Friday, June 29, 2007

Can You Afford Me Now?

With a 29% increase in the Salary Cap from 2 years ago these NHL teams have more leg room in their finances than United Air Lines offers in their First Class Cabin. With all the housekeeping going on around the league and the teams positioning themselves financially for Sunday's Easter Egg hunt ... an added $6 Million to the salary cap puts some teams in prime position for the free agents hitting the boards.

I have been reading all day long about Chris Drury all but inked into San Jose's roster for next year - however, knowing Doug Wilson and what he will do to get a player he wants ... I will wait patiently until I see Chris donning a teal jersey.

Now I read that Chicago is shopping Khabibulin, Teemu Selanne and Neid's from Anaheim are contemplating retirement ... there is going to be so much cash flying around I will be surprised if everyone can keep up with the transactions that take place over the next 32 days.

On the other side of the coin - with all this being said, I know there are going to be smart GM's and others who make emotional decisons. There is a fine line between collecting single players and creating a great team. I would like to see some teams focus on fan appreciation, fan generation, hockey introductions into the cities they live and play in. I would like to see this next season focus on introducing the NHL as a viable sport to watch. Sure Hockey has its followings - it has its fan base ... but I think its time to hit the marketing trail hard.

How has NASCAR grown year after year, its fan base has exploded over the last 5 years. It is not because the races are any more entertaining - its the introduction of the sport into mainstream media. The NHL needs to expand into markets that will carry its message to as many people as possible - of course, I am sure they know that, but maybe now they can afford to focus some of the attention outside of the locker room.

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