Originally Posted by Jason_Banks
Nope, your still dealing with the same issues... Players want time off, needs to be negociated into the CBA, needs to be a paid action (as the players are being forced to play more games and instead of playing to get the Stanley Cup and prize $$$ associated with it, they are playing for the owners to get a better player that may steal their jobs... Tell a 4th liner to risk his body and play hard so that the team can get McKinnon and cut the 4th liner loose, your asking for him to play himself out of a job)...
Your dropping the season from 82 to 60 games drops the value of TV contracts and advertising revenues (less games = cheaper fees) takes 11 home games away from gate income for all 30 teams... Having a tourny will add a couple games back... but only for those that play in it and go deep... and its unlikly to equal the 11 home games... and unlike the playoffs... How do you sell what is basically a playoff amoungst terrble teams for regular price...
Also what would be more valuable to franchises... playing possibly 2-3 playoff home dates as a 7-8th seed in the playoffs... or trying to win a tourny like this for the #1 pick and getting more than 4 home games in a tourny? We are back to the encouragement of tanking...
Shortened schedule = time off.There is a strong argument to be made that playing a shortened schedule would actually be a valuable commodity for players because of the reduced wear and tear. It would improve not just quality of life but also the longevity of the players' careers.
Now, as for the money. Local TV money is negligible for most teams so shortening the schedule wouldn't cost them a whole lot. National TV money, which also isn't much compared to other sports, could be kept intact because you would simply arrange the schedule so there are still the same number of nationally televised games. The quality of the product would improve because A) the players are healthier/better rested and B) the intensity of each game is increased because the value of each win has increased. This would serve to drive more fan interest.
You'd certainly lose a lot of money in terms of ticket revenue (the main source of money for many NHL teams) but you could recoup a good deal of those costs by saving on travel. You can save on travel not just by reducing the number of games but also by regionalizing the schedule. If you put a greater emphasis on divisional matchups teams would have to travel less distance, reducing costs greatly.
You could also argue that divisional matchups would serve to further drive up the intensity of games and improve the product.
I'd also add that if you don't think you'd be able to coax a good enough effort out of players in a loser's tournament then you haven't considered that the loser's tournament would offer the perfect testing ground for players in elimination/playoff scenarios. Players would want to prove their worth because regardless of where their team ends up picking, they will be trying to replace these guys if they don't put in the effort.
And how do you sell it? Did I mention that 1.8 million people tuned in to watch the NHL draft lottery? I mentioned that right?
Your last point is interesting. You're suggesting that a team would intentionally drop from 8th to 9th so they could have a better shot at winning the loser's tournament and the number one pick than taking their chances in the Stanley Cup playoffs. I'll admit, I wouldn't put it past some of these managers but I suspect that would be the single toughest thing to pull off from a motivational standpoint.
You'd either have to convince your players not to try down the stretch or you'd have to intentionally keep them out of games only to ask them to play their asses off in the loser's tournament. I think you can ask guys to play in the loser's tournament and they'll do it willingly or you can tell them to sit out and rest knowing they could be helping their team in a playoff push but there's no way you can do both.