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SteveNJ

A Rebuttal to those Who Complain About Scheduling

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You know, I've noticed lately, that the only people who really dislike the scheduling format, are the three western Canadian teams and their fans and the west in general.

The scheduling format works for the 24 American teams. The NHL Is not a star-driven league. Here in the U.S., other than for Crosby & Ovechkin maybe, they want to see a rivalry game, not Joe Thornton.

How do I prove this theory? Because when Joe Thornton came to Florida, the Panthers drew 10,000, well below their season average and well below when ever the Lightning are in town.

We need to focus on matchups in the NHL when choosing games, not how often I can see Crosby and Ovechkin.

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You know, I've noticed lately, that the only people who really dislike the scheduling format, are the three western Canadian teams and their fans and the west in general.

The scheduling format works for the 24 American teams. The NHL Is not a star-driven league. Here in the U.S., other than for Crosby & Ovechkin maybe, they want to see a rivalry game, not Joe Thornton.

How do I prove this theory? Because when Joe Thornton came to Florida, the Panthers drew 10,000, well below their season average and well below when ever the Lightning are in town.

We need to focus on matchups in the NHL when choosing games, not how often I can see Crosby and Ovechkin.

I disagree. I don't like the scheduling format. If I lived in an NHL market why do I have to wait 3 years to see Crosby in Los Angeles. Let me see the players every year. Rivalries create themselves, they cannot be created by scheduling.

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I disagree. I don't like the scheduling format. If I lived in an NHL market why do I have to wait 3 years to see Crosby in Los Angeles. Let me see the players every year. Rivalries create themselves, they cannot be created by scheduling.

I agree. You can't force rivalries and after the lockout and the implimentation of new rules and standards, the NHL is a different place. Sure, there are fans around from earlier era's who still want to see Detroit play Colorado 100 times, but new rivalries will form on their own, with new players, and new faces on each team. The NHL's schedule right now is ridiculous and many people seem to be up in arms about it, including potential marketing partners, if I'm not mistaken.

That said, it's not that SteveNJ's opinion is entirely wrong, just that no new rivalry will ever be born if we continuously create the same matchups year after year. The NHL needs to come up with some impartial schedules for a few years, try to balance things out a little better and let some new rivalries form. Too many people seem to be turned off by their current strategy.

Just for the record - I love a good rivalry game as much as anyone does, but it just shouldn't be a dictating force where scheduling is concerned. The best rivalries are born in the playoffs anyhow. I think the Sabres and Canes are well on their way to becoming a great rivalry.

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There clearly isn't the demand to see every team though. In the American arenas, Calgary just isn't going to fill an Eastern Conference building.

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Fair is fair, let every team come to play once. Season ticket holders who pay the big buck don't want to see a select few teams in the same region playing their fav team multiple times a month as that is the way it seems.

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There clearly isn't the demand to see every team though. In the American arenas, Calgary just isn't going to fill an Eastern Conference building.

That's because there aren't really 20,000 die hards for every team and that's more the problem. The NHL (and organizations within) needs to do a better job of marketing their teams and players in their local markets. If every team had 17,000 fans who would attend regardless of who their boys were playing than the league could operate on a more fair and logical schedule and allow for fans to be introduced to new teams and players they've never, or rarely seen in person before. Right now, the NHL is trying to solve attendance problems by forcing rivalry matches and scheduling too many of the same game. If we worked to ensure that fans would be interested in the sport and their team, regardless of the significance of the game than we wouldn't have to resort to such tactics. Hopefully it's something that is quietly improving behind the scenes and will one day come to fuition.

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The NHL should just adopt the NBA's way of scheduling. You play 2 games against each team out of conference. You play each team in your division 4 times. The remaining teams in the same conference are either 3 or 4 times on a rotating basis.

This way every city sees every team.

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Fair is fair, let every team come to play once. Season ticket holders who pay the big buck don't want to see a select few teams in the same region playing their fav team multiple times a month as that is the way it seems.

Exactly! I look at the schedule and it's like, "the Kings again?" or "the Ducks again?" or "the Sharks again?" or "the Stars again?". I get tired of seeing the same opponents over and over again.

I'd rather see:

6 games vs. each intradivisonal team (24 games),

3 games vs. each intraconference team (the other two divisions in a team's conference) (30 games),

2 games vs. each interconference team (the other conference) (30 games).

There, 84 games. I think the NHL had such a model for a few years. One problem is that in many arenas, interconference games don't draw as well. For example, when Southeast Division teams come out here, attendance is terribly low. Diehard hockey fanatics don't mind seeing an annual game against a team visiting from the other side of the country, but everything is revenue-driven.

Still, the NHL polarizes the conferences with the current schedule, denying a lot of fans of seeing the star players from the other conference. We can't have it both ways, you know.

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