Tag: NBA Lockout

Dave Andreychuk

Andreychuk to NBA players: Get a deal done


We’re a few days late on this one, but the Orlando Sentinel published a story Wednesday in which former NHL player Dave Andreychuk advised NBA players to get a deal done and end the lockout before the season is officially canceled.

“In the end, it will be worse,” warned Andreychuk, now Tampa Bay’s Vice President of Fans. (Seriously, that’s his title. Guess it’s better than Senior Associate of Fans.)

Andreychuk isn’t the first former NHL player to implore NBA players to suck it up and take what the owners are offering. Bill Guerin said the same thing in October.

Looking back on the lost 2004-05 NHL season, Andreychuk remembers what it was like to be locked out.

“As the pressure built — after a month, two months, three months — it started to sink in,” he said. “Guys were saying to themselves, ‘I’m 25 years old and hockey is how I make my living. We need to get a deal done.’”

Andreychuk concludes, “At the end, we were so willing to sign, we had to agree to what the owners wanted. We gave back a tremendous amount just to get a deal done so we could go back to work.”

In a related story, NHLPA chief Donald Fehr has emailed Andreychuk the link to the following video:

Columnist: Kings, Ducks blowing golden opportunity

Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks

Elliott Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News has written an interesting piece prior to back-to-back nights of The Freeway Face-Off. The Ducks and Kings will do battle tonight at the Staples Center, then tomorrow night at the Honda Center.

Teaford thinks Los Angeles and Anaheim are “blowing it” with their lackluster starts to the season.

Blowing what, exactly?

The Kings and the Ducks could have the fall/winter/spring stage all to themselves if the NBA lockout continues and the Lakers and Clippers remain on the sidelines.

USC and UCLA aren’t going to the Rose Bowl and their seasons are winding down.

Soon all we’ll have is hockey under the palms in Southern California.

You might think the Kings and Ducks would use this opportunity to make a determined leap onto the front pages, gain a few more seconds on the local television news, lure new fans and get more people talking about them.

Sadly, however, neither team is seizing the day.

The struggles in both LA and Anaheim are well documented. The Kings were supposed to be highly competitive this season, but have been mediocre at best. The Ducks, meanwhile, have just been bad.

If you’re looking for a reason why, consider the roster makeups. Both clubs are extremely top heavy.

The Kings rely almost exclusively on five forwards for scoring: Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Simon Gagne and Dustin Brown. (To read about LA’s lack of secondary scoring, click here.) Blueline production is almost totally reliant on Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty.

Anaheim’s even more imbalanced. Up front, scoring is done almost exclusively by Teemu Selanne, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan (Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano chip in, just not often enough.) And after Cam Fowler, Francois Beauchemin and the struggling Lubomir Visnovsky, the Ducks blueline gets really thin. Toni Lydman is struggling, Luca Sbisa has been a nightmare and the rotating door of sixth/seventh defensemen (Sheldon Brookbank, Kurtis Foster, Nate Guenin) has done nothing.

“So far, there’s no reason for anyone with the faintest interest in hockey to jump aboard either team’s bandwagon,” Teaford writes. “Neither team has played well enough to warrant extra column inches in the newspapers or sound bites on the evening television news.”

With the NBA locked out, the SoCal sports scene is primed to focus on the Kings and Ducks this season.

But with the way they’re going, it might not happen.

NBA lockout could be opportunity for NHL teams

David Stern

Panthers GM Dale Tallon told ESPN’s Craig Custance something interesting the other day.

When asked if the NBA lockout meant more media attention for the NHL in South Florida, Tallon replied, “We’re getting a lot of coverage. Ever since July 1, we’re getting a lot more. Fans there are excited about what’s going on. We’re getting a little more [attention] but it’s more to do with what we’re doing [than a lockout].”

Obviously Tallon isn’t about to say they’re only getting more coverage because there’s no Heat news to report on. And in fairness, the Panthers did have a newsworthy offseason. Plus they’re off to a good start.

But let’s be real here – the NBA lockout hasn’t hurt. All those reporters who used to spend all day listening to Chris Bosh cry have to do something.

If there’s no basketball this year – and that’s looking like a distinct possibility – teams like the Panthers, Coyotes, Avalanche, Devils, Stars and Ducks need to cash in on it. All those teams play in NBA markets, and all could use a boost in attendance.

Trust me, sports fans in those cities will want a team to cheer for, especially once football season is over.

I remember what happened in Vancouver during the 2004-05 NHL lockout. With no Canucks, all of a sudden everyone was following the BC Lions (CFL). The Lions hadn’t been relevant in Vancouver since the 80s when Pamela Anderson was going to games and looked like this:


It wasn’t a one-year phenomenon either. Lions attendance jumped 20 percent from 2004 to 2005. People liked the product. They paid for more.

Granted, there were other factors at play. The Lions were a good team and management had improved. But the NHL lockout gave them a bump without a doubt, particularly when it came to media coverage.

Listen, I’m not saying every basketball fan is going to start watching hockey. If I had to guess, I’d say there’s more crossover between hockey and football fans in Vancouver than there is between hockey and basketball fans in the United States. However, you can’t underestimate the desire of sports fans to cheer for a team, even if it’s not their number-one sport.