Saturday, October 13, 2012

Opening Night

It's Opening Night. But instead of heading to my familiar train station to take me into Newark Penn Station with that short familiar walk to Prudential Center, last taken about 4 months ago during the Stanley Cup Finals, I'll be making a very long and unfamiliar drive up to Albany to sit in an unfamiliar arena to see the Albany Devils play in their home opener.

Of course, the Albany Devils are the younger brother of the New Jersey Devils. Actually, they're the AHL affiliate, the top minor league team, of the NHL's Devils, but their GM is our GM's kid and a number of younger brothers (and I think a few older ones and cousins too) of current and former NJ Devils players have played, or are playing for Albany. I can't wait for the day when a Devils' kid get drafted and assigned to Albany. We're getting close, after drafting the son of a former Ranger who broke our hearts 18 years ago. I won't go into whose kid(s) I have in mind.

But it comes to this because we've reached the point where the originally-scheduled NHL's Opening Night has come and gone, and the lockout still continues. And I need my hockey fix. So I am heading to Albany for the game.

Some lockout thoughts for you.

Let me elaborate on this one. As a business, I can't imagine many scenarios in which it is better for business to be shut down than to operate, even if operation is not under idea conditions. I don't want to start a conspiracy theory here. Maybe the owners and Bettman are just stupidly stubborn and won't unlock the league until they get the deal they want. But how would it hurt them to play under the old deal while negotiating a new deal? Of course, it should have been done last year, but right now, that's besides the point. The NHL owners seemingly have wanted the lockout the entire time. Are they shutting down the league to drive down goodwill and therefore, drive down some immediate revenue, while taking in other money at fixed prices, all with the expectation that they can get a better deal on something that's locked in when revenue does go up (which might be expected since it did the last time)? Any NHL owner who thinks it's better to NOT be in business right now than it is better to be in business with a bad deal should just look to sell and get out of the league. We'll be hearing reports on how much money the NHL is losing or has lost with all of the missed games.

And on the flip side of that, I had this realization the other day.

Don't let either the NHL or NHLPA tell you that all games are important. Because if they were, we'd be watching NHL hockey tonight.

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