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HA! the good old hockey game!

Did anyone see the first ever outdoor NHL hockey game between Montreal and Edmonton on Saturday? Is so, what did you think?

1) Its was -20-odd at game time, so the players finally earned thier pay.

2) In front of some 57,000 odd fans, it looked like they had a blast.

3) The Oilers pocketed a 2 Million dollar profit on the game (extra)

Perhaps this would be a good way for small market canadian teams to pick up enough cash to stay afloat?

http://www.cbc.ca/pcgi-bin/templates/sport...s/outdoor031122

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Perhaps this would be a good way for small market canadian teams to pick up enough cash to stay afloat?

The major assumption here is that there are any large market Canadian hockey teams.

Remember, they make C$, but pay in US$. That can make a real difference.

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The major assumption here is that there are any large market Canadian hockey teams.

There are no assumptions about it: 2nd most profitable team for 2002-2003 regular season, and third largest in market value.. Rest of the league info here. Sadly, the poll on the front page of the article is rather discouraging.

PS. Honold, don't look here

Remember, they make C$, but pay in US$.  That can make a real difference.
However, with a US currency that is depreciating, and which will continue to do so, the relative bottom line for Cdn clubs is going to improve.*

* I will note, however, that such affect may be offset by fixed contracts paid in US funds. For example, take a look at the $49M US gate recipts for the Leafs (which are obviously recieved in CDN funds) and you will see that it accounts for less then half of the teams revenues. A large percentage of the remaining $56M in revenues may be from sources paid in US dollars, such as TV contracts etc. generated and shared between the league.

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Did anyone see the first ever outdoor NHL hockey game between Montreal and Edmonton on Saturday? Is so, what did you think?

I would've liked to, but it didn't air in the states.

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Did anyone see the first ever outdoor NHL hockey game between Montreal and Edmonton on Saturday? Is so, what did you think?

I liked it. I thought it brought the game back to its roots, which it has thoroughly lacked for a long time.

I would've liked to, but it didn't air in the states.
That's too bad. It was broadcast it HD, which really made the picture stand out (even if you were watching off normal analog cable like myself).

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The small-market Calgary Flames are so starved for revenue that the team is thinking of putting a casino in its arena, the Pengrowth Saddledome. The idea is likely to get strong resistance from the city of Alberta, which owns the arena. The Flame's attendance has suffered from the team's inability to make the playoffs. On top of that, the Flames, like the other Canadian franchises, are burdened with high taxes and a weak currency relative to the U.S. dollar.

Major corporate sponsors are Coca-Cola (nyse: KO - news - people), Calgary Co-op, Canadian Springs Water. Pengrowth Energy (nyse: PGH - news - people) has venue naming rights.

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2003/1208/nhl_28.html

I dont know if I put a lot of stock in what they have to say. They dont know who owns the Saddledom. Nor do they know what city the Calgary Flames are from.

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Yeah, it was bloody cold out there. -20 wasn't even with the windchill, was it? It was pretty windy, too.

But to be honest, I enjoyed the other frozen spectacle better -- this year's Grey Cup. If you weren't an Al's fan, it was a pretty good game as far as Grey Cups go. A little sloppy, but when isn't it? And you gotta love how Don Matthews' arrogance came back to bite him in the a*s.

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i'm not a sports fan, but i know several of the blues players. hockey needs a change :( i read an article on msn somewhat recently that had some interesting ideas. cheerleaders, 1 less player, MORE calling of penalties (because it's too easy to tackle somebody and negate what the skill the audience wants to see), less goalie gear, wider nets, etc.

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Cheerleaders? no. If you wanna see T&A in an indoor sport, visit the NBA.

Less Goalie gear? yes... Great idea...

Fewer players... No... Dont change the game to make it more popular with poeple who arent hockey fans... If its not hockey anymore, poeple will just start looking more at WHL and other leagues...

With the windchill it was -28 at game time...

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i'm not a sports fan, but i know several of the blues players.  hockey needs a change :(  i read an article on msn somewhat recently that had some interesting ideas.  cheerleaders, 1 less player, MORE calling of penalties (because it's too easy to tackle somebody and negate what the skill the audience wants to see), less goalie gear, wider nets, etc.

