Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The New York Yankees of Hockey??

This is in rebuttal to Brian's reasoning for why he started hating the Red Wings, based on them being the "New York Yankees of hockey". My comment was getting way too long, so I decided to post it here instead.

This is one of my favorite topics to debate with people who are fans of small market teams. I damn near got in a fight in a bar in Buffalo over it (though that was more frustration over the screwjob against Minnesota that took place 2 hours earlier).

The Oilers have been my "second favorite" for a little while (same deal...love Comrie, love the crowd, LOVE the third jerseys). And I say "second favorite" very very loosely in that I'd never jump up and down if they won a game, but if they're playing anyone other than the Wings, chances are, I smile a little when they score.

The audacity to call ourselves Hockeytown? Eh. Our marketing department is better than yours. No big deal. I don't think there's a whole lot of people out there that necessarily believe that.

On to the finances:
I feel bad for teams that couldn't necessarily afford to keep the guys they've drafted, but like I said on the Yost Post, I don't feel like the Wings should have to apologize for the US dollar and having a rich owner.

The big difference between the Wings and the Yankees is that
1: The Yankees spend more than probably 15 teams combined. The Wings weren't so out of line with a lot of the league. The Avs, Blues, and Rangers jump right to mind as people that were right up there in terms of spending, with varying degrees of success.

2: As I said before, during their last Cup run, Hull & Robitaille were the only players that could be considered "high priced free agents" on the entire roster.

Fact is, that team had 6 free agents on it, whose total contract value was probably right around $10 million (or one Bobby Holik signing, good one Rangers). Also when you take into account that before that season, they lost one of their homegrowns in Martin Lapointe to a team that was willing to outbid them, the net that they spent on free agents was pretty minimal.

Yes you've got guys like Chelios who were deadline deals, yes you've got guys like Hasek who we traded for (and if we were a small market team we may not have been able to do that). But they were mortgaging the future to win now. Their good drafting gave them guys that they could later move for the pieces they needed.

In addition, the lack of a salary cap didn't stop teams like Calgary, Anaheim, Minnesota, Carolina and Tampa Bay from making runs at the Stanley Cup in the very recent past.

I recognize the points that have been made, and yes it has to be maddening to see your team have to give up guys like Weight when the Wings have no trouble matching a ridiculous offer to Sergei Fedorov (again, not Detroit's fault Karmanos went nuts on that one). But why should Detroit have to apologize for that? They built the bulk of their Cup teams through good drafting (Fedorov, Yzerman, Lidstrom, Konstantinov, Kozlov, ::cough:: Osgood ::cough::). It ain't their fault they can afford to keep the guys they do draft.

1 comment:

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