Is anybody really buying this tanking business in order to garner the #1 pick in the draft?
Could an entire team of hockey players, guys who spent their entire lives working at the game they loved for just one shot to make the big stage, really throw a season away, just to make sure the team they're playing for can get a kid, who they've never met, and who can supposedly turn the franchise around?
Is anybody believing that shit?
What athlete, halfway through the season would say, 'Yeah, if you guys want to lose for the rest of the year, I'm in'? Who would sign on for that crap?
Have we forgotten how this professional team sports system works?
A team is started by a single asshole or a group of assholes who have more money than they know what to do with. They hire former athletes and/or business people to run the front office and put a team together. Teams are made of several individuals with a certain set of skills that make them competitive to play with or against other individuals with similar sets of skills. So the team is the "company" and the players are "employees." The work and success of the "employees" is either a positive or negative reflection of the "company" as a whole.
Yes, employees want their companies to be successful, but if they aren't, they leave to be part of a company that is. And one that will obviously offer them more opportunities whether that be a better salary, or a higher status, say a Stanley Cup Champion. What employee has enough personally invested in a particular company to care to put the time and effort in to make it better?
Pessimistic? Yeah maybe. Shitty attitude? You betchya. Realist? Definitely.
The only employees who care enough are the ones who aren't referred to as employees. They're partners, owners, minority stake holders, or employees that are so well paid they'll say and do anything you tell them to. Or they're Fans ("customers").
Every fan knows that you stop being a fan once you become part of a team that competes against your team. You can grow up being a Toronto Maple Leaf fan your entire life, but as soon as you get drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets that shit gets buried in your childhood closet. Sure you can long to one day be traded or offered a job from that mess-by-committee, but other than that those thoughts have vanished.
These guys, just like us in our boring everyday jobs, are independent contractors. We are going to go where the money is best, and business is booming.
When's the last time you were psyched your company was hiring someone else?
I couldn't give two shits, unless my company hired a fluffer.
Even if my argument is bullshit, look at the teams who were exiled before Christmas. The Isles have played some of their best hockey all year when the pressure was off. Colorado, well Colorado has Andrew Raycroft. And snow. And snow equals snowblowers. Atlanta has been playing with some pride lately, as has Phoenix. These guys aren't dogging it, they're working hard, or hard enough while the boss is watching.
I don't blame fans that get pissed when their crappy team starts winning, jeopardizing lottery chances. They're being realists and looking towards next year. They don't want their team to suck again next year, so suck the chrome off a trailer hitch this year. They've lost the majority of the season anyway, it doesn't mean anything now except getting a high pick, why would they want them to win? Pride? They've already shit all over that.