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Wings Prospect development, disagreeing with Alan Walsh

November 15, 2023, 11:41 PM ET [9 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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*Before you get into this, tomorrow’s game has a 2 p.m. start because it’s being played in Sweden. Not sure how many of you can watch, but be aware. Sweden is packed with Wings fans and Homer will be at the game. Man I miss his battles in the crease.

The Griffins Stats paint an interesting story. First, Carter Mazur in 5 games has 2 goals and 2 assists. Only 2 points behind Berggren (1 g, 5a in 7 games) and Tim Gettinger (5g and 1a in 9 games) with Taro Hirose leading the pack with 11 points (3 goals, 6 assists). Edvinsson has 5 points (3g2a) in 11 games. Those are your top performers right now.

There is some back and forth about keeping veterans or bringing up the kids. At this point, I’d like to see Mazur come up after he gets another 12-15 games in. Hirose is near a point per game player in the AHL but it just doesn’t translate when he gets called up. Edvinsson, unless injury dictates it, needs to get as many reps as possible. His skating is really good (especially at that size) but he’s overthinking on puck movement. Very easy to do if you grew up on International ice. That extra 15 feet brings a lot of time (I actually like the bigger ice, probably in the minority).

My point in all of this is, unless someone jumps off the page in GR, the NCAA or comes out of jr (Danielson) ready to rock, more time in GR is possibly the best course of action. It’s a long year, and someone could easily break out. Mazur hasn’t wasted time making an impact and Berggren (opinion) could be a good bottom 6 player.

In terms of the league, Allan Walsh did an insightful interview, and a lot of it I agreed with. Expansion wasn’t one of them. I’ve had the argument before (lots of deaf ears) that the fees for a new team don’t count as HRR. The fee also isn’t paid all up front. If you remember, Seattle made their final payment just over a week before their draft.

1 billion to “the owners” sounds like a chunk, in reality it is now less than 30 million per. If the payment is split into 3 payments, you’re talking sub 10 million per. Last year, the league took a billion dollar loan to lend up to 30 million per team as some were way behind in utility and rental payments. Ottawa’s debt load was exposed at near half a billion during discovery and chased off 2 investment groups. Now, the stadium that was going to be guaranteed isn’t guaranteed as the Canadian dollar is $1.37 compared to the American dollar. Attendance on site is down, AZ is playing in front of up to 5k people, San Jose fans are starting to stay at home and a “healthy” average viewership of around 685k is being touted as a win. (Was over 850k just over a few years ago).

The players have to agree to anything that will increase escrow. At 20%, they’re not very keen on the idea at this point. None of this even touches the layoffs at TSN (1700 over the summer), the inevitable closure of Bally who is now paying 20% less than the original deal, and the cost of building a new facility for any new teams. Walsh said this correctly, players don’t see a dime of expansion money. He also confirmed something I hadn’t heard a hard number on, 30 fewer jobs this year as teams couldn’t afford a max roster.

A new city may well be in the NHLs future, but it will either be a relocation or a replacement team. AZ has had 4 ownership groups that I can count and a current billionaire who refused to pay Gila Arena the rates to pay at the tax payer built stadium. Getting people to agree to new luxury taxes or bonds right now isn’t an ideal strategy.

All this is to say, January could have some serious bumps. Consumer spend, even if it were static, just doesn’t go as far. The high water mark of 5 billion was set as the new baseline and players have paid escrow every year since the new CBA. That means that the target isn’t getting hit. Debt is piling up.

My honest thought is a season of the two Eastern Conferences staying East and the same with the west. Cut down on travel and reduce as many of those related expenses as possible.

Detroit has a real opportunity to make a step forward while teams have to deal with top level deals that are going up.

Remember that 680k number I gave? Here are this year’s football ratings for week 10:

Sunday Night FB - 21+ million
Monday Night FB - 17.68 million
Thursday Night FB - 9.56 million

That means that week 10 of the NFL just on Sunday drew the equivalent of almost 31 NHL games. That Monday drew 26 games. Thursday drew the equivalent of 14 games. 71 games in total in a single week of NFL broadcast. The NBA still having around 2 million and getting 1.4 billion from ESPN compared to 330 million for the NHL. The NBA will go up to somewhere between 5 and 7.5 billion on their next contract. In other words, the NHLs total HRR target is the low end of just the broadcast deal.

My honest suggestion is to look at the bottom 10 performing teams historically (financially). If any team has 6 of ten years of negative revenue, they have to sell shares to a partner that counts as HRR and get players some of their money back. The continued shortfall is ignored because of escrow, and owners aren’t going to give that up any time soon.

Let me know your thoughts. Who is honestly on tract to break out of GR (I want to see Mazur get a stint, possibly Edvinsson at the end of the year) and what do you tell a billionaire who won’t pay rent for an NHL size arena and drags the league down?

We’ll be seeing Swedish based hockey tomorrow! Ericsson now has Swedish condiments, and I’m not sure if Z’s cream filled Swedish balls are still being sold. Both were in town trying to get new business ventures up and running.
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