Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hold The MSG:NHL At War with The Rangers?

1) Intriguing story that we haven't heard much of since the 2008 NHL Entry draft weekend. Apparently there is very bad blood between the NHL (Gary Bettman) and the NY Ranger's ownership led by the Dolan family. Make no mistake, they are at war! The dispute goes back to the last CBA negotiations. The Dolans were one of the owners who were not exactly enamoured with the prospect of a salary cap. After all, prior to that his team could spend their enormous wealth of any player they pleased. The cap would significantly cramp that style (We believe its been a God-send to them, but at the time Dolan didn't see this)

2) Things didn't improve once the CBA was finally ratified, begrudgingly approved by the Ranger ownership. One of the provisions that the Rangers objected to (and continue to now) is the virtual take over of all online teams' advertising. The league and the Rangers have feuded over control of the team's web site. In September, Madison Square Garden sued the NHL, saying it violated antitrust laws by monopolizing control of team promotions. However, a judge ruled in November that the league was within its right to take control of the web site. As a way of returning the favour to the Rangers(retribution) the NHL in a June court filing asked a judge to agree that MSG breached its contract by challenging NHL rules. The NHL further claimed that it can force MSG out of the league.

3) That last statement is what got our attention at FAUXRUMORS. The NHL is going to kick out its most profitable American based franchise over web site control? Are they kidding? Talk about a cutting off one's nose to spite your face situation. Its also not like Bettman and the NHL can just force the Dolan's to sell the team. Even if they did/could somehow pull that off, what then happens to the team? The Dolans also happen to own the arena where the Rangers play (Madison Square Garden, MSG) We doubt they would simply allow the new owners to use their arena, so then we'd be faced with a situation where the biggest American NHL team has no home to play. Imagine Ranger fans if you were forced to play your home games in Newark, or worse yet, in Nassau??? LOL
Knowing Bettman he'll probably have the team handed over to Boots DelBaggio


The Dark Ranger said...

Well, know how to get our attention! Aside from the NHL's now greatest cock fight between Dolan and Bettman, this kind of lawsuit forces you to side with someone -- one of them semi-undesirable and the other just plain lunatic (you guess which one I am referring to) and when the NHL is already having a difficult time expanding the game of hockey through the mainstream public in the states, they do something like this to further confuse the public.

Relocate the Rangers? Huh? Silly talk. And the league is wondering why a wave of players are re-locating and playing for the Swiss and Russian leagues this current season? Bettman should not only get his f&**ing act together, he should mostly be ashamed of himself and his decisions at the NHL.


Nick said...

Long time reader, first time commenter...In reference to that last post, why, Faux, do you continue to use Blogger when it's as easy as it is to continue to do this shit that your little stalker does? You should think, long and hard, about switching to Word Press<.


1) Dark: This whole law suit shit is beyond idiotic. It helps no one. Bettman should have better issues to deal with. At least(as far as we know) the Dolans aren't criminals like so many of the recent NHL owners. Why go after/taunt one of the biggest money makers in the NHL? Stupid!
2) Nick: Thanks for the advice, and keep on commenting along with reading. As for the frequent blog pest, most of our regular readers know of him and just ignore the silliness. We delete them when they show up. We will though look into your suggestion! Thanks again!

Trotz19 said...

As you could probably imagine I'm no Ranger supporter, but even i have to wonder about this one. It sounds like 2 middle aged guys in a pissing contest. Its all bluster I suppose. No way can the NHL not have a team play in NYC. I like the Bettman as Tony Montana. 'Say hello to my little friend'


1) Trotts: Thanks. We can't take credit for the Bettman depiction. We 'borrowed' it from another blog, but felt it was apt.
2) BTW, how do you guys feel about Gordon hired to be your coach. We've been on some Isles blogs today stating that we aren't surprised by this move, but did Snow really have to give Ranger fans help with the inevitable:'Gordon's Fishsticks' chants?
3) Seriously though, as we wrote on those blogs we hope this move is a good one and things begin to turn around up there. Any new arena news?

