Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby Per » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:11 am

As all the boat people from Central know, my first love is Björklöven, Swedish champions 1987, and the team where the Sundström twins (Patrik, most notably), Peter Andersson, Ulf Dahlén, Calle Johansson and Daniel Rahimi played before heading to the NHL.

I started following the Canucks when they acquired Patrik Sundström, and even though he later was traded to Jersey, I could never really stomach becoming a Devils fan, so you lot seem to be stuck with me. :hmmm:

Anyway. The once proud power house known as Björklöven has been demoted all the way down to Division 1, ie the Swedish third tier. The demotion to Allsvenskan was purely because they deserved it. They lost, and were demoted. That's life. The demotion to Division 1 was for financial reasons though, which feels more undeserved. They had played well enough to stay in Allsvenskan, and they did not go bankrupt, but the "almost bankrupcy" thing was apparently enough for the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation to send them down to this godforgotten beer league. One of their opponents, Clemensnäs, last year had an average attendance of 67 paying spectators..... :shock:

Anyway. The plan is to start climbing the ladders to stardom again asap, and to this avail it seems they have contracted two Canadians. Tylor Michel and Russ Moyer.

Does any of you know anything about either of these two clowns? :eh:

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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby Cornuck » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:26 am

Sorry to hear about the plight of your team.

I've always wondered how 'demoting' would work with the NHL? Maybe have 2 tiers?
Over 40 years of pain - I just want one day of glory.
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby ukcanuck » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:00 am

Cornuck wrote:Sorry to hear about the plight of your team.

I've always wondered how 'demoting' would work with the NHL? Maybe have 2 tiers?

The OIL would be the best team in the AHL???

Actually Ive wondered if that would work in the CFL and NFL, The grey cup winner would go up and the last place team in the NFL would come down...

Rediculous I know but its the end of August....
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby Per » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:14 am

Cornuck wrote:Sorry to hear about the plight of your team.

I've always wondered how 'demoting' would work with the NHL? Maybe have 2 tiers?

Well, it works in pro sports outside of North America, so why not?

The main benefits that I see is that the bottom of the league is almost as exciting as the top of it and that a losing team can't start dumping players and stop playing, like we have seen in the NHL at times. What you see here is that the teams at the bottom are desperate to bring in people to help them rise to safer ground. A main benefit is that teams throwout the system always have teh motivation to be promoted to the next level! Even small town teams nurture a dream of making it to the big leagues, and throughout Sweden you have teams that can point to their glorious past.

And it's always fun to see a new team reach the SEL. This season it's Växjö Lakers that have done it.

A backside is of course that the teams that fall out are severly punished, as they lose sponsor contracts, media contracts and have a drop in ticket sales... But it's the way all major sports leagues outside of North America function, so obviously it is doable.

In most football (ie soccer) leagues, the two or three worst teams are demoted straight, and the winners from the level below are promoted.

In the SEL the bottom dwellers are given a lifeline; the two worst teams get to play a short double meet relagation league against the four best from Allsvenskan. All teams have a home and a road game against all others, and then the top two teams get SEL status for next season. Some years both SEL teams manage to hang on to their SEL status, but most years there is at least one new team to replace one of the old ones. Helps keep the dream alive throughout the country.
"We were champions once, and we will rise again to regain our rightful place at the top of the food chain," so to say.

I know the sentiment well, being a fan of a demoted team... :(
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby dbr » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:17 am

ukcanuck wrote:Actually Ive wondered if that would work in the CFL and NFL, The grey cup winner would go up and the last place team in the NFL would come down...


The Detroit Lions would be a CFL dynasty.

Per, best of luck to your Leafs this season. However I don't know to what extent these canucks are going to pull the team back to respectability; looks like Michel spent the last two years playing in Cardiff, Wales which to be honest.. I did not know had a professional team.
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby Per » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:27 am

dbr wrote:
ukcanuck wrote:Actually Ive wondered if that would work in the CFL and NFL, The grey cup winner would go up and the last place team in the NFL would come down...


The Detroit Lions would be a CFL dynasty.

Per, best of luck to your Leafs this season. However I don't know to what extent these canucks are going to pull the team back to respectability; looks like Michel spent the last two years playing in Cardiff, Wales which to be honest.. I did not know had a professional team.

Nope. One of them played in Wales, tHe other in Denmark... Doesn't exactly reek of hockey respectability... :roll:

At least one of them (Russ) has won the OHL championship.
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby ESQ » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:25 pm

I was just reading about the formation of the English Premier League, and it is that sort of event that would be required to introduced a two-tier system in North America.

Basically, the top teams (on the field and financially) banded together to create their own super-league to get a more lucrative TV deal without being dragged down but the bottom feeders. The EPL was much smaller than the old Tier 1 league, but made buttloads more money and became the most lucrative league in the world by separating the chaff.

If somehow the most profitable and successful teams split off, you'd see a lot less parity but at the same time the salary constraints in the second tier would be so much less that more small markets could compete. What is really interesting is the thought that under such a system, the most valuable franchise would have been relegated 2 years ago!

Off the top of my head, the healthiest franchises on and off the field that might make the initial cut:

Western Conference: Vancouver, Detroit, San Jose, LA, Anaheim, Nashville, Chicago

Eastern Conference: Montreal, Boston, Philly, Rangers (borderline on the ice), Pittsburgh (borderline financially), Tampa, Washington, Buffalo, Devils (but for last year).

