So it looks like my WHA dreams may be collapsing around me.
Two of the six teams, Orlando and Jacksonville, dropped out of the league for next season.
I’m not sure how exciting a four-team league will be. Or how viable.
It’s like Goldilocks. The NHL has 125 teams and that’s too many. But four is too little. I need a league that’s just right.
I don’t know, though. Michael Russo says the WHA may be able to make a go of it. He also says that Mark Messier might be bringing a WHA team to Cincinnati. Who knew?
Actually it seems like there will be a lot of hockey options if there’s a lockout.
The NHL Player’s Association and IMG are trying to put together a modern Canada vs. Russia game for New Year’s Eve in the SkyDome, with the lid off.
The NHLPA seems to be concentrating on a lot of one-off games like that, designed to bring TV revenue into the union’s war chest. Players won’t be making their NHL salaries, but it sounds like the games could help them survive a prolonged lockout.
I should mention that IMG manages players like Joe Thornton and Jaromir Jagr. Here’s a list of their clients. It’s like an All-Star game. So IMG and the NHLPA can definitely bring some stars to whatever events they plan. They could almost start their own league.
One more business tidbit: Larry Brooks is hearing that some NHL teams would consider a salary cap of $45 to $50 million, not the $31 million that’s been widely circulated. Teams over the cap would pay a tax and give up first-round draft picks.