Will The NHL Someday Be Playing Musical Cities?

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    davetherave
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    Re: Will The NHL Someday Be Playing Musical Cities?

    Post by davetherave on Mon May 25, 2009 2:34 pm

    Sorry Clutch, you really need to watch the interview with Rocky Wirtz to know the story behind the story.

    I've given you a number of facts that contradict your assumptions. The club was never in danger of folding. It did not perform optimally during the period I mentioned, which was during Bill Wirtz's tenure; but Rocky is very candid about that, and he explains some of the reasoning of his father in the interview.

    Again, with all due respect, you're off base with this one.
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    Re: Will The NHL Someday Be Playing Musical Cities?

    Post by SeawaySensFan on Mon May 25, 2009 2:38 pm

    davetherave wrote:Sorry Clutch, you really need to watch the interview with Rocky Wirtz to know the story behind the story.

    I've given you a number of facts that contradict your assumptions. The club was never in danger of folding. It did not perform optimally during the period I mentioned, which was during Bill Wirtz's tenure; but Rocky is very candid about that, and he explains some of the reasoning of his father in the interview.

    Again, with all due respect, you're off base with this one.
    Smile

    I think we all agree that the Hawks are a house of cards just one bad season away from total collapse. evil

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    Re: Will The NHL Someday Be Playing Musical Cities?

    Post by Cap'n Clutch on Mon May 25, 2009 2:41 pm

    davetherave wrote:Sorry Clutch, you really need to watch the interview with Rocky Wirtz to know the story behind the story.

    I've given you a number of facts that contradict your assumptions. The club was never in danger of folding. It did not perform optimally during the period I mentioned, which was during Bill Wirtz's tenure; but Rocky is very candid about that, and he explains some of the reasoning of his father in the interview.

    Again, with all due respect, you're off base with this one.
    Smile

    I did watch the video and he never explains why his father was unable to make the Hawks profitable. He does say he doesn't know why his father didn't see the solution and decided to go ahead with his plan after his father died because the only way to go was up.

    Again I'm not suggesting the Hawks were in danger of folding just that had they continued under Rocky's father they would have continued to do poorly. To suggest that they're a model franchise because the father mismanaged the team and then the son pulled it out of the ditch is a bit of a stretch IMO.
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    Re: Will The NHL Someday Be Playing Musical Cities?

    Post by davetherave on Mon May 25, 2009 8:16 pm

    Cap'n Clutch wrote: I did watch the video and he never explains why his father was unable to make the Hawks profitable. He does say he doesn't know why his father didn't see the solution and decided to go ahead with his plan after his father died because the only way to go was up.

    Again I'm not suggesting the Hawks were in danger of folding just that had they continued under Rocky's father they would have continued to do poorly. To suggest that they're a model franchise because the father mismanaged the team and then the son pulled it out of the ditch is a bit of a stretch IMO.

    Clutchie, watch it again. He says that there were some things he didn't understand at the time about his father's business decisions...but his father's reasoning is much clearer to him now.

    And what information do you have to support the opinion that the franchise was 'in the ditch'? That's your opinion, but you don't know what the profit and loss was during those years Bill Wirtz was in charge. And you certainly don't know why Wirtz Sr made the decisions in the context of the overall operations of The Wirtz Corporation.

    As for the Hawks being a model franchise in 2009? ONE MILLION PAID ADMISSIONS this season my friend...best in the NHL.

    Do the math on that one...
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    Re: Will The NHL Someday Be Playing Musical Cities?

    Post by Cap'n Clutch on Tue May 26, 2009 7:31 am

    davetherave wrote:
    Cap'n Clutch wrote: I did watch the video and he never explains why his father was unable to make the Hawks profitable. He does say he doesn't know why his father didn't see the solution and decided to go ahead with his plan after his father died because the only way to go was up.

