A really good article but I have a few points:
- Regarding Stanley cup winners it was quoted "the league has been more competitive over the last 20 years than it has at any time in its history". This was based on the number of cup winners and finalists. One thing that wasn't taken into consideration is the number of the teams in the league. For example, from 1940-48, I believe the NHL was basically a six team league. So 5 winners and 6 finalists in that time. Pretty good for a 6 team league.
- The article goes over the salary and revenue number of caps vs non-cap. And then comes up with the conclusion that contraction is the answer. However, not one example of contraction has been given to support the conclusion. The Cleveland-Minnesota contraction (1978-79) is an example, but was it successful? The WHA disbanding and creating 4 new NHL franchises could be looked as a form of contraction, but was it successful?
- Who pays the owners of the contracted teams? The owners of these teams will expect fair market value for the teams. 4 teams, anywhere between $200-400 Million. This money will be spread over the remaining owners. A tough pill to swallow.
- Another form of contraction may be better. Limit the team rosters to 3 lines (plus a couple extras). The salaries paid out will be reduced and the quality of the game will improve. The stars will shine since the talentless "checking line" (or clutch and grab line) will be gone. An improved product would create more interest and, hence, revenue. Increased revenue plus reduced expenses equals better profit.