I've often heard that HDTV may help hockey quite a bit, as according to some one of the reasons hockey isn't popular on television in the States is because it's very difficult to see the puck.

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Cheerleaders? no. If you wanna see T&A in an indoor sport, visit the NBA.

they're already doing that, and hockey is losing millions. if something doesn't change, the sport will cease to commercially exist on the scale of baseball/football/basketball. if you can present a case that cheerleaders would HARM hockey, feel free.

Fewer players... No... Dont change the game to make it more popular with poeple who arent hockey fans...If its not hockey anymore, poeple will just start looking more at WHL and other leagues...

there aren't enough hockey fans, and that is why they have a problem. the game has to change or stop trying to be a mass market sport. only hardcore fans will seek out other leagues.

i'm certainly not one to say what's right or wrong, but i believe without a doubt that any reasonable CHANGE should be welcome, as the path they're walking right now is leading them straight to the grave. something has to change.

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Its the 'hardcore' fans who buy season tickets and fund the teams. When ever who propose massive changes to a sport to get new fans you'll not get new fans, and only tick off the existing fan base, who likes the sport as it is...

Perhaps, the NFL should consider the CFL's rules? Wouldnt haveing the field 110 yards long be an improvement? and so what if thier are 2 50 yeard lines... the fans will get used to it... See my point?

Smaller goalie gear makes perfect sence... Have you seen pictures of patrick roy when he was a rookie, as compared to when he retired? (this past summer) his pads easily doubled in size... going back to goal pad sizes of say 1990 wouldnt be that difficult... and would improve the excitement of the game considerably....

1) bring back 'grezsky's office' - the area behind the net - the league moved the goal a few feet closer to the end of the rink to limit play behind the net... move the nets back.

2) bring back more 4 on 4 hockey... this is when both teams are killing penalties, the classic edmonton oilers of the 1980's ruled at this... bring it on...

3) stop calling dumb pansy penalties... The ref shouldnt be a factor in the games... call them as he sees them, for sure, but unless poeple are bleeding, its not really a sport...

4) bring back the enforcer... now that penalties for fighting are so high, a goon just cant make a living anymore... this causes talented players to be injured as defencemen will agressively hit...

5) Let Hailey play... (is that her name?) from canada's olympic team... anyway, get her on a team... women are interested in things women are doing... like men, how many men are interested in women's sports? (tennis doesnt count, because guys are watching teenage girls in short skirts run around - figure that one out)

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I really do not want to see the underlining rules of the game changed. My personal take is that much of the NHLs current problems were self created. On the issues raised so far:

Cheerleaders - there presence at a hockey game is pretty silly (their sideshow presence at any sporting event is pretty silly for that matter....not that I'm going to not look at the eye candy if its flaunted in front of me :) ). But hey, if Carolina (the only team I'm currently aware of that uses them) feels they need them, then let them knock themselves out. It really neither adds nor detracts from the action on the ice.

Less men on once during regular play - Absolutely not.

MORE calling of penalties - Absolutely. A fundamental shift in attitude, development (at all levels in the minors) and tolerance is needed in the game to get it back to what it once was like. I hate seeing all the clutching and grabbing that is allowed to carry on nowdays...its utter bullshit, and it destroys the speed of the play and certainly disallows the opportunity for skilled players to shine. I especially hate all the hits and cheap shots that take place behind the play, usually done under the pretense that a player was "finishing" their check. Absolute crap. Its one thing to be five feet away from your opponent and still hit him after he's passed off the puck, but its a completely different thing to be twenty feet away (with plenty of room to alter your course) and still hit the guy and then give him a nice leather face wash with your glove. Somewhere along the way, chippy unsportman like play at the professional level has become indoctorinated into the game.

less goalie gear - I don't think any radical changes have to be made here. The recent crackdown on size of pads is sufficent. The real changes have to be made elsewhere on the ice.

wider nets - ridiculus. No change is needed here.

according to some one of the reasons hockey isn't popular on television in the States is because it's very difficult to see the puck.
Thats a retarded argument that just doesn't fly. A baseball probably has the same 2 dimensional onscreen size as a puck, yet American's have no problem seeing a baseball scorthing into homeplate at a hundred miles an hour. Seems to me that millions of American's also tune into watch Tiger Woods knock around something that has 25% of the on screen size of a hockey puck, yet no complaints have been raised that the size of the golf ball should be increased so TV viewers can see it better.

