Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Would you watch replacement players?

Ah, the eternal question. I would. So would cousin BJ:
In all honesty, I would pay to watch replacement players - assuming an AHL skill level, lower ticket prices and that some NHL players would cross the picket line to play.
Then again, we are hockey-mad Canadians who by next year will be so starved to see players decked out in NHL threads that we'll watch anything. The real question is, how many people in Anaheim will turn out to watch? And, going on the premise that replacements fly in Canada and a few northeastern states, but bomb elsewhere, where does that put ownerships' strategy?


At 2:45 a.m., February 23, 2005, Anonymous Casey said...

Would I pay to watch replacement players? Yes.

Would I pay the same amount as the Flames are currently asking? No.

Drop the price in half and I'b be in the Saddledome in a heartbeat.

At 8:11 a.m., February 23, 2005, Blogger Sea Otter said...

Absolutely -- I'll be there in a flash, and so will many other hockey fans. The replacements won't last long, however. Just as in the NFL strike of '87, it won't take long for a few regulars to cross the line. (By that stage, the lockout will have morphed into a strike.) After that, the first big name will cross, and the floodgates will be open.

At 9:44 a.m., February 23, 2005, Anonymous Don said...

At full NHL prices, I can't picture replacement hockey lasting a week. If they cut the prices -- maybe. But remember, the owners haven't said a thing about reducing prices -- only theeir costs.

Some perspective from Long Island, where the Isles had their AHL team play a home game at the Nassau Coliseum last week: The hockey was awful -- even my hockey-starved 17-year-old said he was bored. 13,000 people and no passion. And that was with a full AHL lineup, including some legit NHL players, including Fleury off the Baby Pens. Since I can't see most "real" NHL prospects playing as scabs, replacement hockey would be even worse, with career minor-leaguers and ECHL/UHL/CHL guys. Plus, the damage it would do to team chemistry is incalculable. Having covered the NHL for 30 years, I cringe at the thought -- and I hope the legal problems make it impossible.

At 9:49 a.m., February 23, 2005, Blogger Joseph said...

Drop the price in half and I'll watch ACTUAL NHL players in person.

It's a very intriguing issue and one that, personally, I hope is answered come October. I somewhat enjoy watching the league shoot itself in the foot. Being a minor-league hockey fan, I'd love to see the NHL pull the replacement kamikaze act.

I don't wish death upon the game, but I do think it's high-time for the league to realize it's NOT a major sport. It's a niche sport, at best, in America. Replacement players would prove that claim once and for all.

At 9:54 a.m., February 23, 2005, Blogger Joseph said...

Don, please don't judge the quality of AHL hockey by a Bridgeport Sound Tiger game. They have absolutely no talent on the club whatsoever, which is why they play the trademark deluxe trap. They are the most boring team in the AHL - period.

Regardless, your point is well-taken.

At 2:58 p.m., February 23, 2005, Anonymous Don said...

Joseph: I agree that there's little talent on the Bridge. Bergeinheim can play, Papineau is an NHL player, and a couple of the kid defensemen will be good. The rest of the skaters are career minor-leaguers. But the Baby Pens were's much, either. Boring would be a charitable appraisal.

Isles charged $10-$25 for tix (free for season tix holders). if they charge that for replacement games, fans may show up for a while. The real question is how much will they pay to root for "laundry."


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