    Again I'm not suggesting the Hawks were in danger of folding just that had they continued under Rocky's father they would have continued to do poorly. To suggest that they're a model franchise because the father mismanaged the team and then the son pulled it out of the ditch is a bit of a stretch IMO.

    Clutchie, watch it again. He says that there were some things he didn't understand at the time about his father's business decisions...but his father's reasoning is much clearer to him now.

    And what information do you have to support the opinion that the franchise was 'in the ditch'? That's your opinion, but you don't know what the profit and loss was during those years Bill Wirtz was in charge. And you certainly don't know why Wirtz Sr made the decisions in the context of the overall operations of The Wirtz Corporation.

    As for the Hawks being a model franchise in 2009? ONE MILLION PAID ADMISSIONS this season my friend...best in the NHL.

    Do the math on that one...

    It is a great turn around and this season they did great but you were saying that the Hawks overall as an organisation through history are a model other teams should follow and I disagree. It's no secret that attendance was way down for the Hawks over the past several years under Wirtz Sr. Saying that we should follow the Hawks model is like saying that what the Coca Cola company did by switching to the disaster NEW COKE and then back to Coke Classic was a fantastic model for success. Do you truly believe that Coca Cola meant to bring out New Coke, have it fail miserably, waste millions because they knew bringing back Coke Classic would be pure marketing genious? Should all teams try to run there team with low attendance for a decade or two then do everything right marketing after that and try to reach the top of the league for attendance levels?


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    Re: Will The NHL Someday Be Playing Musical Cities?

    Post by davetherave on Tue May 26, 2009 9:59 am

    Clutchie, not to dismiss your point of view, but what I was saying was that both Detroit and Chicago are models for NHL franchises, being two who went through rough times and turned themselves around.

    Their turnarounds are a fact.

    I highlighted Detroit and Chicago for those specific reasons, and because they are both pertinent to the theme of Ken Warren's incisive and thought-provoking article.

    This has nothing to do with 'Old Coke Vs New Coke'; and my objection to your characterization of Bill Wirtz was based on you not knowing the facts about Wirtz and the way he ran The Wirtz Corporation--yet you were ready to suggest he made bad business decisions.

    The strength of the Blackhawks franchise is directly related to the financial stability and business acumen of the Wirtz Family, their critics notwithstanding. At the time of his death, Bill Wirtz was personally worth close to $5 billion CAD (over $4 billion USD). The Wirtz Corporation, created in 1922, being a privately held company, is not required to disclose details about the finances of its principals, so that wealth could have been more.

    For your information, this entry, dating back several years, from business directory FundingUniverse.com: "Wirtz Corporation houses the varied business interests of Chicago's influential Wirtz family, best known as the owners of the Chicago Blackhawks National Hockey League team. The company is also part owner of the United Center, where the Blackhawks and the Chicago Bulls basketball team play. The privately held Wirtz Corporation is highly discreet about its holdings, which at the very least include insurance, liquor distributorships in Illinois and Nevada, banks in suburban Chicago and Miami, apartment buildings on Chicago's North Side, and real estate interests in Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin."

    From Yahoo! Finance's business profile posted this year:

    The company owns the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team and is partnered with Jerry Reinsdorf, of the Chicago Bulls basketball team, in ownership of the United Center, where both sports teams play. It also owns and operates liquor distributorships, including Judge & Dolph, among the largest distributors in Illinois, and Wisconsin-based Edison through the Wirtz Beverage Group. Judge & Dolph owns the rights to distribute some key Diageo brands such as Crown Royal, Johnny Walker, J&B, and Tanqueray. President and CEO William Wirtz died in 2007; his eldest son, Rocky, took over management of the company.
    My point was--and again, please re-read my initial post carefully--is that owners like Ilitch and The Wirtz Family impart a measure of financial stability that also makes them models for the rest of the league. Ilitch and Wirtz are TOTALLY committed to keeping the Wings in Detroit and the Hawks in Chicago, where they have been since 1926.

