Monday, October 15, 2012

NHL Lockout: Catalyst for a new League?

Imagine a situation where a North American major sports league is in a position to be challenged.  A position where, say, the players and fans are in a state of unrest.  Where perhaps even the owners themselves are wondering why they are counting their losses instead of their profits.

Is that not where the NHL is today?  Will it get worse before it gets better?  Seems likely.

So I had a thought...What if the KHL tried to take advantage of the situation?  Tries to move into cities like Seattle, Kansas City and Quebec that have or will soon have new arenas waiting for a team? Cities that want a high level pro hockey team will spend millions and millions to get one.

So why wouldn't that mean tossing in a few million for the inevitable legal battles as well?  Far fetched?  Well, what about the World Hockey Association days?  All it took was a few lawsuits and a boatload of money to get that ball rolling.  And speaking of money, want to attract players to the North American Hockey League?  Two words for you: Salary Cap.  As in there isn't one.  Don't think it's possible?  I bet that's what the owners thought when Bobby Hull signed a record setting contract, in the other league.

And what if a few disgruntled, current NHL owners jumped to the KHL?  I don't think the Jets owners signed up for this malarkey.  Small market teams playing the odds or maybe just tired of the disproportionate revenue sharing?  Never underestimate the ability of an individual or organization to swoop into the old establishment and completely change the way business is conducted.  The student becomes the master.

And then, what if ESPN signed a TV contract with them and John Buccigross was on again with his wicked wit and edgy wrap up show?  Wouldn't that just be the final push to put a new league on the map?

The NHL would be up and running in a heartbeat and very possibly would soon be begging for a merger.

Crazy?  What if...?

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