NHL Season WAY Too Long, Logjamming Penguins

The Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship before the two-game-old NHL Stanley Cup Final. Sure, there were different rules for COVID, and the NHL eventually adopted a no-sniffles policy, no testing policy after the NBA, but we’re on June 17th, we’re waiting for Game Two, and the Pittsburgh Penguins offseason are slowly moving forward.

Oh, and the NHL season is just way, way, wayyyyy, way too long.

The way is too long.

Society is changing. Sometimes, it changes faster than any of us realize. People are too busy with games. They leave early. They stare at their phones while the snowmobile continues. Sure, I was partly guilty of the phone, even though it was partly my job.

Has anyone ever said, “Oh, geez, you mean the regular season of ice hockey is already over? It feels like it’s just starting!”

However, the 56-game season shortened for COVID featured some of the best regular season hockey we’ve ever seen. The compact schedule added urgency to the games. We will discuss the added values ​​of divisional games and series baseball again.

Now, let’s connect the obvious and flashing points of the NHL long table.

Jeff Carter, a 17-season NHL veteran, noticed the Pittsburgh Penguins, too.

“(82 games) were definitely different. After two years of abbreviated seasons, I felt like this season was a lot different. I think sometimes throughout the second half, personally, that kind of caught your attention a little bit,” Carter said on the day of the breakup in May. “I think the coaches, the excellent staff and all of them, are doing a really good job managing. And I think they kind of understood what this year was like.”

The NHL had record ratings in the 56-game table. Penguins TV ratings topped the share of 7.0. The Penguins TV ratings once again topped all of the NHL teams this season but dropped 30% to the mid-5s.

The penguins’ sale line has also ended. accidental?

I can already read the comments, “It’s about revenue…”

yes.

but not.

NHL teams generally do not turn a profit in regular season games. New rink deals, ridiculous parking fees and beer prices may have helped, but most of the difference is in the middle. They tie, or lose money in the regular season.

About 40% of the team’s revenue on the old TV deal came from Gateway and Franchises. Perhaps when the bean counters finish counting this year, that percentage will drop because of the new TV deal. But hockey still relies on paying fans wearing new jerseys, drinking a beer or three, and parking revenue far more than other sports.

Can we get more fans in the arena and maybe get a few extra bucks per visit if we have fewer games? Television ratings indicate that people are more interested when there are fewer games. It stands to reason that the same goes for attendance.

May the supply and demand curve meet somewhere between 56 and 82?

Also, higher TV ratings mean higher ad revenue. A two-point lower rating again means that the optimal supply-demand curve again lies between 56 and 82. Fewer games on TV with higher ratings could generate more profits than a season of 82.

Fewer matches also mean longer layoffs, fewer injuries, and longer careers.

The biggest argument, besides money, has always been the need to project stars in opposing convention cities. What if Sidney Crosby didn’t play in every Western Conference city?

Well… how many of those games were sold? Conor McDavid also did not sell Pittsburgh. In fact, inter-conference games attract less attention.

Are they really necessary for every season? Fans can watch the amazing game’s top players on their phones daily and watch every game for $5 a month.

Shorten the season and increase the interest.

Of course, I have a better chance of the NHL DoPS retroactively deciding that the defending man shouldn’t be able to throw chills down the forearm against a watermelon.

Pittsburgh Penguin Logjamming

As RFA winger Caspri Kapanen joked on the day of the breakup, GM Ron Hextall has some of the most important decisions to make before he gets to Kapanen.

However, we are far from the free agency by less than a month. Hextal time is running out.

Presumably Kris Letang is first on the agenda as he will be the most expensive and hardest to replace. But in short order, Hextall must get a contract signed, or cut a bait, following the same process with Evgeni Malkin, then making decisions about Kapanen, Danton Heinen, followed by readjusting replacement plans based on the available salary cap space.

Deals take time, too. Not many GM can turn a deal from nothing into an Elliot Friedman tweet in less than a week as former GM Jim Rutherford sometimes did.

Finding an RHD in the NHL marketplace to replace Kris Letang won’t be easy. There are two names, Jeff Petrie or Tyson Barry, but the Penguins aren’t the only bright orange team that bounce while hunting.

Sellers are under no obligation to accept what you or I might think is a fair deal, particularly when GM’s opposition believes the price will rise as buyers become more desperate.

There is no strict deadline for any of these decisions, but on July 13, outside influences will have a say in the Penguins’ free agents.

Hextall’s to-do list gets cluttered, and the longer it takes to make important decisions, the less time or control there is for others. It looks like a Letang or Malkin deal (or no deal) could or should come within the next week. If Hextall needs to swing a deal, there’s no better chance than the NHL Draft on July 7-8.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: