Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Nonis Sounds Off

Count Canucks GM Dave Nonis on my side as one of those opposed to the NHL's unbalanced schedule. At a BC Chamber of Commerce event yesterday, he sounded off:
"I hate the schedule," he said, answering a question from the floor. "It does nothing for us.

"We should play every team in the league at least once. We all pay the same dues and right now the western teams are getting it right in the teeth for no good reason. We fly as much as we ever did and the eastern teams don't do a bloody thing."
Then he added:
In an example of NHL scheduling, Vancouver fans had their first chance to see Washington's Alexander Ovechkin, last season's top rookie, on Friday. Crosby and the Penguins didn't play in Vancouver last season and won't make a trip to GM Place this year either.

When the league announced the unbalanced schedule, the theory was it would help to build division rivalries and allow for more compelling television matchups.

Nonis disagreed.

"Rivalries are built through playoffs," he said. "I know the reasoning behind the schedule, I know why they did it. I don't necessarily agree that it is a good thing. It doesn't save us any time, we're not saving any money on travel and I know our fans want to see us play every team at least once."
The scheduling issue will probably be raised when GMs meet in Toronto Nov. 7.

"I think a lot of teams want the schedule changed," Nonis said. "I think the league always wants to do what's ultimately best for all the teams. I believe they'll revisit it. Whether they'll change it, I don't know."
I hope they do.

I heard a rumor a while ago that one of the biggest advocates for the unbalanced schedule was ex-Philly GM Bobby Clarke. With Clarke no longer around, that's one less voice opposed to switching back to the old format.

(Postscript: As you can see from the above links, Nonis also talked about the lowered age of free agency, among other things. I want to talk more about that later.)

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:08 AM


At October 31, 2006 10:50 AM, Blogger Faux Rumors2 said...

1) Nonis didn't mention that his best player(Luongo) is largely there because of the lowered free agency
2) As for the scheduling disparity. The West will always have a disparity in travel from the East. No matter how its done, the schedule will favor the East.
3) Does Nonis want to have each conference only play each other in the Finals|? Even then the East would travel less. There is NO answer to this other than to say: Oh well, that's the way it is, now get on with life.


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