It’s no wonder the NHL’s thinking seriously about putting a franchise in Sin City. Since it’s obvious the process of building winning franchises is mostly a crap shoot, might as well go where they do it full time.
You don’t have to be a student of the game to know how truly bad scouts, general managers and other insiders are at picking winners from prospects, getting fair value for performance in contract negotiations or even improving their teams through trades of players with an actual playing history in the league.
I know, it’s hardly a profound question, but why do these NHL executives get paid such astonishing salaries? It’s into the multiples of millions; about equivalent to mid-line players’ salaries, without commensurate performance requirements. I mean, if actual performance was the measure of anything for these guys, there’d only be one guy getting anywhere near his actual salary – Dave Holland of the Detroit Red Wings (Lou Lamorillo might have qualified, too, until that disastrous Ilya Kovalchuk signing).
It’s well known the hockey world is a cloistered old boys’ network that endlessly recycles the wheat and the chaff, so, that (partly) explains why so much is paid for paltry results.
We’re now right on the cusp of the part of the season when these geniuses really “earn their keep” – trade deadline time. Up to the end of February, there’ll be an enormous amount of tinkering to ‘perfect’ lineups for the playoffs, re-tool “for next year”, etc. The (manufactured) excitement, as reflected on various sports channels, is palpable – practically on par in importance to what is happening in the Middle East.
But, not too far down the road, it will all have been for naught. The vast majority will have underperformed, or exited, from the playoff picture. The sports spotlight will shift to the next manufactured drama – the Draft – and ever-hopeful fans will continue in their faith of non-existent genius.