Two things that jump out: only two Canadian franchises make the cut, and the US teams are the ones most prominently featured on NBC's national games already. Pittsburgh is I believe the second-biggest road draw (after Detroit) and probably the biggest national TV audience, and yet they barely turn a profit. Nashville is a solid franchise but is barely profitable at the salary floor.

On the flip side, in a second-tier with lower overhead maybe you'd see non-traditional markets do a lot better and not rely so much on revenue sharing, i.e. Atlanta and Phoenix, plus new Canadian franchises would have an easier time breaking in.

Food for thought on an August afternoon, anyways :P
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby dbr » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:55 pm

ESQ wrote:If somehow the most profitable and successful teams split off, you'd see a lot less parity but at the same time the salary constraints in the second tier would be so much less that more small markets could compete. What is really interesting is the thought that under such a system, the most valuable franchise would have been relegated 2 years ago!


Under such a system the most profitable/valuable franchise could go around buying contracts of players talented enough to keep them away from relegation.
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby ESQ » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:25 pm

dbr wrote:Under such a system the most profitable/valuable franchise could go around buying contracts of players talented enough to keep them away from relegation.


True, but I think from the EPL example, profitability only mattered at the beginning when the most valuable franchises split off from the rest, but its not a factor in relegation decisions. Toronto was 500k from the cap 2 years ago and finished 29th, last year they were basically middle of the pack, and finished 21st. Though in actual fact, with the Big 3 US markets suddenly becoming very competitive (LA, NY and Chicago), plus a major US franchise winning the Cup for the past 2 years, Toronto's importance to the league is somewhat diminished.

Last year, most impressively, 2 of the top 3 spending teams missed the playoffs - NJ and Calgary (Van was #2). Tampa, Phoenix, and Nashville were all in the bottom third of the League in spending and made the playoffs. That's surprising to me - I thought we already had more of a 2-tier league where haves go deep, have-nots are doomed to mediocrity.
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby dbr » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:48 am

Well, if we're going to imagine the NHL in an EPL-type model then you have to throw the salary cap out.

A team like Toronto wouldn't be "$500K from the cap" and finishing second last in the league, they'd just bench their Jeff Fingers and Matt Stajans (or whoever was on the team at that point) and go out and buy better contracts.

They'd outspend most of the league by twenty or thirty million dollars every year and you'd see them ice a completely different team than what they've got now.
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby DonCherry4PM » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:36 am

dbr wrote:...They'd outspend most of the league by twenty or thirty million dollars every year and you'd see them ice a completely different team than what they've got now.


I seem to recall the rangers doing some such thing (to be fair, not twenty or thirty I can't remember the numbers and am too lazy to look it up) back in the day and they weren't exactly a dynasty...
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby dbr » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:43 am

Yeah but they weren't the worst team in the league either. My point isn't that without a salary cap money automatically equals a top tier team, I am simply saying that in this scenario teams with unlimited budgets are going to have a pretty easy time avoiding relegation.

And I think the top spending teams in the pre-cap era did spend tens of millions more than others. I seem to recall the Red Wings, Rangers and Flyers having $60-70m payrolls when the Canucks (a modestly wealthy team by NHL standards) were stuck in the low 40s..
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby ESQ » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:20 am

Hm interesting point DBR, even the pre-cap Leafs were decent and won several playoff rounds. The Rangers of course were the poster franchise for money can't buy you a Cup, it was just absurd how many rising and established stars went to Broadway to slowly fade away.

And its tough to imagine a league more unbalanced than EPL - Man U wins 4 out of 5 championships or something like that??! I wouldn't have much appetite for that. But I would be very interested in a two-tier salary cap, where the relegation league has a slightly lower cap but a much lower floor, allowing more small-markets into the mix. In Tier 1 presumably the salary floor would only come into the mix when small-market teams make the jump, so maybe it wouldn't be necessary at all because for those teams small salary does not make them not competitive.

But it doesn't seem possible in North America, which has a stronger League (*cough anti-trust) tradition than Europe, which has a stronger Club tradition.
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby DonCherry4PM » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:06 pm

dbr wrote:And I think the top spending teams in the pre-cap era did spend tens of millions more than others. I seem to recall the Red Wings, Rangers and Flyers having $60-70m payrolls when the Canucks (a modestly wealthy team by NHL standards) were stuck in the low 40s..


Better memory than mine - pulled this from wiki so take it for what its worth but:

Rangers:
1998–99 $39,800,000
1999–2000 $59,400,000
2000–01 $56,887,037
2001–02 $64,793,530
2002–03 $76,477,085
2003–04 $76,488,716
2005–06 $41,474,800

Phili:
2000–01 $40,932,500
2001–02 $56,435,000
2002–03 $65,222,633
2003–04 $68,175,247
2005–06 $42,566,760

Toronto:
2000–01 $41,003,187
2001–02 $51,565,958
2002–03 $65,054,900
2003–04 $62,458,140

Red Wings:

2000–01 $55,107,500
2001–02 $66,643,750
2002–03 $68,410,506
2003–04 $77,856,109
2005–06 $39,578,300

Canucks:
2000–01 $24,703,750
2001–02 $29,984,579
2002–03 $34,075,000
2003–04 $42,074,500
2005–06 $43,711,344

I did not remember that we were spending that little in comparison to other teams (well the top third or so).
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Re: Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond...

Postby dbr » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:28 pm

We were rebuilding then, to be fair. But I do recall being around the $40m mark when we were improving a lot and Burkie blustering about the crazy prices in free agency and all that.

I would bet teams like the Thrashers, Predators, Panthers, Hurricanes, etc were all in the $25m range.
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