    This is in stark contrast to the type of owners who are all too ready to look at NHL teams as investment vehicles while neglecting to do the hard work of marketing the team to corporations, season tickets, and fans, as well as securing the proper broadcast deals, and in some cases (like Ilitch) creating entire minor hockey leagues in the metropolitan and surrounding areas.

    If Jerry Moyes failed in Phoenix, maybe it was more because he did a lousy job as a team owner...again, not making a judgement call here but suggesting there are different ways of looking at it.

    See my point?

    And what Ken Warren talks about in his article--the idea that NHL owners could simply up and move franchises if they decided to--is a real question that arises if a Jim Balsillie succeeds in what appears to be, from recent reports, a forthcoming lawsuit against the NHL.

    If that happens, no franchise is safe. Not your Ottawa Senators, and not any franchise which isn't privately held...and even at that...possibly not even those.
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    Re: Will The NHL Someday Be Playing Musical Cities?

    Post by Cap'n Clutch on Tue May 26, 2009 10:17 am

    Well I certainly can't argue with the fact that the Wirtz holdings as a whole did quite well and I definitely never got the impression that the Wirtz family would ever sell the Hawks or move them. One thing I got very clearly from that video was that the Hawks were a Wirtz holding and there was no question that it was to remain that way. The impression I got was the Hawks team is like a family heir loom (sp) that was to be cherished and hey while I'm here running this ship why not try to make it a success on and off the ice?


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    davetherave
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    Re: Will The NHL Someday Be Playing Musical Cities?

    Post by davetherave on Tue May 26, 2009 2:24 pm

    Cap'n Clutch wrote:Well I certainly can't argue with the fact that the Wirtz holdings as a whole did quite well and I definitely never got the impression that the Wirtz family would ever sell the Hawks or move them. One thing I got very clearly from that video was that the Hawks were a Wirtz holding and there was no question that it was to remain that way. The impression I got was the Hawks team is like a family heir loom (sp) that was to be cherished and hey while I'm here running this ship why not try to make it a success on and off the ice?

    Exactly, Clutch. Ilitch and Wirtz are two examples of owners who understand the value of their franchises beyond the numbers. At the same time, these are teams backed by solid if unglamorous business enterprises (Ilitch being Little Caesar's Pizza and the resulting group of assets he has built; and The Wirtz Corporation which started from similarly humble beginnings in the 1920's).

    Yes, there have been a number of problems with people buying NHL teams, and not just in recent years.

    In the 1930s it got so bad that the NHL found itself losing FORTY PERCENT of its teams to some kind of financial catastrophe.

    Expansion in 1967 was no picnic either. The strain on the talent pool and the attempt to double the league in size from six to twelve teams all at once, were subjects of enormous controversy among hockey fans and the media alike. I remember it very well.

    The fact that you have problems now with owners like Moyes, Koules, Barrie, Leipold, DelBiaggio, Gillett, Hicks and the Atlanta Spirit group just to name a few, demonstrates how difficult it is to find qualified money to support NHL franchises. At the same time, it becomes even more difficult to find ownership that will commit long term to building and maintaining that franchise.

    In all the posturing over Balsillie, how much does anyone really know about him and his money? We are told he is worth $3B CAD, but how much of that is liquid?

    How sustainable is a tech-centric business like RIM, when giants like Nortel have come crashing down?

    He may have succeeded in HIS business, but what guarantees are there that Balsillie will be a responsible NHL owner? We've already seen other apparently successful entrepreneurs fail when it came to owning a hockey team.

    When hockey fans want to jump on a bandwagon, do they step back and take a critical look at what's behind the hoopla?

    I do.

    That is why I take the time to research and delve into these issues, and share what I have found with the intelligent folks who populate this forum.

    In the end, we can all have opinions...agree to disagree...but IMHO we owe to ourselves to take a look at the facts as well.

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