Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kelly: Expand to Canada

You know what, they're thinking about Kansas City and all due respect, Kansas City had its opportunity to support a franchise. It didn't happen — I don't see it happening in the future ... it's not a hockey market.

Before we go into places like Kansas City or Las Vegas, I really think we should be looking at one of these great Canadian cities.
— NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly
The more I hear from Paul Kelly, the more I like the guy. He's great with the media, great for the players and, so far in these early days anyway, great for the league.

Strangely enough, most of what he says makes a lot of sense.

The NHL/NHLPA partnership is a goofy idea to begin with, but it's one the union is stuck working with and Kelly recognizes that. And if the only way he can really improve player salaries is by increasing league revenues, you better believe he's going to be speaking the players' position (re: the cap-boosting one) any chance he gets.

We don't really know what the union's stance will be on many key issues quite yet, but so far, there have been positive signs.

(You can listen to Kelly's interview on Hockey Central on the Fan 590 from yesterday.)
.

Labels: , ,

16 Comments:

At 3:12 AM, January 22, 2008, Anonymous paul said...

While his overall point is sound, I think he needs a better argument than "it didn't work the first time". Colorado, Minnesota, and the bay area have proven that. Atlanta sure supports his argument, but that's a pretty sound track record of teams returning to abandoned markets.

 
At 3:23 AM, January 22, 2008, Anonymous David Johnson said...

The NHL wanted an revenue sharing partnership with the players, now the players union is starting to make its stance known that they want to have a say in how revenue is generated starting with where franchises are located.

 
At 5:12 AM, January 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While everyone's blinded by Kelly's Maple Leaf medallion, did anyone catch PJ Stock's comment on the Cold Stove where he basically said nobody wants to play in Edmonton, "and I'm a Canadian who loved playing in Canada" or some nonsense he added as a sort-of back-pedal.
Does anyone remember how English=speaking players wanted out of Quebec City because of A: the language and B: the taxes. Does anybody recall how Chris Drury barely unpacked his bags in Calgary before he was demanding a trade back out of town. Mrs. Chris Pronger?
I mean, get real. It's Montreal for some francophones. Toronto for Torontonians. And "I got traded where? You've gotta be kidding me" for the rest of the league.

 
At 7:37 AM, January 22, 2008, Anonymous Colonial said...

There are lots of places players don't want to play, Canada isn't unique in that regard. Think anyone is excited about getting traded to Nashville where they can play in front of 10 000 fans?

The best argument for more Canadian franchises has nothing to do with what the players want. The fact is all 6 Canadian teams are making tons of cash at the gate, get acceptable TV ratings, and have loyal fanbases while a lot of American cities (even with successful teams) have trouble in all three areas.

If the Oilers or the Leafs were in different markets we'd be talking about possible relocation instead of how hard it is to find a ticket.

That being said, I don't think expansion of any kind should even be talked about at this point. but if they ever decide to move the Panthers and Preds I think more traditional markets like Hamilton, Winnipeg, and Seattle should be higher on the list than Vegas or KC.

 
At 9:24 AM, January 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bettman thought he'd got rid of pesky union leadership when Goodenow left.
Imagine Kelly's nerve suggesting more teams in Canada. Didn't he get the little man's memo? Doesn't he understand because three NYC area teams barely rate attention beyond the Rangers, that a second hockey team in the GTA would NOT work. Not when you have a Hollywood producer willing to put a team in Vegas and a chance to resurrect one of the 1970s true expansion successes, the Kansas City Scouts...err Colorado Rockies...err New Jersey Devils.
Quick NHLPA members, stage a coup get rid of this leader.

 
At 9:36 AM, January 22, 2008, Blogger Adam C said...

Hmmm... I wonder who has the best handle on where players want to play: the chief executive of their union, or an anonymous commenter?

 
At 10:30 AM, January 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I understand it, Pronger's wife wanted out of Edmonton because of an affair Pronger was having with a much younger woman. After she discovered it, and Pronger failed to end it, she demanded they leave the city or the marriage was over.

