May 13, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris (53) during the game one of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Arena. The Kings defeated the Coyotes 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

Stu Hackel of Red Light On The Lockout And The Phoenix Coyotes

In a detailed piece on whom should be blamed for the lockout, Stu comes out in support of the players. The owners are locking out the players, voting unanimously in a vote led by Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. Mr. Hackel makes several points that the players and the Players Association must consider . Two points that he makes are salient.

  1. Teams are losing money. Even well run teams like Pittsburgh and San Jose were reported to have lost money. 18 teams saw their valuations down according to Forbes. There are very few perfectly run teams. The Maple Leafs are an example of having sellout attendance, moving merchandise that most teams can only dream of, and the on-ice performance is substandard. Missing the playoffs for many years in a row should force some fans to stay home or see reduced ticket prices. Maple Leafs fan can expect to pay more and see less.
  2. Owners are their worst enemies. Signing players to extremely long-term contracts that they front load hurt their current finances as well as hamper the team from dealing with these players in the end of their contracts. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are good players, but would you sign them for 10 years and almost 100 million dollars each? By the same team? This is why the owners are hard to believe. If you are losing money, take steps to trim your losses. Put out a competitive team, but you do not need to have “the” shiny new UFA on your bench.

And we get to the Phoenix Coyotes paragraph. You cannot argue with his points.

Speaking about out-of-the-way arenas, what about the Coyotes, who have lost more money than any NHL club and likely will continue to do so? The league never should have permitted former owner Steve Ellman to forsake a proposed Scottsdale location over a relatively small financial disagreement with that city’s government and instead stick the club in Glendale, a place the established fan base in the East Valley has difficulty traveling to even when the team is competitive, which for quite a while it wasn’t. Making numerous poor hockey decisions, the Coyotes failed to qualify for the postseason six straight years and seven out of eight prior to their bankruptcy fiasco that ended up with the league owning this money pit of a franchise. That sad tale is well known. It has drained the owners substantially and has nothing to do with any failures of the current economic system.

Bad decisions made in the heat of the moment have serious long term implications. It is too late to do anything but ride this out and when the prospect of paying off is realized, start laying the groundwork to build a “new” work class arena on the east side of town. An ideal spot is the Scottsdale Road Rt 101 vacant land that was to be a high end shopping mall. The other dream site would be at Westworld. Next to the Ice Den. Hotels and retail already exist. Just drop in an arena.

The full article is linked in The Hub.


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