There were also arguments the US viewers couldn't follow the puck because of the speed of the game. Well someone kick me if I'm wrong, but how are the current calls to open the game up more going to address the US viewers inability to follow the play? Answer: they don't, and if there legitimately exists an inability to follow the play (which there isn't), then speeding the game up would just make this hogwash argument even worse.

the game has to change or stop trying to be a mass market sport
The rapid expansion of the league, especially into some poorly choosen locations, is partially the problem with the game at the professional level. There wasn't enough of a talent pool to go around. Now you have a league stocked with many mediocre players whose inability to skate and to keep up with the best has brought about a clutch and grab style of play. And the NHL's management has done far too little to try to stop it. Several years of mixed signals, which have resulted in "on again, off again" officiating is not the type of leadership that should have been taken. The grinder/trap/clutching slow play has esscalated to the point that it is a real detriment to the game, and only a radical shift towards intolerence will bring about change. And that, will be very hard to implement overnight....not unless you want to be calling 200minutes in penalties a side per game.

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Its the 'hardcore' fans who buy season tickets and fund the teams. When ever who propose massive changes to a sport to get new fans you'll not get new fans, and only tick off the existing fan base, who likes the sport as it is...

season tickets are still cheaper than regular tickets. if the stadium fills, you can do the math.

i don't consider having cheerleaders or even dropping a player a MASSIVE change. less players would make the game more kinetic and easier for people to track the puck.

Perhaps, the NFL should consider the CFL's rules? Wouldnt haveing the field 110 yards long be an improvement? and so what if thier are 2 50 yeard lines... the fans will get used to it... See my point?

no, i don't see your point. nfl stadiums stay filled.

1) bring back 'grezsky's office' - the area behind the net - the league moved the goal a few feet closer to the end of the rink to limit play behind the net... move the nets back.

i think this is a bad idea, because clustered players in a small area are one of the exact problems people have with hockey. not many people want to see 5 guys looking at the floor shaking their arms back and forth, and only know when the horn sounds that a goal was made.

2) bring back more 4 on 4 hockey... this is when both teams are killing penalties, the classic edmonton oilers of the 1980's ruled at this... bring it on...

well eliminating a player would certainly do that...

3) stop calling dumb pansy penalties... The ref shouldnt be a factor in the games... call them as he sees them, for sure, but unless poeple are bleeding, its not really a sport...

another one i patently disagree with. hockey is a game that people can play, so is football, so is baseball, etc. hockey's a little tougher to play because of rinks and gear, which probably has something to do with its lack of popularity. but i digress.

why would people watch somebody do something they can do? because they do it better. so much better it's amazing. do you think nba fans would be as enthralled if michael jordan got tackled every time he lifted off? if you make liberal penalty calls, people like gretzky and hull are able to give the masses what they want - a display of skill.

in baseball, it's batter vs pitcher.

in football, the qb is heavily covered.

in hockey, there's no guy on which to steadily focus the camera. it's a true team sport, which makes it less interesting in terms of hero worship, but it's way worse that the best players in the game are just out there with everyone else, and it's too easy to mitigate their skillset. small rink, lots of people.

having shootouts for penalties would go a long way too, i think.

bear in mind this all comes from a not-so-interested person's perspective - i care more about the welfare of hockey than i care about watching the game. but, i'm precisely the 'mass audience' and i have considered it quite a bit.

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Thier are now, already in the game, penalty shots...

I dont think the NHL should change to attempt to grab mass market attention... I think if they 'just be themselves' some fans will come around and view the game... what they really need, more than anything else, is a network contract for TV rights... Perhaps Saturday night can be hockey night in the USA too...It couldnt do worse for ratings that the re-run movies they play on saturday, already...

