For the past two weeks, I have been on an emotional rollercoaster thanks to the Cowboys, the Rangers and FC Dallas. However, one sport that hasn’t been getting much attention (at least in my studio and office) is hockey. This is especially interesting because there is so much drama going on with hockey right now. Here to give us a crash course about the hockey hullabaloo is hockey expert (at least in my circle of friends), Mr. Joey Nelson.
Joey has been playing hockey for 11 years and is the current goalie for the McKinney Starcenter C League, The Big Package. His previous teams include The Frigid Beavers, The Screaming Beavers, The Vikings, The Old Devils, and The Rear Admirals.
Josh: Joey, in a nutshell, what is going on with the National Hockey League right now? We know they are in a lockout (which means, according to Wikipedia, “a temporary work stoppage or denial of employment”), but why?
Joey: Basically, the owners currently pay the players around 54% of the league's revenue, but they want to have this number reduced to around 50%. The problem is that the league has hyped the resurgence of the NHL for the last 3-5 years until the lockout and they now cry poor, which comes off as a bit inconsistent.
Josh: Okay, if you’re a woman and your eyes just glazed over reading that, all year your boss says you’re doing a great job making money for the company, but when it’s time for your annual review he asks you to take a pay cut. What a jerk, right? Joey, if it were up to you, how would you resolve this issue?
Joey: I think that the lengthy contracts we've been seeing in the last few seasons (for example, Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals was signed for 15 years), need to be removed as options and the salaries should be somewhere around 52-53% of revenues which would be a good compromise.
Josh: Can hockey survive another lockout? If so, will it change the game again?
Joey: I think the league can technically survive another lockout, but it will take a hit and could claim some teams if the lockout goes on for a year. I don't see the game changing like it did after 2004. The removal of the red line in terms of two-line passing really opened up the ice and allowed for faster play. Also, I think some changes need to be made in regards to checking and player safety, but those issues aren't for the lockout, but rather off-season rules summits.
Josh: Any advice for NHL hockey players on what they should do in their free time right now?
Joey: I would tell the players to get on the ice as often as possible so that when/if a season picks up they will be ready to play at full steam without a training camp. Many of the players are signing contracts in Europe so they can do exactly this.
Josh: I was going to tell them they should start home brewing…Okay, what are 3 phrases I can throw around the office that will make me sound like I’m hockey savvy?
Joey: 1. How could the Stars trade Ott and keep Morrow when Ott has been the heart of that team for the past 3 years? 2. Roberto Luongo is a greasy joke and does nothing, but choke in the post season! 3. While no one likes ties, meaningful games shouldn't be decided by a skills competition.
Josh: Okay, final question! What’s your favorite hockey movie? Mighty Ducks 1 or 2? What about the Cutting Edge where the hockey player has to learn to use a toe pick when figure skating?
Joey: Of these options, I would say Mighty Ducks 1. My favorite hockey movies are Miracle and Mystery, Alaska.
Josh: Thanks for the update, Joey! I think we all learned a lot about the ol’ stick and pucks, which a nickname I just came up with for hockey. Hopefully, the NHL lockout will be over soon.
The current season for Joey’s team, The Big Package, is winding down, but you can view their site here: http://www.pointstreak.com/players/players-team.html?teamid=389613&seasonid=9263