Monday, November 29, 2004

11/29 Notes

... Un-signed Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios participated in his first official bobsled race on Sunday in Calgary and it wasn't pretty. His team crashed on their first run, losing control on the seventh turn. Fortunately, no one was hurt and they were able to make a second run but finished 20 seconds behind the American sled driven by John Napier. They placed dead last. The Jamaicans finished 3rd and a team from Guadalajara, Mexico finished 7th. The Mexicans got to Calgary by towing their sled with a 70s El Camino. (via. DetNews) Better luck next time, Cheli. Update: For more from Chelios on his bobsledding career, read this piece from the Baltimore Sun. (login info.) ... Ansar Khan of has a piece published yesterday explaining why the Wings apparently are in support of a salary cap. Team senior Vice President Jimmy Devellano is Khan's main source of information in the article as well as the recent report by Forbes magazine that gave the Wings' 2003-2004 losses as $16.2 million. He points out that the Wings are dependent on making it deep into the playoffs in order to make a profit (which isn't much of a revelation) and that under a salary cap system, "teams like the Wings would be assured of making money regardless of how far they advance in the playoffs." Wow, that's some kinda deal. I wish I could be guaranteed a profit on the investments I make in the future!
Wings fans, don't necessarily expect ticket prices to go down if a salary cap is implemented. Jimmy Devallano told Mr. Khan that while ticket prices won't increase under a salary cap system, it's not likely that they will decrease either.
"That (reduce prices) is something we would probably want to do. It's hard to give a definitive answer because we have to know the payroll and what kind of product we'll have. We'll leave things the way they are for now but down the road that's something we can look at. It's fair to say you won't see hikes for some time."
Gee, thanks, Jimmy. As a fan for whom tickets are already way out of reach, my confidence has not been bolstered. The Wings apparently "strongly disagree" with the NHLPA's assertion that ticket prices are based more on supply-and-demand than on team salary. Then, why, I ask, won't they reduce the prices when a salary cap is in place? If they aren't spending as much on players, they should be able to reduce ticket prices, if those prices truly are based on player salaries. Devellano does mention that they need to know what the cap will be first but they have to know it will be significantly lower than their current payroll and because of that, lower ticket prices should already be in the plans. Saying they'll keep the prices the same "for now" seems to me to be a verification of the NHLPA's position. .... Update: Darren McCarty is touring with his band Grinder to pass the time during the lockout. They're headed to the Upper Penninsula this week and will play in Marquette on Saturday after playing in Sault Ste. Marie and Hancock on Thursday and Friday. The Mining Journal of the UP had an article about the band in their Sunday edition. Check it out.


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