Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Impossible Dreams dept.

I am over the CBA argument. Really. I don't want to talk about it. But what the hell is this:
In the previous three seasons, the 12 spots in the conference finals have been filled by 12 different franchises. The salary cap aims to give still more teams a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup.

"I'd say at least 80 percent of the teams have really improved in the long run," Chicago defenseman Adrian Aucoin said.

These are warm, fuzzy thoughts that simply cannot mesh with the cold, hard, zero-sum reality of competitive sports.

I almost don't even understand the first paragraph. Obviously, he can't be saying that in the next 3 seasons, there will be 14 or 16 different teams in the conference finals. There's four per year - it doesn't matter how fair or unfair the salary system is. I think he's saying that Anaheim, Minnesota, Calgary, Tampa Bay, San Jose, and Carolina had some "chance to compete" that other franchises did not - again, whatever, I don't want to talk about it.

Aucoin's statement is ridiculous in a more straightforward way. I have my own prediction, and I'll compare it to his after the season:

"I'd say that for every new team that makes the playoffs, one that was there before will miss. I'd also say that right around 50% of teams have improved."

I really don't know how the fans of the 14 teams who miss the playoffs this year will feel. The theory right now, as I understand it, is that they'll be fairly accepting, as at least their team had a fair chance to compete. I'm pretty skeptical - I'm guessing they'll be cheesed, without reservation.

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