Sunday, October 7, 2007
So, from all I can see, it looks like the Rangers will win their lawsuit against the league. The Toronto Star's Rick Westhead broke down the history in cases mirroring this one and there is definitely precedent for the Rangers to win.
It appears that the league will grasp at straws and make nonsensical claims to defend their mandate that the teams have to be unified: "This isn't a case of the Rangers competing against the Devils, the league will argue. This is a case where NHL.com and its splinter websites are competing against the likes of ESPN.com, and cbs.sportsline.com." I wrote Mr. Westhead and brought up the fact that the league makes no illusions that it is objective on its page - they use NHL.com as a PR machine and avoid coverage of violent acts (they never posted the Simon/Hollweg or Downie/McAmmond video). At least ESPN maintains -- falsely -- that they are an unbiased source of sports news.
So what does this mean for us, the Rangers fans? Not a whole helluva lot. The current template of the site should remain the same. I have word from a very good source that the On Demand video player will undergo a major upgrade with more content -- but that was likely to happen no matter the result of the lawsuit. Merchandise costs will remain the same, but there may be more MSG-specific items - all of that playoff stuff that was only available at the team stores will likely be available online.
But seriously, how many people are buying this overpriced crap? Even the players are complaining about the jerseys. This week the new NHL/Reebok store will open in the city and I will be getting an exclusive media preview. Something tells me the place will have lots of glitz and little substance.
So once the league loses this, other teams may break away from the template that the NHL forced upon them and there will be a return to anarchy! Dogs and cats, living together - mass hysteria!!!!!!!
No, not really. But it was fun to say (Ghostbusters was a great movie), and is likely what the NHL thinks. They feel that there is strength in numbers which is completely untrue in this case as this is business. At the end of the day teams are in it to make money and why should powerful owners relinquish that opportunity for the sake of other teams in other markets? The game is strong, its the league that isn't and until the Board of Governors realize that they will continue to attempt to prop up the Nashville's and Atlanta's at the cost of the Leafs and the Rangers -- which is the biggest mistake that they can make as the popularity of the sport as a whole hinges on the strength of the big market teams.