Author Topic: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)  (Read 10224 times)

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Offline cw

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2014, 04:48:01 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.

Well, I think I've been saying that. The cap is a very significant factor in this. And I'd also say that when Cup winning teams like Chicago have to strip their roster down to get under the cap, those players are not typically winding up in the KHL costing the league talent - they're going to other NHL teams - making those other teams better and more competitive.

Teams having trouble maintaining a dynasty is a direct result of the cap - not a result of a dilution of talent due to expansion of four more teams because they've already gathered the talent. They just can't keep it because guys like Boland want 5 yrs x 5 mil or Versteeg wants his piece of the money pie, etc.

So we're not likely to see a dynasty under this cap system that lasts long. But on the other hand, we're less likely to see a team suck for a long time out of the playoffs too (contrary to the Leafs foolishness, everyone else in the league enjoyed more playoff success). And I think that's good for the game - particularly in the smaller markets where patronage doesn't have to wait a decade to see some decent hockey played by the club they support.

Offline cw

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2014, 04:49:37 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.

In 1998-99, the league expanded to a 27 team league. The following year to 28 and then 30 the next season. As we're talking about the impact of expansion on the league, that's why I ignored them and went 16 years back (15 seasons) to 1997-98 and before where they'd been 26 teams for a while.

From that, it looks like you're refuting your own point. That even with the league talent "diluted" with expansion to 30 teams, in the short window just after that expansion took place, when the dilution effect of expansion was likely at it's worst because the annual growth of U20 talent hadn't had as much effect yet, you saw some great playoff games.

I guess I can rest my case. :)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 04:51:32 PM by cw »

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2014, 05:00:35 PM »
From that, it looks like you're refuting your own point. That even with the league talent "diluted" with expansion to 30 teams, in the short window just after that expansion took place, when the dilution effect of expansion was likely at it's worst because the annual growth of U20 talent hadn't had as much effect yet, you saw some great playoff games.

Well, no, in the first few years of expansion talent dilution is going to be as top down as possible as expansion teams struggle to build themselves into legitimate NHL franchises. You might have a couple extra teams floating around comprised largely of AHL sorts of players but they certainly didn't immediately affect the rosters in Colorado, Detroit and Dallas.

Like I'm trying to say, my problem with talent dilution isn't primarily focused on whether or not a game in February between Florida and Nashville is better now than it used to be, its about the game at it's highest levels.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 05:23:45 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 #33 on: August 28, 2014, 05:08:28 PM »
Well, I think I've been saying that. The cap is a very significant factor in this. And I'd also say that when Cup winning teams like Chicago have to strip their roster down to get under the cap, those players are not typically winding up in the KHL costing the league talent - they're going to other NHL teams - making those other teams better and more competitive.

Teams having trouble maintaining a dynasty is a direct result of the cap - not a result of a dilution of talent due to expansion of four more teams because they've already gathered the talent. They just can't keep it because guys like Boland want 5 yrs x 5 mil or Versteeg wants his piece of the money pie, etc.

It's not an either/or proposition. Yes, one of the reasons the best teams in the league aren't as good as they were 15 years ago but it's a simple fact that if there were fewer teams then, cap or no, the remaining teams would be better.

That's what I think you're missing and why you keep trying to jump between the two points here. I agree that one of the reasons that you don't see teams as good as the Avs used to be is the cap. I'm not disputing that. What I'm saying is that I don't like that change and that adding teams would make that situation, which again I think is bad, worse. It wouldn't create it but it would add to it.

So we're not likely to see a dynasty under this cap system that lasts long. But on the other hand, we're less likely to see a team suck for a long time out of the playoffs too (contrary to the Leafs foolishness, everyone else in the league enjoyed more playoff success). And I think that's good for the game - particularly in the smaller markets where patronage doesn't have to wait a decade to see some decent hockey played by the club they support.

As always sir, your charity and care for the wellbeing of Carolina Hurricanes fans shames me and my selfish belief that I should get to watch a better product for my 120 dollar average ticket price.
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
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Offline cw

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2014, 10:00:28 PM »
From that, it looks like you're refuting your own point. That even with the league talent "diluted" with expansion to 30 teams, in the short window just after that expansion took place, when the dilution effect of expansion was likely at it's worst because the annual growth of U20 talent hadn't had as much effect yet, you saw some great playoff games.

