Wednesday, August 03, 2005

NHL IN FULL REPENTANCE MODE

It's amusing watching the NHL kiss up to the fans in the wake of the year-long debacle of a non-season they just had.

Among other things, they are cutting prices all over the place. Last week, even the Toronto Maple Leafs cut prices to games. It now costs $35 bucks for the cheapest seats in the Air Canada Centre. Overall, they're cutting prices 5%. I guess they need to keep up with the Buffalo Sabres. I heard the cheap seats at Sabres games are something like $10 bucks. If that's the case, Toronto fans are better off going to Buffalo, even with these cheaper Leaf seats. I read that they're bragging now that 43% of the Leaf tickets now cost less than $68 dollars! Compare that to the Blue Jays where the vast majority of tickets are under $68 dollars! In fact, you can get nosebleed seats for six people for a grand total of $66 dollars at the prices the Blue Jays are offering- and there are plenty of those! You're also far better off paying for tickets to Argo games, or even Raptors games (and Raptor tickets can be pricey). Leaf ticket prices are still absolutely ridiculous by pro sports standards. Yet they're going to sell out the season, even though the fans were just screwed over for a whole year. Gullible fools.

The other big thing that happened last week was the NHLPA's sacking of Bob Goodenow. Word has leaked out now that Goodenow was forced out, so the NHLPA automatically moves up in my book. They realize their stupid lockout did nothing for the fans or the sport.

This league is also heavily promoting all its rule changes and all the rest of it now, and how competitive the league will be. Free agency came into effect on August 1st and already you see teams like Edmonton stealing away Chris Pronger from the Blues, and teams like Pittsburgh and Florida are all over the place signing players. I guess this is good. We'll maybe have a competitive league next year where anyone could win the Cup. Just like in the NFL. Problem is you need a scorecard to follow all the player moves. This is likely to turn off casual fans.

Okay NHL, clearly you are out to please the fans and are exceedingly sorry for the havoc of last season. At least you learned some lessons, unlike baseball, which emerged with no salary cap and with a bunch of players on steroids, lying to Congress about whether or not they used them. SO NHL, okay. YOU'RE FORGIVEN.

...but not enough to buy any tickets for games for a while yet. You guys still need a long stay in the doghouse. Just to make a point that there are consequeces to cancelling an entire season and Stanley Cup.

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