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Women's Professional Hockey: Crossroads

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On 5/4/2019 at 11:20 AM, SwampD said:

Is that so the WNHLPA will then support their work stoppage in 2020?

Brawndo left out the second part of the NHLPA's statement: "Good luck, but we're not touching that one with a 20 foot pole."

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On 5/2/2019 at 9:21 PM, Zamboni said:

So you watch no AHL hockey games? No college football? No AAA baseball? No college basketball? No frozen four? No march madness?

Actually.... no I don't. 

I might watch a college game or two a year out of that list and that's about it.

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This is an interesting proposal: https://www.theicegarden.com/2019/5/7/18531465/using-the-premier-lacrosse-league-as-a-blueprint-for-the-game-pll-hilary-knight-paul-rabil

 

I had no idea about the PLL before this article. I've been to a few Bandits games and I have watched some of the games when they've been broadcast. I know they have a streaming package, but I've never bothered to look into it. If this PLL is on NBCSN I'll be more likely to watch some.

 

Although without a Buffalo team to root for (or Baltimore/DC team for that matter), I'm not sure how much I'll care. Something about rooting for teams from my hometown makes a bigger difference in my attention on a sport or team. I think that's one of the reasons Overwatch League is trying to do that with Esports.
 

The traveling idea could be interesting, but I want a Buffalo team. I especially like the idea of them playing in the Summer to build up an audience. I mainly watch Hockey, Football and Tennis. I don't like Baseball much unless I go to a game. So having another sport to watch in the Summer would be nice since I typically only watch the last few rounds of the bigger Tennis tournaments.

 

Although it would make it harder to do a double header with the Sabres. Then again, I've been looking for excuses to come up to Buffalo when the weather is nicer as I typically only come up for Hockey and Christmas right now.

 

 

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Just now, Brawndo said:

 

I was just responding to the thread you started.  This above is the read I got from that initial tweet, that they were handing the team back to the league.  But anyway, I'm sure the NHL played a big role in this one.

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Yeah, the players wanted more coin and said they would sit out to get it.  They don't generate enough revenue, so it would have to come from outside sources.  I would expect the NHL to step away from the NWHL until the labor dispute is settled (or the league dies which to me is the more likely scenario).

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4 minutes ago, shrader said:

I was just responding to the thread you started.  This above is the read I got from that initial tweet, that they were handing the team back to the league.  But anyway, I'm sure the NHL played a big role in this one.

I took a another look and title was not accurate, so I deleted the thread. 

I think the plan is to eliminate the competition and for the NHL to start its own league. 

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Background:  https://www.tsn.ca/more-than-200-players-call-for-overhaul-of-women-s-pro-hockey-1.1299658

Quote

“We will not play in ANY professional leagues in North America this season until we get the resources that professional hockey demands and deserves,” says a prepared statement released Thursday morning by a group of women players that is believed to number at least 200.

 

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PSE handing Beauts back to NWHL is almost certainly in preparation for something.  I don't think this happens without a reason, particularly for how supportive the Pegulas have been of the league.

Obviously the question is: what's the reason?  Speculative possibilities, without making any claim about accuracy or likelihood (some of these are right out of my ass):

  • PSE to NWHL: fix your labor issues and get back to us.
  • PSE to NWHL: we see potential PR issues for us and/or suspicious or illegal activity on your part and we don't want to be involved.
  • PSE wants to divest as a financial precaution before NWHL folds.
  • PSE had some conditional arrangement with NWHL as part of the agreement for PSE taking control of the Beauts, and NWHL did not deliver, resulting in termination of the agreement.
  • PSE wants to divest to free up NWHL to make more extreme changes in the name of self-preservation:
    • Move or fold individual teams as needed.
    • As a singular entity, be purchased by or partner with a third party.  The third party could be the NHL, an ownership group led by the Pegulas, or other.  (Example: NHL buying NWHL with PSE as a franchise owner/controller would be messy; divesting simplifies this.)
  • PSE wants to divest from NWHL before the NHL begins discussing or actualizing among owners/governors an alternative to NWHL.  (Conflict of interest for PSE-Beauts partnership).
  • PSE wants to divest from Beauts because of a potential conflict of interest as the owner of The Rinks at HarborCenter.
  • edit1: PSE to NWHL: your labor costs are about to skyrocket.  I want out.

 

Edited by IKnowPhysics
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Just now, IKnowPhysics said:

PSE handing Beauts back to NWHL is almost certainly in preparation for something.  I don't think this happens without a reason, particularly for how supportive the Pegulas have been of the league.

Obviously the question is: what's the reason?  Speculative possibilities, without making any claim about accuracy or likelihood (some of these are right out of my ass):

  • PSE to NWHL: fix your labor issues and get back to us.
  • PSE to NWHL: we see potential PR issues for us and/or suspicious or illegal activity on your part and we don't want to be involved.
  • PSE wants to divest as a financial precaution before NWHL folds.
  • PSE had some conditional arrangement with NWHL as part of the agreement for PSE taking control of the Beauts, and NWHL did not deliver, resulting in termination of the agreement.
  • PSE wants to divest to free up NWHL to make more extreme changes in the name of self-preservation:
    • Move or fold individual teams as needed.
    • As a singular entity, be purchased by or partner with a third party.  The third party could be the NHL, an ownership group led by the Pegulas, or other.  (Example: NHL buying NWHL with PSE as a franchise owner/controller would be messy; divesting simplifies this.)
  • PSE wants to divest from NWHL before the NHL begins discussing or actualizing among owners/governors an alternative to NWHL.  (Conflict of interest for PSE-Beauts partnership).
  • PSE wants to divest from Beauts because of a potential conflict of interest as the owner of The Rinks at HarborCenter.