Well, no, in the first few years of expansion talent dilution is going to be as top down as possible as expansion teams struggle to build themselves into legitimate NHL franchises. You might have a couple extra teams floating around comprised largely of AHL sorts of players but they certainly didn't immediately affect the rosters in Colorado, Detroit and Dallas.

Like I'm trying to say, my problem with talent dilution isn't primarily focused on whether or not a game in February between Florida and Nashville is better now than it used to be, its about the game at it's highest levels.

If you sincerely want to sustain seeing the game at the highest levels, you have to keep growing it. If they remained an original six league, few would be watching - no national broadcasting deal, the money for the players would be a fraction of what it is now and the pool of talent and money for developing talent would be a fraction of what it is now.

The sport doesn't exist in a vacuum. It has to compete for the entertainment dollar or it will cease to exist as we know it. They could have gone the way of the CFL and floundered as a lower tier pro sport. But they chose a better path. It has grown just fine without a dynasty since the 2005 lockout.

These game sevens and OT games may not turn your crank but they interest a lot more folks than watching a dynasty sweep series four zip round after round, year after year, that only the wealthy markets can afford. Long term, that's not good for the game and the talent and money it attracts. The financials Levitt audited before the 2005 lockout proved that.

Online bustaheims

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2014, 10:10:32 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?

For what it's worth, Seattle does have an available arena that can seat 15K+ that could be used until a better facility is built.
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Offline cw

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2014, 11:10:43 PM »
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.

It wouldn't be nearly as much fun if Canada faced talent like Norway all the time. Or if the NHL didn't show up. I've seen Canada blow out teams many times in international play. But those are not the great games I remember.

Of the semi finalists in the tournament:
Team Sweden & Team USA & Canada - all NHLers
http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/388/IHM400000_33_12_1_USA.pdf
http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/388/IHM400000_33_11_3_SWE.pdf

Team Finland - at a glance roughly only 3 didn't play in the NHL at some point in their career
http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/388/IHM400000_33_4_2_FIN.pdf

NHL expansion employing these players:
http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/TS_PlayerNationalities.php
has had a bunch to do with the quality of hockey we've seen in the Olympics

Sure, players can learn something in a short tournament. But when they're teammates for 82 games plus playoffs for a number of years, they thoroughly learn and develop confidence in playing with the best.

Canada could have easily continued to populate 98% of the original six rosters and even expanded doing that to a 15 team league because they make up more than half the NHL now.

I don't think the league would be nearly as interesting without the mix of the Euros adding their stamp on the NHL game. And if the money wasn't there, and that money has largely come by expansion, I don't think we'd see nearly as many of them make the move to North America.

NHL expansion had a considerable impact on the quality of hockey you witnessed at the Olympics in 2014 and recent prior Olympics.

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2014, 11:52:06 AM »
These game sevens and OT games may not turn your crank but they interest a lot more folks than watching a dynasty sweep series four zip round after round, year after year, that only the wealthy markets can afford.

Sure, I'm assuming you mean the wealthy markets like Edmonton and Long Island that constructed the greatest dynasties the sport saw post-original 6?

Even still, the Oilers didn't sweep all of their titles in 4 game series. Neither did the Islanders. Even the years you mention where the final series were blowouts were the result of a handful of legitimately great teams all being lumped together in one conference(and, no, it wasn't because Detroit, Dallas and Colorado were in any way "richer" than Toronto, New York and Philadelphia). I would very much like to speak to any hockey fan who remembers the various series between the Red Wings and Avs or Avs and Stars from those years as being in any way an inferior product to the hockey we're watching now.
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Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2014, 11:56:31 AM »
It wouldn't be nearly as much fun if Canada faced talent like Norway all the time.

But that's never been a reality of international hockey. It's not NHL expansion into Nashville and Atlanta that drive Russian and Czech interest in the sport and the influx of Europeans into the NHL is not the result of the NHL's expansion.