Trotz19 said...

If we can beat them it won't matter what they say. I think Gordon is the best choice for a young team. If he worked well in the minors he should be a good fit here.
Nothing new that I've heard on the new coliseum. The Nassau county and nystate take forever to do things. Other than raise taxes that is.

NYIsles1/IslesTigers said...

No NHL franchise lost more going into the lockout than the NY Rangers at 40.9m.

Spending more to lose more does not make a franchise profitable in a market where hockey is not a major player against 200m dollar teams dominated by the media.

All it means is Cablevision is willing to spend more to lose more while Forbes does an estimate once a year with no information to support it's numbers.

The media in Manhattan did not even notice the NHL work stoppage nor are the Rangers backpage material with big ratings even come playoff time.

The NHL has rules and Dolan seems to have problems with everyone who does not do things his way, if he does not like it he should sell his team.

If the Rangers are as profitable as claimed they should be leading the pack to do things the league wants to keep them profitable.


1) NYIsles: Firstly welcome/thanks for commenting. Your blog certainly is one of the more comprehensive team blogs we have come across. We will place it into our 'recommend list' replacing one of the inactive Isles blogs
2) As for your comments about the Rangers. We'd have to disagree to an extent. Its difficult to ascertain how much a holding like the Rangers is truly making or losing as they are part of a much larger conglomerate. However folks like the Dolans don't do things to lose money.
3) We disagree that the papers in NY didn't notice the loss of hockey. Larry Brooks, for one, had a regular column (promoting the players position) throughout the Bettman lockout. The Rangers DO in fact get 'back page' exposure. Not nearly as much as the other sports, but they are not ignored either. We can't speak of TV ratings.
4) WE can understand why the rangers, and the other big income teams, would want more control over their own affairs. The NHL portion of league wide income is miniscule compared to what individual teams make. Compared with the other major sports, the NHL makes little from TV contracts, etc. Therefore we can understand why a team like NY would think they could do a better job promoting themselves than the folks who seem incompetent at NHL headquarters

czechmate said...

It seems pretty friggin Stalinist to do what the NHL is doing... I realize that sounds extreme, but it's essentially the "state" coming down on it's affluent "people" because of a disagreement over how to earn the "people" money... As much as I understand the NHL's wanting to streamline things, I also believe the Rangers have a strong argument against the league's marketing intervention.

If anything, Bett-fag should have looked into what the Rangers' plan was, and copied it for the other teams... They're the most profitable team south of the border, and therefore could be used as a model.

Bettman's a geek.

NYIsles1/IslesTigers said...


Thank You for for the kind words about New York Islander Fan Central, we rarely do any promotion for the blog and perfer to let it's quality attract readers but of course it's more than kind of you to list it on your site and I will do likewise on our blog if you would like?

For what it's worth the blog is a non-participating member of the club's blog box but the Isles have been first class all the way with folks like Mr Botta/Mr Witt.

2) Regarding the Rangers financial trouble the Post before the lockout had an article in it's business section reported the Rangers were losing 25 million a year because of the overhead to operate it's franchise along with several other outside reports that even include Msg losses in the first quarter of 2008 of around 19 milliion.

I will be happy to send you some outdated links with blurbs documenting this information along with poor NY ratings and exposure.

3) I'm afraid we respectfully agree to disagree on Mr Brooks and Mr Dellapina during the lockout who if you recalled were barred from the NHL website. These gentleman promoted the NHLPA agenda while Mr Brooks disputed the report in his own paper about Ranger losses.

I contacted him recently and he wanted no part of that report as he talked about big market clubs with no information beyond his own speculation.

4) With regard to backpages in the three NY City papers the Rangers did not receive one full backpage the entire season for a second straight year. Year one out of the lockout they received their first backpage for Lundqvist at Olympics, but not one for a single game played until the playoffs which were infrequent and bumped for baseball coverage.

Isles had more backpages in Newsday.