 

These two would be my guesses. I don't think this is a malicious move by PSE in any way.

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I think PSE previously said (possibly unofficially) that they didn't expect to field a team in the fall. So the league may have gotten it back so they could try to field a team with whatever players may be left.

 

While I don't think the boycott will have the desired effect, I also don't think trying to have a season without those 200 players is worth doing either.

 

The entirety of both the US and Canadian national teams are on the list. If the leagues weren't getting much revenue WITH those players, what chance do they honestly think they have without them?

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1 minute ago, SabresBaltimore said:

While I don't think the boycott will have the desired effect, I also don't think trying to have a season without those 200 players is worth doing either.

The entirety of both the US and Canadian national teams are on the list. If the leagues weren't getting much revenue WITH those players, what chance do they honestly think they have without them?

I don't know what the solution is, but having an NWHL season next year without those players seems like a non-starter.  I don't think it's the skill factor.  I think a significant number of players and fans would be hesitant to cross real or virtual picket lines, at least a large enough number to significantly damage the NWHL's shoestring budget, particularly if the national team members start shaming the league.

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7 minutes ago, IKnowPhysics said:

I don't know what the solution is, but having an NWHL season next year without those players seems like a non-starter.  I don't think it's the skill factor.  I think a significant number of players and fans would be hesitant to cross real or virtual picket lines, at least a large enough number to significantly damage the NWHL's shoestring budget, particularly if the national team members start shaming the league.

Yeah. My point was less about skill than name recognition. How do you market a league without any of the players for your country's national team on it. The picket line point is good one too. I know I have no plans to see a game next season unless this gets resolved. I had been planning to do so before this started.
 

The only solution would be some kind of compromise that brings the players back in. What exactly that will be is hard say. Is medical insurance enough? Some kind of equity in the league? Unless some super rich sponsors fall from the sky they aren't going to be able to pay anyone in the league a living wage.

 

There was an article a few weeks back about the complexity of the visas too. If you get a work visa to play sports, that won't let you also work somewhere unrelated to your sport. So if you're not paid enough money to live, and you're playing for a foreign team, how are you supposed to supplement your income? And how could the league even hope to solve that?

 

Really this whole thing is a mess that doesn't have any good ways out that I can see.

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48 minutes ago, IKnowPhysics said:

PSE handing Beauts back to NWHL is almost certainly in preparation for something.  I don't think this happens without a reason, particularly for how supportive the Pegulas have been of the league.

Obviously the question is: what's the reason?  Speculative possibilities, without making any claim about accuracy or likelihood (some of these are right out of my ass):

Interesting possibilities.  The takeaway I have is that the whole "deserve" thing:  I think one of their tactics would have been to pull the gender card with any owners that were also NHL owners, to try legally pry money out of the NHL owners:  Male hockey players get X, Y, Z; to not provide those to female players is gender discrimination.  I doubt the courts would uphold that, but by divesting before any legal proceedings start, it's no longer the Pegulas' concern.

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55 minutes ago, MillerVaive said:

Would be nice if the NHL can come up with a way to better support it.

Perhaps, but it sounds like the women's league players are demanding the support rather than earning it through good will.  I'd be wary of getting too close a venture that looked like it could be a big money pit for a long time before it can turn a profit.

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22 minutes ago, SabresBaltimore said:

The picket line point is good one too. I know I have no plans to see a game next season unless this gets resolved. I had been planning to do so before this started.

I've actually been kicking around the idea of buying a Beauts jersey.  That's on hold now.

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Are the women on the national teams foregoing their obligations? Otherwise it seems like a few noteworthy players cost a whole bunch of women an opportunity to play competitive hockey. I’m sure for many of the women that alone was worth playing, never mind the pay. Just as I’m sure it’s the case in many men’s professional leagues. 

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3 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

I've actually been kicking around the idea of buying a Beauts jersey.  That's on hold now.

 

Yup. I wanted to buy a Harmon jersey since she played for my college too. She's on the list. Along with every other Clarkson University player I recognize.

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2 minutes ago, #freejame said:

I’m sure for many of the women that alone was worth playing, never mind the pay.

This sounds comparable to inviting a band to play at venue but not pay them, and expect them to do it "for the exposure."

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I'm amazed they even got one year out of a scenario where one team had PSE ownership/operation while the rest were run by the league.  I'm not sure what the correct label would be, but that seems like one hell of a conflict of interest.  Maybe it works in the short term as a building block experiment, but that was never going to be sustainable.

11 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

This sounds comparable to inviting a band to play at venue but not pay them, and expect them to do it "for the exposure."

Have you seen the tv deal the XFL just signed?  That's pretty much what they have, not getting paid by the networks.  I'd imagine these type of things happen all the time.

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Right but who's idea was it?

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