Heck, the NHL should cut a cheap deal for national TV rights just to get more poeple interested...

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Thier are now, already in the game, penalty shots...

and how many times in a season does ONE actually occur? i've seen more than a few hockey games in my life, and the only shootouts i've ever seen were in 80's hockey games.

I dont think the NHL should change to attempt to grab mass market attention... I think if they 'just be themselves' some fans will come around and view the game...

meanwhile, back at the ranch, stadiums cost assloads of money to own and maintain. there is tons of infrastructure required to hold and broadcast a hockey game, and they're not making ends meet.

athletes aren't going to be attracted if nobody watches and they can command exponentially higher salaries by taking on another sport. once the future's talent is off playing other games for bigger crowds, are people still going to be entertained watching bush leaguers play a game only slightly better than they do?

Heck, the NHL should cut a cheap deal for national TV rights just to get more poeple interested...

they could broadcast games 24/7 in the usa and people would still be uninterested. the game has to evolve or it will commercially die.

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Minor changes here and thier can be made to make the game faster, get more goals, and a quicker pace of the game back...

I liked the mid-80's hockey... for all the vile that the edmonton oilers or the new york islanders can generate in some hockey fans, they did play good hockey... Can you say the same for the NJ Devils, and the stupidly boreing "trap" devensive zone play? no... It not enjoyable hockey... (It maybe a good strategy to win the game, but poor strategy to win fans) ...

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Minor changes here and thier can be made to make the game faster, get more goals, and a quicker pace of the game back...

4 players, wider nets/less goalie gear and it's done.

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I never watch baseball or hockey until the playoffs. Basketball I ignore entirely.

On the other hand, since football has far fewer games, every game means something. This year, you could hear people saying "What's wrong with Tampa Bay?" after the second game of the year.

You will never hear that about a baseball, hockey, or basketball team. The problem is that none of the games matter until the end of the regular season and the playoffs. If the games don't matter, who is going to watch them?

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Minor changes here and thier can be made to make the game faster, get more goals, and a quicker pace of the game back...

4 players, wider nets/less goalie gear and it's done.

Goalie gear is a reasonable suggestion... the number of players, and the size of the net will ramain the same...

Thier are also getting to be too many games... (86? I think this year per team) also too many play off spots... Teams that dont have atleast a .500 regular season record shouldnt be in the play offs at all...

In a backwards/forward step, lets drop 1 round of playoffs, this will make the regular season games more meaningfull, as the team will have to finish in the top 4 of its division, rather than the top 8... So this should boost the viewers for the fewer games...

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Problem with touching just the equipment and NOT the nets is that the size of goalies have increased over the years. Not only are they more athletic, have bigger equipment, and better technique, goalies are just physically bigger people. In the past, the average goalie was maybe 5'8, 170. Now they're 6'0, 190. So now, even in the butterfly, they can cover the top part of the net.

You have to increase the size of the net to match that trend. In the past, goalies and their equipment only covered maybe a third of the net in their typical stance. Today, it's more like two-thirds. You can make the equipment smaller, but anything more than a minor decrease will force bigger goalies to have more of their bodies unprotected, and that's not fair either.

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I propose a 3" increase in width and a 1.5" increase in height to the nets. 4% increase in width and 3% increase in height. I think that's reasonable, considering the drastically greater amount of net goalies cover these days.

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What Don Cherry proposed was to have goalie equipment measured porportionally to the body of the goalie... for example, pads would come to x inches above the knee. ect...

All players are more athletic than they used to be... They dont fall far out of shape durring the summer, as was the case, in the 'olden' days...

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That's a good idea about proportionality. That's actually what I was thinking, but it sounds like it would be too complicated for the league to administer/accept.

No kidding about the much greater modern emphasis on year-round conditioning. I really don't know how we beat the Russians all those years when they were such well trained and conditioned athletes and our boys were drinkers, smokers, and bar hounds during the season and couch potatoes during the off-season (well, not really, but the difference in the strictness and regimenting of the training between us and the Russians was pretty big for years).

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