Last two years come playoff time Rangers were a complete afterthought in ratings and backpages which can be documented from Bob Raissman, and Richard Sandomir if you would like links to their updates. Nascar/golf repeats and out of market baskeball doubled and tripled NY playoff ratings.

Finally if you recall Mr Dolan when this began said this was doing major damage to his revenue streams, that he has to do this.

You cannot mistake big revenue for big profit because in this market the overhead to run a franchise in New York is enormous with insurance. Before the lockout the Dolans would spend 80m to make 95m
(supposedly seventh behind Montreal) but would need to spend 140m overall with overhead.

That's why you see Detroit, Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, Boston and all the so-called big money makers claim they were or are losing money. Mike Illich constantly talks about having to reach the finals to break even in an old building.

Also don't forget Msg is a declining network that lost baseball and is now stuck with paying the Isles 300m until 2030 and the Devils a similar deal which now includes the Sabres.

Things are so tough the Dolan pay the Isles more than they take in televising Ranger hockey because there no longer is baseball programming.

Thanks again,
Don't want to clog up your blog, feel free to respond via e-mail on my blog.

New York Islander Fan Central

czechmate said...

Nice post NYIsles1... Haven't read your blog in a while, but will definitely be checking in more often... You have REAL evidence, facts and quotes, which makes it an absolute no brainer that you ain't the "one who shall not be named" (fugg it, Eklund)... Insightful and complete. Well done. Please check out our site as well, as we are always looking to cross-promote...

NYIsles1/IslesTigers said...

Thanks for the kind word Czechmate.

I'm not into the rumor and gossip game, blogging (at least the word itself) may be a new concept of a practice that has been in place since cyberspace was on the scene but I do absolutely support and respect the boundries between information from professional media vs amateur writers.

Somewhere along the way hockey information declined to an all-time low from professional media sources and this is where things have landed now with the line getting skewed somewhat.

Thanks again.


1) NYISLES: Feel free to add our blog to your preferred list. We're totally non-profit and not out to increase readers to increase revenue, but more readers usually equates into more/higher quality folks to discuss the issues
2) Congrats on the Blog box. Many outside of NY blasted it as a gimmick, etc, but it seems to be working, and from reading/talking with other participants its being done in the proper manner. Our initial fear was that the Isles would attempt to censor unflattering bloggers/entries, but we haven't heard of that happening. Other teams(Washington) have also implemented this, and we can see still others starting their own version. We(bloggers) are becoming mainstream!
3) Thanks for your input, visa vie the ranger financial situation. If things are really that dire why do you suppose the Dolans simply try to eject the money losing enterprise(s)?

NYIsles1/IslesTigers said...

Thanks again Fauxrumors,

1) I added your outstanding blog to our sidebard. NYI Fan Central is also non-profit and only interested in the hockey but does make media coverage part of things.

2) My membership in the blog box is a below the radar kind of thing. Isles added the blog after the season started knowing upfront I would never appear in the box itself and have no aspirations to become part of the professional media and would work from the outside perspective to tell the club's story. I asked the club to put the link at the bottom of the page and to date they have no plan to change.

Either way my blog will not be changing in content or format.

In essence the blog was offered to help the club and be an information source about the club from an perspective lacking in the cyberspace communities. The Isles
to their credit have been first class and never had a request regarding content and are always beyond generous with access if it decided to go that way.

3) I would guess Mr Dolan owns the Rangers for the same reasons many owners decide to own sports teams, it's an ego trip and another trophy purchase as was written about them when they purchased Newsday recently. Charles Dolan tried to buy the Isles from John Pickett in the nineties before he bought the Garden.

Charles Wang has said on a few occasions to purchase an NHL team you have to be a moron and most teams are not profitable.

The few profitable clubs entering the lockout were clubs like Minnesota who had a lower payroll in a new building and made about nine million which if I recall led all US markets with Columbus second. Now the Wild are so close to the cap they had to buy out Parrish and have a huge problem with a big conract for Gaborik.

Thanks again.

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