Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Shysters

Shyster: One who is professionally unscrupulous: a pettifogger-to do a law business in a petty or tricky way.

My first recollection of this is when I was a kid and the great Joe DiMaggio who just had another fantastic year was asking for a raise and GM George Barrows wanted to cut his salary because "our young boys are fighting a war".

So who is fighting a war now? The NHL owners under the leadership of Gary Bettman want the players to cut their share of the revenue by 17% so the big benevolent owners can continue to live the good life and the joke is that most of them can't spell or understand negotiation.

But I'm not taking sides here. I'm not stepping in front of two millionaires to say who is right and who is wrong. It's Buffett vs Trump. There are no losers. The losers here are the fans. Oh yeah, they are doing this for the fans. It's like the school teachers union striking for the kids. Give us more money and we will love your kids more. Cut your share players and the fans will be more happy.

So we sit and wait as Bettman orchestrates his third work stoppage in eight years. Bettman the commissioner. I always thought that commissioners were supposed to represent the entire league, owners and players. Not so. They are the pawns of the owners and there is no place more evident of this, than the NHL.

Scotty Hockey has put out a post identifying other areas of hockey to checkout during the lockout. Read the post. Me, I'm all set and it starts tonight at the Rinx in Hauppauge where my grandson Nicholas takes the ice with his T/Birds teammates of Connectquot/Sayville High School freshman team opening game against West Islip, my home town. Should be interesting.

One sad note. I read Hockey Rodent's farewell blog. I hope it's not true. The Rodent is a big force in the Ranger blogsphere and it would be a big loss to miss his insightfulness and analysis. Rodent you are the best. Say it isn't so. Don't let these bums drive you out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rangers 1971-72

Former Rangers forward Bill Fairbairn (NYR: 1969-77) attended the 30th annual Rangers Golf Outing as part of the 1971-72 team reunion and talked about his Blueshirt days:


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Vic Hadfield (NYR: 1961-74), the first Ranger to score 50 goals in a season (1971-72), looked back on that 1971-72 season with Jim Cerny at the Rangers Golf Classic:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

That Was Quick

Six days ago the headline was that Rich Nash was close to a deal to play in Switerland. Five days ago the deal was signed with HC Davos of the Swiss National League. Ten hours ago Nash and his buddy Joe Thornton, "explode together in first game back in Switzerland."

Why can't we get players like that?

NBC Sports:

Rick Nash and Joe Thornton were teammates with HC Davos during the 2004-05 lockout and during their first game with the Swiss league team today, they showed that even years apart can’t kill chemistry.

Nash scored a natural hat trick in the first period and added an assist while Thornton assisted on all of his goals while adding a fourth as Davos took out Lakers 9-2. Oddly enough, their offensive explosion happened against former Avalanche goalie David Aebischer.

When the pair played together years ago, they led Davos to the Swiss league title. Clearly, they’re hoping the NHL lockout can last a little while longer.
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The Nash-Thorton merchandise is apparently selling very well at the HC Davos store:

Thorton - Nash Jerseys at HC Davos
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ICINGS:

This lockout nonsense looks like it has knocked the legendary hockey blogger, The Hockey Rodent, out of the game. A big loss for all hockey fans. He's the best there is was.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

NHL Owners Not Unanimous in Lockout Decision

Stories, like the following one from the NY Daily News, reporting a unanimous decision by league owners for a lockout are not accurate according an informed source in Canada, who is very close to the ownership of a Canadian team.

NY Daily News, September 13, 2012:
NHL Board of Governors votes in favor of lockout...

The lockout is a lock.

The NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously Thursday at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Times Square to support Gary Bettman in the league’s collective bargaining negotiations, meaning they are behind the commissioner’s planned lockout of the players at 11:59 p.m. Saturday if a new agreement is not in place.

“When we were all done, I asked for a show of hands as to whether or not the room was in support of how we’ve been approaching negotiations,” Bettman said at a packed press conference. “One member asked for a formal motion, which was made, and seconded. The vote was taken. And it was unanimous.”...
According to the Canadian source, the vote was about 20 to 10, in favor of a lockout when the motion was first discussed on Thursday in New York. However, over several rounds of discussion and voting, the 10 or so owners who were initially against the lockout were worn down and convinced to go with the majority in a show of strength and solidarity by all the owners.

The ten or so owners, who initially voted against the lockout, were characterized by the source as being the owners, who were "filling their buildings" last season and were not facing financial hardship. You can also logically deduce that one of the owners voting against the lockout had a Canadian team.

Looking at the attendance figures for last season, here are the 16 NHL teams that were "filling their buildings" for every home game:

RKTEAMGMSTOTALAVGPCT
1Philadelphia41837,75420,433107.4
2Chicago41882,87421,533105.0
3Toronto41799,78619,506103.7
4Pittsburgh41761,22418,566102.7
5Vancouver41774,25018,884102.5
6Washington41758,74618,506
7Ottawa41793,61219,356
8Detroit41824,70620,114100.7
9Boston41720,14517,564100.0







Calgary41790,84919,289100.0



Edmonton41690,39916,839100.0

Los Angeles41734,73617,920100.0
Montreal41872,19321,273100.0
NY Rangers41745,85218,191100.0
San Jose41720,07617,562100.0
Winnipeg41615,16415,004100.0
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ICINGS: The bottomline is that Gary Bettman is a liar. But, we knew that already. He will say or do anything to put the majority owners position in a positive light.

The 16 teams that are at 100% or better home attendance, and/or making money will be the key to deciding the outcome of the lockout. If these owners can put together a coalition of the profitable the lockout will end sooner rather than later.


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