Should the NHL contract teams? Tue, February 3, 2009
By BILL LANKHOF, SUN MEDIA
The NHL never has seen a time filled with such tumult.
Attendance woes beset not only pauper franchises, but vacant seats are showing up in even its more traditional cities. Owners bemoan the cost of salaries and fret over a depressed economy. Others complain unsuitable arenas make franchises unsustainable.
Unemployment is not only crippling the world economy it is keeping fans on the living room couch rather than in arena seats. Cash constraints make the long-term survival of franchises tenuous. Speculation is rampant of teams folding or moving.
It is pro hockey's harsh new world. And, it is the 1930s. It just sounds a lot like the NHL we know today.
But, this was the NHL of the Montreal Maroons and the original Ottawa Senators, who along with the Americans of New York, the St. Louis Eagles, Philadelphia Quakers and a club in Pittsburgh would disappear -- victims of the financial ruin wrought by the Dirty '30s. What NHL franchises are experiencing today is nothing that hasn't happened before. Most of us just weren't around to see it the first time.
Do you think the NHL should contract teams to become a more viable league in the long run? Have your say in our forum.