I'm not a big fan of Edmonton as a city, but I think they get a bad rap for something that really had nothing to do with the city per se.

 
At 10:31 AM, January 22, 2008, Blogger Freeptop said...

Is the chief argument against Kansas City is that "it didn't work the first time", does that mean Kelly wouldn't support a return to Winnipeg or Quebec City, either?

I'm not pro-Kansas City, nor am I anti-Canadian cities when it comes to expansion, I'm just curious why Kansas City specifically gets called out, and not, say, Winnipeg. At least Kansas City already has an arena with corporate sponsors lined up...

 
At 10:36 AM, January 22, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

For the person that said no one wants to play in Canada, I'm sure Kelly was mainly suggesting a franchise in southern Ontario, but under the guise of "Canada" to get support of the "national" media.

Not that that's a bad thing, I'm just saying. lol

It'd be fun if Winnipeg got a team again. I'd hope A Channel would get their local cable rights instead of Sportsnet, as Sportsnet West already covers both Alberta teams and I'm sure the Winnipeg team would get the shaft in that regard.

 
At 11:18 AM, January 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the point with more teams in Canada? The Leafs will dominate the coverage anyway.

 
At 11:34 AM, January 22, 2008, Anonymous Gerald said...

The NHL/NHLPA partnership is a goofy idea to begin with, but it's one the union is stuck working with and Kelly recognizes that.

James, what makes you say that it is a "goofy idea"? Have you been listening too much to the stuck-in-the-60's unionist rantings of your colleague Brunt? The previous NHL/NHLPA relationship was the goofy one. It was a complete anachronism as far as union/management relations went. By the way, that applies not just in the pro sports field (where the NBA and NFL lead the way in terms of union/management relationships) but also in the broader realm of union/management relations in business. The old way of confrontation is pretty passe. Partnership has been a key concept in union/management relations in business for quite some time.

So exactly what is "goofy" about a general approach that is universally lauded on both sides of the coin as progressive in a wide variety of industries?

 
At 12:37 PM, January 22, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

In my opinion, it's goofy because NHL ownership couldn't care less about players' concerns and will never make decisions based on someone like Paul Kelly's recommendations. It'll all be about chasing the same dollars they always have, and the NHLPA is stuck with a partner they can't possibly work with.

 
At 1:07 PM, January 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam C said... I wonder who has the best handle on where players want to play: the chief executive of their union, or an anonymous commenter?
Is P.J. Stock on Hockey Night in Canada an anonymous commentator or did you "learn to read" at public school? Or just Google Drury/Calgary and Pronger/wife/Edmonton. There might be helpful logos and icons to interpret the stories for you.

 
At 1:44 PM, January 22, 2008, Blogger Bill Needle said...

I hear Toronto's looking for a team.

 
At 2:01 PM, January 22, 2008, Blogger Adam C said...

Is P.J. Stock on Hockey Night in Canada an anonymous commentator or did you "learn to read" at public school?

That's nice. What I read is that he said 'nobody wants to play in Edmonton', not Canada, but then I only read what you wrote.

At any rate, despite the fact that Stock has five more career NHL goals than I'll ever score, I have no idea why he's on HNIC.

Incidentally I Googled 'Drury Calgary trade demand' and learned exactly nothing. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'm not going to thank you for the 'tip'.

 
At 10:06 PM, January 22, 2008, Anonymous Gerald said...

In my opinion, it's goofy because NHL ownership couldn't care less about players' concerns and will never make decisions based on someone like Paul Kelly's recommendations.

Sorry, my bad. I thought you actually had a solid theoretical or factual basis for saying something so offcenter. Curiously, after his first sitdown meeting with Bettman, Kelly indicated a different viewpoint, if memory serves.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

Links to this post:

Create a Link


.

Free Page Rank Checker
eXTReMe Tracker