Well this is clearly the depth of the doldrums. There's barely any new trickling out that doesn't have to do with CBA negotiations, and even that is coming at a slow pace. So let's just clean up what's out there quickly, and we can all go back to waiting for Sept. 9th or watching the Tigers hilariously try and play defense or whatever it is you're doing.
-Apparently a good swath of you couldn't wait to snap up tickets yesterday when single gamers went on sale. Maybe it's the lower risk of cost, as you very well may not end up paying for games because they don't exist. Now, this is another facet where the front office gets to control the message and could tell us anything and goose the tickets available to however they want to back up the message. But a cursory glance at the games that are marked "Act Now!" do back it up. Only standing room available. And let me say how funny I think it is that if you sit second row behind the glass, you paid 250 less than the guy sitting one row in front of you. Still, the Hawks have another chance to grab the city's attention this winter, because the Bulls have every chance of being awful, and these ticket sales suggest they're off to a good start. I hope those of you who bought tickets actually get to use them.
-There was some rumblings that the Hawks may be breaking out a third jersey again this year, all based on a marketing video from the site where 1st round pick Teuvo Teravainen was wearing the old Winter Classic-inspired third. Seems a bit of a stretch. If the Hawks were going to break out a third I feel like we would have heard about it by now. I have always thought the third should be the 1996 retro jersey, popularly known as the barber poles. For season ticket holders like myself, it's a nice break up from the red vs. white we always see on the United Center ice. And if Rocky is truly losing money, it couldn't hurt to open up another revenue stream with a new third jersey, which is what these are all about anyway.
-On the CBA front, we should get some indication about how things are really going to go when Fehr and Bettman meet for real tomorrow. Both sides have handed in their initial proposals, and both were met with scowls and belches from the other side. But of course they were. It wouldn't be handy negotiating tactics from Bettman if he greeted the players' proposal with, "Gee, that sounds awesome!" You kind of give up your leverage then. So when they attempt to build a bridge between the two, we'll know how much of an expanse the river covers.
A major portion of what this will be all about is revenue sharing. And while my socialist heart bleeds at the thought of understanding why those with more don't want to voluntarily give up a portion to those with less, I do get it. After all, you've made your money through good management or a rabid fanbase or both and we're all competing here so why should I help some clod who can't run his team right? It's easy to understand.
However, there are inherent disadvantages for some teams. The NFL is not a fair comparison, because the NFL gets a good portion of its money from one, unified, massive national TV deal. The Bears do not have a local TV contract they get to bid out to Comcast or WGN or whatever. The other leagues do. So a team like the Flyers or Rangers has a much bigger market, and a much larger fanbase, in which to negotiate its TV contract. Hence, they get more money from that. Whereas in a market like Nashville or Florida, they just don't get the same rewards with less interest.
And in most ways, that's not their fault. They haven't been a fixture in their cities for decades and carved out their place yet. Maybe those Southern teams could have done more to cultivate a fandom, but there's nothing they can do about the time in the city issue. So this is the balance that has to be figured out in revenue sharing. Sadly, I don't know what that equals in terms of a number or percentage. But I'm not paid to.