September 11 2012 09:53AM
The New York Islanders have been one of the worst teams in the NHL over the past five seasons, finishing with less than 80 points and dead last in their division each and every time. This is, at least in part, intentional, but it's not hard to see why fans might be frustrated after five years of losing. Just look at these comments from Garth Snow in November of 2009:
I don't use that word rebuild. We're trying to make the playoffs and win a Stanley Cup like every other team. We don't go in with the mindset that losing is acceptable, and when that word is used, sometimes winning doesn't matter. I don't think I've used that word too much and if I have, it's been very limited. We're trying to win every hockey game we play in. The group that we have in that locker room, it may be young, but that doesn't mean it can't have success.
Three losing seasons later, Garth Snow remains at the helm, and he's quite a bit less leery about using the word rebuild to describe the 2009-10 season:
If we can move prospects to get a player that is going to come in and going to help us and get us where we want to be, we’re going to make that move. It’s a situation where we’ve gone through a rebuild, we have one of the best prospect pools in the NHL, so now it’s an easier decision for me to make moves to get us help immediately.
That comment was made in June of 2012, just before the draft and the opening of unrestricted free agency. So have the Islanders made the necessary moves to compete for a playoff spot, or are we going to hear more about how deep the prospect pool is this time next year?
September 10 2012 09:34AM
With the possible exception of the 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, the Pittsburgh Penguins have the strongest outlook, both for the (2012-)2013 season and beyond. The main reasons are obvious - Crosby is signed long term, Malkin and Letang through 2013-2014 and James Neal through the 2015-2016 season. After failing in the Sutter and Parise sweepstakes, and a couple offseason moves to be discussed shortly, GM Ray Shero even has some cap room to play with.
September 09 2012 11:46AM
Usually we'd be starting to talk about training camp around this time. Instead, the focus is still the possible lockout, the summer's activities by Canada's NHL teams and advanced stats and how they enhance our enjoyment of the game. We explore these topics and others with guests Harrison Mooney, Terry Jones and more.
This is Nation Radio.
September 06 2012 10:13AM
One of the craziest common questions circulating around during this period of labour uncertainty is that if the owners cry poor, then why are they still signing these players to huge contracts? The simplest answer is that the owners that are crying poor, aren't exactly the ones signing teams to contracts.
The big deals signed by NHL players, the ones over $50M, are proportionally distributed with the top revenue teams in the NHL and, coincidentally, with the number of playoff berths:
|% of NHL Revenue||% of NHL Playoff Spots||% of $50M+ Contracts|
|Top 10 revenue teams||46%||44%||45%|
|Bottom 10 revenue teams||23%||25%||20%|
That's revenue from 2010-11, $50M contracts signed for the 2011-12 season and playoff berths for the 2011-12 season.
September 04 2012 04:18PM
During the previous CBA fight, the owners side basically won the PR battle thanks to a number of factors including a weak Canadian dollar, profligate spending by big markets, suffering Canadian franchises and a complicit press.