Crumbling Dynasty

A couple of weeks ago, the Montreal Canadiens hockey club tied a record set by the late 1970s edition of the same club re number of games lost (8). The only difference is that it took the 1999 edition just a bit more than a month from the season opener to accomplish this feat, whereas the 1970s edition had recorded a total of 8 losses at the end of the season!!!

Should both teams meet today, not only would the 1977 edition beat the 1999 one, they would PULVERIZE them!! In 1977, the whole 1999 edition, save perhaps a few players, would have been sent to the minors because of their mediocre performance on the ice.

Today, you have a handful of talented players throughout the League (and the same could be said to apply to many other sports). The first, the primordial consideration in the minds (even those with a modicum of talent) of the players is MONEY. The love of the game is really secondary. Nice to have but definitely not essential.

Rule number 1 when you get the puck: get rid of it immediately – shoot it at the other end of the ice or make blind passes right in front of your own goal (as if you knew what you were doing… as if your team-mates had enough brain cells to expect such a move)!

And, by all means, go on strike if you don’t get your millions come contract re-negotiating time! (Yashin is but the latest example of this). Mind boggling!!

And then there are the fans who gladly fork some $30 to $40 to watch example after example of this pitiful display of lack of talent. Thus largely contributing to those wholly unjustifiable overinflated salaries.

All the while the old gang, the players who lived for hockey, who practiced their art with a passion, who gave their 110% day in day out, are having real trouble making ends meet with their more than meagre pensions.

There’s something wrong with this picture.

Ice hockey has minor leagues?

Ice hockey is a sport?

Ice hockey?

I think you’re missing the point, people. :slight_smile:

As a Yankee fan who is quite happy to have more of a historical dynasty than your Icecapades figure skaters, I have no problem with this at all!

Yer pal,

Satan, the Canadiens play hockey, though, which is a cool sport.
Personally, I would rather watch paint dry than watch a baseball game.

Armed, dangerous…
and off my medication.

I’m comparing dynasties, Peyote, not the merits of each sport…

Yer pal,

Here’s one legit response, omni-not :slight_smile:

I, too have had it with these hockey players. I mean, Federov holding out for a $12 million signing bonus? That’s absurd.

It wasn’t too long ago that hockey fans could make the claim that at least “their” sport wasn’t controlled by the salaries of the players. Sadly, this is no longer true at all.

And another thing, what’s with hockey players getting all wimpy? I always enjoyed the fact that while baseball players making 7-figure salaries could sprain a wrist and be out for several games, hockey players would fracture bones, lose teeth, and get stitches and still finish the period–if not the whole game! But that’s changing too. Look at the way Hasek weaseled out of the playoff games (not last season but the one before) with a bruised knee! Up until the past couple of seasons, he was arguably the best goalie playing in the NHL. But now it just seems like he’s got retirement fever.

Oh well, sorry for the mini-rant.

Born O.K. the first time…

If you are born again, do you have two belly buttons?

So true, evil. So sadly true.


Well, a few years back the Montreal Canadiens were the winningest team in the history of professional sport. Yes, even :::GASP::: before the all-mighty Yankees. IIRC, they had won 25 (or 26) Stanley Cups to the Yankees’ pawltry 22 World Series. Not too shabby for “Icecapades figure skaters”.

But I wouldn’t be as harsh as Peyote though: I’d place watching a baseball game first, then watching paint dry :slight_smile:

The neophyte in me always thought that the toughest thing in baseball was all that travelling you had to do :smiley: Probably because I’m Canadian and it’s not my national pastime*. BTW, does this still hold true in the U.S.?

*Don’t get me wrong: I haven’t watched the equivalent of a full hockey game in about 20 years. Fact is, I’ve watched more baseball than hockey, which, as you can surmise, is not a big feat in and of itself :slight_smile:

BTW, Satan: 1999 edition of the Canadiens and 1999 edition of the Yankees: NOOOOOO comparison whatsoever!!!

