Sportsnet’s Michael Grange has a five-point plan to solve the NHL’s problems that includes a 50-50 revenue split between owners and players, the contraction of two teams with two others moving to Canada, the limiting of player contracts to four years, and “meaningful” revenue sharing.
It’s worth a read, particularly the part about contraction and moving teams to Canada — a suggestion that never fails to infuriate fans of the contraction/relocation targets.
“On one hand you have Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which — on-ice performance aside — is perhaps the most sophisticated sports ownership group on the planet,” writes Grange. “According to Forbes, the Leafs’ 2010–11 operating income of $81.8 million nearly matched the next two most lucrative operations — the Rangers and Canadiens — combined. (And if you’re looking for a staggering figure, the other 27 teams combined for $44.4 million in operating losses.)
“On the other hand you have the New York Islanders, who could hold a rat rodeo in the bowels of the decrepit Nassau Coliseum and have taken John Tavares hostage. Phoenix is Phoenix. Columbus is a joke, and Florida can barely draw Canadians during March Break. But what if we chopped two teams and moved two more? More revenue for the league and the players to share, and less bad news for the rest of us. No-brainer.”
Also worth a read is Grange’s take on the NHLPA’s offer to the NHL, an offer he calls “cloaked in the spirit of compromise” but one with “some very sharp teeth.”