As is always the case, every so often you look up and wonder, “Hey, how come I haven’t heard from the NHL in a while?” And the answer always comes back, “Oh right, because they’re galactically stupid.” And then you go on about your life. It’s good to have solid things to hold onto at this point in time, to make sure the current doesn’t carry you off into madness.
You haven’t heard much about the NHL because they can’t, as it was ever thus, unfuck themselves. As we’ve briefly covered, because the info and news only drips out, they’re currently struggling to find a start date, or system, for the 2020-2021 season as the owners attempt to claw back things they already agreed to in order to get the playoffs off the ground last summer. Needless to say, the players are less than thrilled, and have answered the owners’ request with a specific finger.
Yesterday saw commissioner Gary Bettman make the initial rounds to try to put the pressure on the players, hitting all the customary notes of “we have to work together,” “things on the ground have changed,” and “it’s a stress on both sides.” All of it straight out of the Rob Manfred I’m-a-dope playbook. You can look for some owners to push Bettman to run out the clock, like MLB did, soon.
Today, it came out that some owners, namely the ones in Southern California, Pittsburgh, and Boston have looked into moving games outside when the season starts. The Ducks and Kings reportedly have eyed the LA Galaxy’s home, which is on its 13th different name this month. The Penguins have discussed Heinz Field, and the Bruins have talked about Fenway Park.
If this seems patently ridiculous, that’s because it is. The thinking is that fans might not be allowed in indoor arenas, but some portion might be allowed in an open-air one.
But it’s a farce. The cost of building those outdoor rinks that you see for the Winter Classic and Stadium Series games are enormous, in the millions. Even if fans are allowed, it won’t be near full capacity, and only getting 10,000 in these venues isn’t going to make up that much. Even over a full season, which this one won’t be.
Of course, the Galaxy or Red Sox would need the stadiums back in the spring, and this isn’t football where you just erase the lines. You can’t just pick up and put back a hockey rink. Perhaps those NHL teams think that by the time spring rolls around they can get back into their normal arenas, but who knows at what capacity.
At some point you have to ask when is enough for these assholes. Yes, the NHL is a gate-driven league, and suffers the biggest losses with no fans. But that doesn’t mean there’s no money, nor does it mean that NHL owners aren’t the same billionaires who own other teams in other sports. So far, they’ve only missed out on 1/10th of last season’s gates, and playoff gates, which is only really significant for a handful of teams. They still got their TV money.
So when do these guys have to stop making money? And that applies to all these owners everywhere. When you have millions upon millions into the billions, when is it enough? Why does everything have to be squeezed?
The NHL is a year away from the addition of an expansion team, a new U.S. TV deal, and hopefully full arenas again. These guys really can’t suck it up for one season?
It’s clear that these dipshits are addicts to massive income. And they’re fiending, and looking for any fix.
MLS got down to its final four last night, as Minnesota FC beat Sporting KC 3-0 in Kansas City. The highlight was this work of art from Kevin Monino, his second of the game. To follow this ball over his shoulder, spin, volley, even if not the most solid contact, and find the bottom corner, is just sublime.
MLS must be thrilled with how the playoffs have gone, as weird as they’ve been, as they’ve been mostly goal-filled. This one is near the top of them all if not the capper.