I confess, though, points for originality. I've seen a lot of people in recent years try to give Ronald Reagan the credit for fall of communism but you're the first person I've seen to try and do that with Gary Bettman.
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
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Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2014, 12:00:01 PM »
For what it's worth, Seattle does have an available arena that can seat 15K+ that could be used until a better facility is built.

Sure and Toronto has the ACC. My point there about Toronto and Seattle was more about the lack of deals for building new arenas(or at least the sort of massive renovations that would be required in Seattle or Hamilton), and some might say the political will, that I think would be a precondition for any sort of expansion.
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Offline cw

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #40 on: August 29, 2014, 12:36:58 PM »
It wouldn't be nearly as much fun if Canada faced talent like Norway all the time.

But that's never been a reality of international hockey. It's not NHL expansion into Nashville and Atlanta that drive Russian and Czech interest in the sport and the influx of Europeans into the NHL is not the result of the NHL's expansion.

I confess, though, points for originality. I've seen a lot of people in recent years try to give Ronald Reagan the credit for fall of communism but you're the first person I've seen to try and do that with Gary Bettman.

Absolute nonsense. That's a straw man argument if I ever saw one.

Plainly, I did not say that "NHL expansion into Nashville and Atlanta ... drive(s) Russian and Czech interest in the sport"

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #41 on: August 29, 2014, 12:47:29 PM »
It's also worth mentioning that the majority of the growth you're talking about regarding US players in the game took place well before the era of Bettman's expansion. US% of players pre-1980 Olympics, a tournament that had nothing whatsoever to do with the NHL(who, it should be noted, are actively opposed to participation in the Olympics), was 10.4. By the end of the decade, the percentage of US born players had increased by 50%.

Conversely, the first year in the 90's the US population of players was 16.7% by the end of the decade it had shot up to....16.2%.

It's important, in this conversation, not to be giving the NHL credit for the things that would have happened any way or are just a result of the way the population is changing that is reflected everywhere. Every major professional sport is growing, whether they've seen an increase in the # of teams and parity or not.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 01:26:14 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 #42 on: August 29, 2014, 12:59:58 PM »
Absolute nonsense. That's a straw man argument if I ever saw one.

Plainly, I did not say that "NHL expansion into Nashville and Atlanta ... drive(s) Russian and Czech interest in the sport"

And likewise, I've plainly not said that I think the NHL shouldn't have expanded from 6 teams. In fact, quite the opposite, I've said that because of changes to the population and available player bases the expansions from the Original 6 Era and into the 90's were absolutely justified and spoke to the fact that the game, completely irrespective of the NHL's efforts, had grown to the point where more teams were justified.

But what you did say is that international tournaments wouldn't be fun if Canada played Norway all the time which has nothing whatsoever to do with the NHL. The interest in the sport in Russia and the Czech Republic and Sweden was not created by the league and the league didn't create the high quality of play those countries are responsible for in those tournaments. The Swedish, Czech and Russian leagues develop good players all by their lonesome.
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Online bustaheims

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2014, 08:09:21 PM »
Sure and Toronto has the ACC. My point there about Toronto and Seattle was more about the lack of deals for building new arenas(or at least the sort of massive renovations that would be required in Seattle or Hamilton), and some might say the political will, that I think would be a precondition for any sort of expansion.

Absolutely, but, the promise of a major league team to fill said arena often helps cities to be more agreeable to the type of undertaking that would be necessary.
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2014, 08:42:26 PM »
Sure and Toronto has the ACC. My point there about Toronto and Seattle was more about the lack of deals for building new arenas(or at least the sort of massive renovations that would be required in Seattle or Hamilton), and some might say the political will, that I think would be a precondition for any sort of expansion.

Absolutely, but, the promise of a major league team to fill said arena often helps cities to be more agreeable to the type of undertaking that would be necessary.

Sure but that's where it becomes a chicken and the egg scenario where you need to promise a team to get the city to build an arena but you need concrete plans for the arena for a major pro sports league to agree to expand.

Unless, of course, if someone like Bettman is promising a franchise to Seattle if they build without a formal expansion process but that seems relatively unlikely to me to say nothing of whether or not that would even work in Seattle.
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Re: Second team in Toronto? (along with Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City)
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2014, 08:42:26 PM »