And I’d even be willing to go back a “few” years!

Omni not
It all started a few year back with the name change. Its the GODDAMN NORRIS DIVISION YOU FUCKS!

And then the restructuring? The wings play the Leafs twice a YEAR? That was one of the greatest rivalries in hockey!

How long do you think it is before it becomes the Molson Cup or something? The name Stanley cup just isn’t accessable enough!

Man. They are killing hockey for the fans who watch it. Half of the fun was the history and tradition, which is now all but gone. As is the old ways of playing hockey. They dumbed the game down for the mass audience and it makes me sick! Bleech!


I’m not a shrimp, I’m a King Prawn.
-Pepe the Prawn

If Ice Hockey is indeed a sport, the American version has gotta be better. I’ll keep an eye out for it.


I am me… accept it or not.

Here in Georgia, ice is the square stuff that goes in tea and hockey comes from the rear end of farm animals. I don’t wanna know how y’all make a sport outta that.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

Bring back the Montreal Maroons!

Jesus, Rodd! How old ARE you?

Ice hockey is not the same as it was 20 years ago.

I miss nickel beer nites. Now that the stars make so much $$$, they feel less passionately about the game & there’s a lot fewer fights. The sight of an ice rink with a dozen sets of masks, gloves, heck - these guys pull off their jerseys sometimes - is something unmatched in sports else where.

I’d rather watch a minor league game than the majors. Amazingly, there IS a hockey team here in El Paso & they’re quite well supported by the local fans. GO Buzzards GO!

Sue from El Paso

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

I’d have to agree the state of the NHL today is, shall we say, less than ideal, omni-not. But I think the reasons are more complex than a general decline in the level of play.

The league has been trying to become competitive in the US marketplace alongside the marketing juggernauts of the NBA (from whence, lest we forget, Bettman comes), NFL, and MLB. It ain’t easy, and the small-market revenue problems don’t help.

Player greed is part of it, although I should point out, in Fedorov’s defense - yes, he did hold out, but no, he didn’t actually demand a $12 million signing bonus. That was in the contract offered by Carolina, and Detroit had to match to keep him. Greedy? Yes, but you take what you can get.

Yashin is another story altogether, and I hope the Sens take him to court and win their case. He is under contract for another year, and should be required to play under that contract next season. Of course they’d have to trade him, as he’s almost certainly persona non grata in Ottawa (Any Ottawan Dopers?).

I hate to see tradition fall by the wayside in favor of marketability, too, Frankie. But look at it this way - at least we no longer have to see the intolerable Fox “glow-puck.” :slight_smile:

The NHL is still a struggling league in terms of market share, and will continue to struggle with the same player/team revenue problems all professional sports suffer. It’s just magnified because it already lags far behind the 3 major sports in the US (as witnessed by prior posts).

Expansion might help, while paradoxically thinning the talent of the player pool. It can’t hurt to have an influx of money, even if it means we now have to deal with Ted Turner’s ideas at the Governors’ meetings.

And I can sympathize somewhat with the Canadiens’ fans. My team has the biggest payroll in the bloody league and the worst power play (New York Rangers, in case anyone’s wondering - anyone have a job for Muckler out there?)

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Good post, Quix. In answer to your query about Ottawan Dopers, check the profile :). But, honestly, I don’t give a flying fig about the Senators, nor about any other NHL team for that matter. Born and raised in Montreal, I had been a fan (not an avid one, mind you) of the Canadiens up til the end of the 1970s: the team made Quebeckers “proud”.

As I said previously, I don’t watch the game anymore and I’m not aware of the intricacies of the business, as you seem to be. But, reading the papers and surfing the Net, I cannot but be appalled at the outlandish demands made by many of the, on the whole, untalented players that populate the League nowadays.

Perhaps an “un-official boycott” of the game by the fans, similar to that which followed the baseball players’ strike a few years back, would help to bring things a bit more down to Earth.

I’m not holding my breath.