NHL Fans: Don't Go Away Mad, Just Go Away

Graphic Comments
September 04 2012 05:41PM

Don't go away mad, just go away

You're an NHL fan. You spend your hard-earned money every year going to games. You buy merchandise. You subscribe to Centre Ice. You've been through one, maybe two lockouts, and even a strike if you're really old. And now they're threatening to make you go through yet another lockout.

This makes you mad.

So mad, in fact, that you're willing to take action and show the world just how angry you are. And maybe, just maybe, your action combined with the actions of thousands of other outraged fans might even have an impact and a lockout will be avoided or at least shortened.

Well, you have every right to be outraged. But make no mistake, the angrier you get and the more you show it, the more you ensure the lockout goes on.

Think about it. Putting effort, energy and passion into showing your displeasure and trying to avoid a lockout just shows how passionate about NHL hockey you are. And if you're passionate enough to take time out of your day to go and protest at the NHL offices or boycott NHL-related businesses, you're sure as heck passionate enough to come back to the rink no matter how long the lockout lasts:

Take our money, please

And this is exactly what the owners are counting on. From their perspective, the NHL really does have the "world's greatest fans:"

In the lockout-shortened season of 1994-95, each game averaged 50 more people in attendance compared with the previous season. The results were more impressive for the 2005-06 season, the first full year of hockey under the expiring CBA. The NHL reported a 2.4% increase in attendance over the 2003-04 season, and in the process, the league averaged a record 16,955 fans per contest. For the next three years, the NHL continued breaking its regular season attendance records.

Let that digest that for a second.

Need a Tums yet? You will.

A couple of weeks ago, @draglikepull put together a nice little summary estimating team-by-team ticket revenues, which added up to $1.2 billion. So if this lockout is anything like the last one, you the NHL fans, will flood back to the tune of about $30 million in additional ticket revenue. (Note: This is for illustrative purposes only. Past performance is not an indication of future results.)

So what's an NHL fan to do when throwing a tantrum is actually counter-productive? Hopefully if you've read this far down, you'll know the answer is not: "spend countless hours putting together a video with really nice production values based on the Howard Beale rant from the movie Network in the hopes of getting fans to unite to stop the lockout." I mean, nice sentiment, but shame about the facts:

Nice sentiment, shame about the facts

No, as Motley Crüe put it, "Don't go away mad. Just go away." The owners are not going to be at all concerned about what you the fan thinks about the NHL as long as you're still thinking about the NHL:

Apathy rules

So if you want to make a difference, go away. And I don't mean go watch other forms of hockey like Juniors, the AHL or the NCAA. That's like going on methadone. The owners know that once you get a sniff of the good stuff, you'll be back mainlining it like, well, Motley Crüe in their heyday.

For real impact, go away to one of the other major league sports. Drive up the attendance of your local NFL, MLB and, god forbid, NBA team. Buy their merchandise. Subscribe to their cable, pay-per-view and online access packages. This you can do loudly.

Because, ultimately, the most likely way to end this lockout is to appeal to the owner's greed:

The end of the NHL lockout

* You may wonder what this has to do with the NHL lockout ending, but rumour has it that Gary Bettman negotiated the rights to hold the Winter Classic in Hell should it ever freeze over. All it cost him was getting booed at every public appearance he ever makes. Small price to pay, in the overall scheme of things and just one more example of his shrewdness as a negotiator.

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I'm not a hippie or on welfare. I don't live in Kits, wear Birkenstocks or own an umbrella. I've never been to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, but I'm sure it's very nice. I have a mayor, not a crack addict. I drink pale ale, not Blue. And I call it a cabin, not a cottage. I can proudly say my team's been to the Stanley Cup Final in the last 45 years. They may not have won, but at least they got there. I believe in sunshine, not haze; heat, not humidity. And that sushi is a healthy and tasty meal. A coho is a fish. A ski hill is a mountain. And the plural of leaf is leaves. Okay? Not leafs. Leaves! Vancouver is the country's third-largest city, certainly the most beautiful, and the best part of Canada! My name is petbugs and I am a Canucks fan! ... You can find me on Twitter @petbugs13 or send your hate mail to petbugs (at) gmail (dot) com but it better be funny or it's getting plonked.
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#51 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 05 2012, 12:31PM
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Dman09 wrote:

I'm sorry but any business that pays their employees more than the company makes is doomed to FAIL.

No kidding, now unfortunatly that has nothing to do with a divorce situation.

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#52 s2h
September 05 2012, 12:56PM
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@dougtheslug

it's not his fault Doug and i never said it was, so i'm not really sure how you expect me to explain words that you put in my mouth.

but it is the unions fault if they don't sign on the dotted line and salvage the season. if they agree on a 10% roll back on salaries, then his 98 mil will be down graded to 88 mil, gosh how will he ever survive..

