Friday, October 31, 2008

The first two outings have been brutal...

...but I'm trying to get those creative juices following so I can show you my "O" face. Probably won't be posting everyday like this, but in an attempt to get my feet wet, and instead drown, the thoughts are rushing to my head like a good acid trip.

The reason for today's snoozer is the Forbes NHL Team Valuations ( that was posted on Wednesday. Toronto made the top of the list at $448 million (I would normally make a joke about the Canadian Dollar here, but the American Dollar is much more of a joke), which just goes to show you that profit has nothing to do with the on-ice product, or lack thereof. Behind them by over $30 million are the Blueshirts, which is more than likely the reason for Wall Street's economic collapse. Followed up by the Centenarian franchise of Les Habitants who are behind New York by over $75 million, and then the reigning Cup Champs at another $30 million behind them.

Going back to the Leafs, and following some rumors in the NHL dreaming big, but moronically, there was talk this week of adding an additional team in Toronto. Now with the Forbes report, its obvious the money is there, but it seems a little ridiculous at this point to add, or even move an existing team where one already exists. Most outsiders don't believe that existing Leaf fans will jump ship for a new franchise in town, but there are a lot of rumblings from the "common man" that it has become unbearable to deal with soaring ticket prices, and feuding management in a power struggle to control the team. However, if Brian Burke does end up landing in Toronto things could turn around pretty quickly in Leafland, and opinions might change, if he can run the team his way, which may be difficult in a volatile front office. Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Burke puts the right pieces together, and its up to the guys on the ice to make it happen.

But I'd also like to discuss the bottom dwellers of the value chart. Howling in pain in the desert are Wayne and his Coyotes at $142 million. Just above them at $154 million are the New York Isles who win the award for the lowest generated revenue at $64 million, (compared to top earner Toronto with $160 million). Columbus, Ohio tops Long Island at $157 million, and above them by another mil are the Southeast Division powerhouse Atlanta Thrashers. You know I've always thought that Atlanta has been the worst run team in the league, but I think a few other teams may be vying for that coveted position. Atlanta is definetely a big enough city to support a professional hockey team, and there's plenty of northeast transplants down there to do so, but unless they start putting the right people on the bus to run that team, and put together a competitive lineup, then that organization is bound for collapse. That brings up another interesting point regarding pros and their desires to play for winning teams. Teams like Phoenix, and Columbus, and Long Island can't even entice players to flick boogers in their direction let alone get them on their bench. Although Phoenix has been picking up young talent through the drafts, and they've got the Great One to help cultivate their games, so I believe within the next few years you will see a rise of their level in the standings, but whether or not the city gets behind them is another thing, even when they're winning. But you look at the Isles who snatched up teary-eyed Captain Canada at the Trade Deadline from Edmonton to gear up for their annual first-round 5-game playoff dismissal two years ago. Smyth was running away from Long Island before July 1st was even a thought. Now they pull in has-beens like Bill Guerin and Doug Weight making the team look like a graveyard for past-their-prime players. Milbury drove that team into the ground trading away what is now prime talent of the league. Their fanbase has stuck with them over 20 years after the Dynasty ended, but now with the aid of Milbury, a delusional owner, and a run-down building, the crowd's had enough. Attendance levels are case in point of that, not to mention, two-for-one ticket nights that barely draw 10,000 people. I just don't see franchises like this surviving much longer without either A. better business practice in all levels, or B. aid from the league, and whether or not that's educating the people steering the ship on how to steer the ship, or invading the country to spread democracy, I don't know.

Well I'm salivating for Saturday night, 12 games on. Oh by the way no Hockey Night in Canada on the Center Ice Package anymore, you'll have to flip over to the NHL Network, if you have it, to get that national institution.

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