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More Mainstream Media Arrogance

July 9, 2012, 3:03 PM ET [112 Comments]
Paul McCann
Nashville Predators Blogger •Predators Radio Network • RSSArchiveCONTACT
In the latest ultimate example of arrogance by a member of the mainstream hockey media, Vancouver Province columnist Tony Gallagher puts forward a modest proposal that even Jonathan Swift would have problems swallowing. Apparently he believes that teams in the NHL that accept revenue sharing should not be allowed to go after free agents like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, and throws in a thinly veiled dig at Nashville’s attempts to hold on to their home grown stars.

He then goes from the somewhat silly to the downright stupid… from yesterday’s column…
Why for instance wouldn't the top 10 teams break away and form their own league or division whereby the salary cap was $80 million with no revenue sharing at all between teams?
That way those top 10 teams would get a massive share of the best players and therefore the most television interest and revenue, allowing them to up their own bottom line instead of bolstering somebody else's. Then as revenues grew, they could raise their cap in the future and leave the other begging poor sisters even further in the dust. The other owners wouldn't like it and the players might not like it, but who's calling the tune here? Right now it's the owners of the poor teams and the notes they're sounding can't be terribly harmonious to the owners who pay the freight.

I find it interesting that Mr. Gallagher attempts to sow discord between owners… I also find it fascinating that Gallagher suggests NHL teams like Carolina and Nashville need to act more like the Pittsburgh’s or Tampa’s of Major League Baseball, using the fact that neither team tried to “outbid the Yankees and Angels for Albert Pujols” as proof… another quote… “Bidding on mid-level players is perhaps to be expected, but when the Hurricanes are in there for the best players in the game on someone else's dime, it's a problem.” … in other words, if you accept help from the league, don’t expect to get a top level player… just shut up and keep developing players for the rich teams to poach.

Hmmmm… in typically arrogant mainstream hockey media fashion, Mr. Gallagher has a rather short memory. He conveniently forgets that just ten short years ago, his hometown team was, as he so snottily puts it, “persistent beggars for (insert local team here) season ticket holder money,” if the process he so passionately lays out today was in place ten years ago, there would be no Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and… wait for it… Vancouver Canucks.

In the immortal words of that great philosopher Bugs Bunny… “what a maroon.”.

The funny part about this whole scenario, is that more revenue sharing is exactly what the NHL needs. There are reasons that the NFL has the kind of parity it has, the kind of popularity it has… and one of the largest reasons is revenue sharing… it is why that smaller market teams like New Orleans, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Seattle, Carolina and Tennessee have all made at least one or more Super Bowl appearances since 2000. Revenue sharing allows all the teams of the league to play on a more even playing field, recognizing that the teams of a league work together to make the league successful. Fans of every team go into a season knowing that their team has a shot and can’t be outspent by the New York, Toronto’s or Detroit's of the world every year.

The other problem that would be avoided with enhanced revenue sharing… the inevitable change in currency conversions. For years the conversion rate between the American and Canadian dollar was detrimental to the success of the Canadian teams… the Canadian Assistance Plan recognized that, and helped prop up teams that could not fill their barn, like Vancouver in the 1990’s when the team had seasons where average attendance was below 14,000 and had to deal with a highly unfavorable exchange rate.

Revenue sharing has shown itself to be good for a league, it has brought success and most importantly, stability to Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the limited revenue sharing going on in the NHL has been good for the competitive balance of the league. The smarter owners in pro sports understand this, support it, and make more money because of it… too bad the same level of understanding doesn’t extend to mainstream hockey columnists.



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Random Notes

- I understand why this is coming up, but it doesn’t make it any less silly… because Ryan Suter didn’t stay in Nashville, this throws into doubt the team’s ability to retain and attract elite players? It’s a bit of a stretch… especially considering how many retire here after their playing days are done. I guess you can use the same logic on Detroit after they have struck out so far in free agency… not.

- Coach Barry Trotz is very optimistic in his Q&A with David Boclair from Sunday’s CityPaper.

- Sergei Kostitsyn has elected arbitration, the only one of Nashville’s RFA’s to do that.

- So now the reason for no signings is that Shane Doan is deciding… sheesh… this is kinda getting old.

- The best move made by the San Jose Sharks this offseason may end up being the hiring of Larry Robinson as Associate Coach.

- Roberto Luongo has been quoted as saying that it is “time to move on.” I hope he ends up in Florida, but there will be a bit of irony if he ends up in Chicago.

- So far, so good. Meeting between the NHL and the Players Association have gone well, more meetings are scheduled this week.


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