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#53 Dman09
September 05 2012, 12:56PM
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Geoff wrote:

You're missing the part where the ex has to work for you and is the main reason you make anything in the first place.

As for a business paying their employees more than they make, well, that's not what's happening. They are paying the employees more than half of what the company makes. I think there are a lot of companies where the salaries of the employees make up more than half of the costs for the company. In fact, I'd guess that any company with highly skilled workers is paying over half of their net income to their employees. The players aren't asking for 107%.

First off if they don't want to work in the NHL thats perfectly fine there are many willing to take their spot and I'm sure the fans wouldn't be hurt by it.

Second no company goes out of their way and says before the year even starts that the employees are getting 57% of whatever they make this year. They pay them Salaries and hourly wages and after that its up to the buisness to run properly if they want higher profits. Not to mention if your employees don't live up to their pay you can fire them.

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#54 Ducey
September 05 2012, 01:03PM
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GC,

Perhaps you should do a drawing with "Naive" on one of the axis. You would be at the most naive end.

Then you can invent a time machine and take all the NHL owners to the future.

You see, you have a problem with time in your proposal. Boycotting the NHL after the lockout will have no impact on the lockout itself. (Thats because the lockout happens first)

Typical Canucks fan. Always at least an hour late and 7% short. Maybe burn down Rogers Arena, that will show them.

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#55 G Money
September 05 2012, 01:39PM
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Geoff wrote:

You're missing the part where the ex has to work for you and is the main reason you make anything in the first place.

As for a business paying their employees more than they make, well, that's not what's happening. They are paying the employees more than half of what the company makes. I think there are a lot of companies where the salaries of the employees make up more than half of the costs for the company. In fact, I'd guess that any company with highly skilled workers is paying over half of their net income to their employees. The players aren't asking for 107%.

Not sure I follow your math.

For lots of high-tech companies, labour is indeed their largest cost by far. For example, I ran a very successful software company (250 employees, $80M revenue, $35M profit). Employee costs made up 70% of our overall costs.

The math looked like this:

Revenue = $80M Costs = $55M Profit = $35M Employee costs = 70% x $55M = $38.5 Non employee costs = $16.5 Employee costs as a % of revenue = 38.5/80 = 48%

In the hockey situation, player costs are making up 57% of the revenue. The equivalent numbers for my company, all else being equal, would be:

Revenue = $80M Costs = $45.6 employee costs (57% of revenue) + $16.5 non emp = $62.1 Profit = $17.9

Notice that in the first case, employee costs were already higher than the profits. In the hockey equivalent case, employee costs are now more than double the profit.

Whatever the hockey situation is, I can guarantee that most teams are not that profitable on a percentage basis.

The players should accept that 50% of HRR is not only fair, it is bloody generous and take the deal. There are a hell of a lot more hockey players out there willing to play the game for money than there are billionaires willing to subsidize those players.

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#56 fishbone
September 05 2012, 04:41PM
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@Dman09

He locked out in '94, cancelled the season in 2005, and now this!?! Negotiate during the season! Dead puck era?! Headshots?! Empty arenas?!

He's had his chance to win my heart, im ready to move on.

A fire FIRE BETTMAN chant = music to my ears!

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#57 Captain Ron
September 05 2012, 05:00PM
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The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

Good read.

I bitched and screamed about never watching hockey again during the last two lockouts,. But the reality is, as soon as I see the first Nuge to Eberle one timer hi-lite, I'm a fan again.

Hockey for me is that girl that totally abuses and treats you like crap but you can't give her up cause she's amazing in the sack.

When you find one like that keep her as a girlfriend but don't marry her.

Helps her to stay focused on what's really inmportant.

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#58 The Keystone Garter
September 05 2012, 05:23PM
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I figure the USA owners are screwed, but the cdn owners should be fine. If the NHL owners can attract rich Asia cash like C.Wang, then the players should get more. IDK what they like other than ping pong. Can't find the 2nd (11-19 loss) Cooper fight on the tsn site; so many that day. IDK if it is there and have to watch an hr of other fights or if it isn't there. I think the HW gold medal winner should've been the Italian by a pt. The UK boxer had more 3rd rd movement but not too many punches. The Italian sucked in a previous fight against a middle easterner who kept coming at side angles and wrapping, but boy that Italian didn't even need to use his lower body to land hard shots. NBA needs instant replay challenge for offensive charging or travelling non-call. Then you can guard Lebron and force him to think his way through the D. a 4 pt line keeps the game alive longer and maybe no annoying FTs. Wow was Gretz good. Way better than Lemieux (5th); we'd of lost 1/2 those games if no Gretz. Missing players on many teams: not greatest team ever. Bombers didn't look bad at 24-0. Went for a piece of Durant; wow he plays a reckless style. 42 pts is safe lead but at 28-0 you figure you slide into 3 defenders if no blockers. Bombers could touch Durant early, then went with two man QB spy and gave up a touchdown. Needed a deep safety; put some fear in receivers. Could use V.Young. Is exciting at least. Charles's catch and block of one defender into another was amazing. I'd pay $30 for the Mooseheads-Que playoff series. C'mon, it would be a treat in time, I think. Should be making money off CHL if no NHL.

