did 15 years ago. To combat that, and I absolutely admit I'm making an aesthetic argument and not an economic one, I think the league should try and let more talent get into the league.

Let's compare playoffs
15 years ago, 1995-1998, last yrs with 26 teams
vs
Today, 2011-2014, with 30 teams
                                 1995-98     2011-14
Series shutouts               12               7
Finals series shutouts        4               0
Game 7s                         10             23
Tight Game 7s                  6             18
Finals Game 7                  0                1
OT Games                      55              95

1995-98 had nearly twice as many series shutouts including all four Cup finals

2011-14 had more than twice as many game 7s with three times the number of tight game 7s including 1 Cup final.

2011-14 had nearly twice as many OT games as 1995-98

1995-1998 wasn't nearly as exciting in the playoffs as 2011-2014 in my opinion.

The game in 2011-14 with the rules changes increases the reward for puck possession/good passing, speed, skill, less clutch and grab, more athletic goaltending, younger players, etc. It's a faster, better brand of hockey. And the cap has helped it achieve competitive balance, not only in the standings, but in the playoffs as well. To me, that's more exciting hockey.

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2014, 02:29:24 PM »
Let's compare playoffs
15 years ago, 1995-1998, last yrs with 26 teams
vs
Today, 2011-2014, with 30 teams

I don't mean to burst your bubble or anything but 15 years ago is 1999. And between 1999 and, say, 2004 not only did you have a 6 or 7 game finals in every year but 2002(which featured a Red Wings team that may have been the best ever) but you had five different champions and nine different finalists compared to the four and 8 of the last six years.

Regardless, I reject the premise. March Madness every year features tons of close games and buzzer beaters and this year the NBA finals featured an incredible team handily winning the finals but nobody would think for a second that what March Madness had on the NBA was the quality of play. Great games can be close but so can rock fights. In the darkest days of the clutch and grab era there was a higher premium placed on the sort of elite skill that you saw the cup winners have because marginally skilled players and teams couldn't fight through that nonsense.

That, to me, was what was so refreshing about the Olympics. It was fun getting to watch an actually great team again. Yes, maybe they didn't win enough games in overtime to suit everybody but some people are drawn to sports to see excellence, even dominating excellence.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 02:46:39 PM by Nik the Trik »
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Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2014, 03:27:15 PM »

On a side note, does anyone really believe this report? Does anyone think that the NHL will have decided to go into cities that don't have arenas like Seattle and Toronto? Or that they'd expand without a public bidding process?
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
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Online CarltonTheBear

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2014, 03:43:47 PM »

On a side note, does anyone really believe this report? Does anyone think that the NHL will have decided to go into cities that don't have arenas like Seattle and Toronto? Or that they'd expand without a public bidding process?

I'm sure expansion talks are happening and that they will come to fruition within the next few years, but yeah this specific report as it was stated means nothing to me. Especially since nobody has really backed up the so-so source.

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2014, 03:43:47 PM »