Saturday, August 25, 2012

They Do More than "Play The Game"

(New York Rangers)
I am going to have a hard time being polite or politically correct today because there are times when some New York Ranger fans just don't realize how hard players work to get to the NHL. I swear if I read one more poster trash the players by saying "all they do is play the game" that I will scream.

I could understand it if people who took the NHL's side if they had their facts in order but really most don't. Maybe if you put names to those owners would you still support the NHL position if you saw James Dolan's name instead of the NHL owners?

Perhaps the most frustrating thing I see is how few people realize that in the last NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement that the owners got 95% of what they wanted from the NHLPA. In 2005 the NHLPA was (and still is) the most impotent union in sports.

I see people daily saying that those poor NHL owners shouldn't have to share their "profits" with the players. That NHL owners can't make any money because of those greedy players.

What saddens me is that for those who are supporting the NHL owners that they don't know the difference between profit and revenue. There are fans who just don't realize that the number one reason why NHL teams are having trouble is because of the decisions they the teams make.

Really who put a gun to the head of the Minnesota Wild's owner Craig Leipold and forced him to offer twin 13 year $98 million dollar contracts to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter? Who was it that offered Shea Weber an offer sheet worth $110 million over 14 years?

Please realize that while you are so busy trashing NHL players remember who it really is that are the one really damaging the sport you love. It is not the players but rather the foolish behavior of NHL owners and general managers.

It wasn't the players who decided that places like Atlanta or Phoenix had to have NHL franchises. It is not the players who decide who can own NHL franchise nor do they have a voice when a team's ownership screws up so badly that they turn the franchise into a joke.

Hello did people forget the "gun to the head" that the Penguins and Gary Bettman pulled on the City of Pittsburgh to get their new arena? How many people know what kind of lease was offered to the owners of the then Hartford Whalers to get them to move to Raleigh North Carolina?

Remind me to shed tears for the Dolan family who pay no property taxes on a square block in mid-town Manhattan. I don't deny the Dolans anything they make off the Rangers because they have a cash cow and milk it like they should.

But please don't sit there and write "all the players have to do is show up and play" because it is a bunch of crap. Any of you who have ever done anything with your lives has gotten there because you worked hard at it.

90% of you had to bust your tails in schools or on the job learning your craft, you didn't have it handed to you on a platter nor did you simply showed up one day and knew everything you needed to get where you are.

It ticks me off because so few know what anyone who wants to be an NHL player goes through to get there. And even fewer realize once there how hard an NHL player now has to work to stay in the NHL.

Being an NHL player is now a year round job for as soon as one season ends then a player needs to start working on next season. It goes way beyond "show up and play" as a player is now paying to attend specially run workout camps out of their own pocket.

I dare someone to go up to a Dan Girardi and tell him how easy his life is as an NHL player. Undrafted, unwanted and if not for the 2004 lockout then odds are Girardi is not a Ranger.

Go ask Brian Boyle what it was like to be 6'7 and having to attend skating school in order to save his NHL career. Being an NHL player goes way beyond just showing up to play.

And can we please learn the difference between what is revenue and what is profit?


1. the income of a government from taxation, excise duties, customs, or other sources, appropriated to the payment of the public expenses.

2. the government department charged with the collection of such income.

3. revenues, the collective items or amounts of income of a person, a state, etc.

4. the return or yield from any kind of property, patent, service, etc.; income.

5. an amount of money regularly coming in.

6. a particular item or source of income.


1. Often, profits.
a. pecuniary gain resulting from the employment of capital in any transaction. Compare gross profit, net profit.
b. the ratio of such pecuniary gain to the amount of capital invested.
c. returns, proceeds, or revenue, as from property or investments.

2. the monetary surplus left to a producer or employer after deducting wages, rent, cost of raw materials, etc.: The company works on a small margin of profit.

3. advantage; benefit; gain.

So many people are having so much trouble understanding the difference. The players and NHL owners are arguing over how much of a split there should be in dividing up the revenue.

At no time have the players demanded to touch a team's profits besides if you listen to the commissioner nobody in the NHL makes one anyway.

One other sad but true good point was raised by Dave of Blue Seat Blogs when he wrote

The owners are using the loyalty of the fans, our loyalty and hard-earned cash, as a bargaining chip.

Dave is right on the mark when he correctly pointed that out.

The fact that loyalties are being used as a negotiating tactic is appalling. We never thought either side would stoop so low.

Sorry Dave but that was the battle plan all along by both sides. Gary Bettman was very able to sell NHL fans in 2004 that he locked out the players to save the NHL for them.

And it will keep working for the NHL as long as people keep believing that the players are the greedy ones here.


william Peace said...

As always you make some astute observations. I would suggest fans do not care about the owners or players. They just want to see the game--for most fans the NHL is a game they enjoy watching. For owners and players it is a game and a business. This creates a big divide between those in the business of playing a game and the fans who simply want to see a great game played at the highest level.

Jess Rubenstein said...

Thank you, The fans you say just want to watch are the ones who the NHL can bank on.

Just give them a day and they will show up. It is not a knock on those fans because like you said they just want the game.

I hope those fans take the time to discover the juniors and NCAA for their hockey fix.