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#60 Wax Man Riley
September 05 2012, 11:20PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

i agree, to an extent.

in my perfect little world, i am hopeful that somehow, someway, it is organized so that the first game of this season is played in empty barns all over the league.

just 1 game...

though, as a disclaimer, my perfect little world also involves midgets dancing around a chocolate fountain..

You know, I would love to see that 1 game as well...or... not see it. You know what I mean. That would really be a slap in the face for both the owners and the players.

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#61 The Keystone Garter
September 06 2012, 02:11PM
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...with the NBA, it is too easy now just to drive the net. The play is always give it to an athletic power forward and go directly to the net. The Bomber RB danced around against 4 defenders instead of ploughing through for 4 yds (got two). The Bomber safety was horrifying as last line of defence, moving laterally while Dressler went right by him.

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#62 pofan
September 06 2012, 08:57PM
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I am a season ticket holder and just made my 2nd installment. A strike seems certain. There is no comment from the flames organization about what they plan to do with my money. This time I want some back.

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#63 K_Mart
September 07 2012, 07:15AM
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Ducey wrote:

GC,

Perhaps you should do a drawing with "Naive" on one of the axis. You would be at the most naive end.

Then you can invent a time machine and take all the NHL owners to the future.

You see, you have a problem with time in your proposal. Boycotting the NHL after the lockout will have no impact on the lockout itself. (Thats because the lockout happens first)

Typical Canucks fan. Always at least an hour late and 7% short. Maybe burn down Rogers Arena, that will show them.

Haters gon' hate. Boycotting is boycotting either way. There's no NHL hockey going on right now, so either you boycott no hockey now or no hockey later.

Hockey is still generating revenue now, and it will post lockout as well. Via a plethora of outlets.

..wait GC is a ,nucks fan?? I take it all back, he's a fool, let's burn down Vancouver if there's a lockout and blame it on them!

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#64 The Keystone Garter
September 12 2012, 06:23AM
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The police aren't letting me research so I'm really hoping for at least 1/2 a season. Fuhr and the offensive defenseman are a weakness despite all the 80s players in their primes. Best passing team of all time for sure. I figure the 1996 USA team is better. With Brett Hull. Not an especially good team and a crappy Otto 4th line, but as good a D as any and Richter. I think the 2002 is best Canadian team ever. You got the crop of Jr gold medal winners and Brodeur. With Yzerman and Sakic still in prime, and Lemieux mad. I guess any 1980s Gretz team could contend. The Soviets could match up and got 3 games in there. 4 if you count the round robin one they broadcast on an impossible to watch Sunday. The best part of hockey is when you can change your lines while opponent hemmed in deep. The best part of CFL is when winning by one or tied, and no time left as opponent goes for game deciding punt/fg. And it falls short. Two weeks ago the TO Hamilton game almost had this but no coverage on right side; returner ran it out his left. When they have to kick it out and gets kicked in...the rules should be changed to maximize this or maybe overtime somehow. You could let the clock run right out for a game winning FG attempt if inside 1 or 2 or three minutes left. It is the best battle in sports except for maybe two good boxers like Lewis Tyson rd 1.

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#65 The Keystone Garter
September 12 2012, 05:18PM
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...alright I'm a sports glutten. How it would work is past the 4th quarter 3 min warning, the team that is tied or down by one and kicking a game-winning or tying FG/punt, has the option of letting the clock tick all the way down to nothing (commercials). If the FG is good or if the pt is good, the clock time is added back on for the defending team. If the kick is no good a scramble ensues...might want to tick it down to 15 seconds or something so it can't be kicked out-of-bounds, IDK. Convoluted, but like nothing in any other league. I'd blow up the Bombers for draft picks. Lost the SK tiebreaker and not gonna catch Edm...

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#66 The Keystone Garter
September 12 2012, 05:20PM
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...who was better, Fuhr or Luongo? Fuhr was weak on stick side and Luongo had trouble with on ice wrap-arounds. 2014 team Canada is going to be a monster but I don't see a goalie... Wow, a friggin monster.

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