I'm originally from Detroit and have been a hockey fan all of my life. I came to North Carolina in 1953, served in the service and then returned to North Carolina in 1972 and have resided here since. When the Canes came to town it was like manna from heaven for me and the wife. We immediately bought 4 season tickets. We reduced that to 2 season tickets upon the death of 2 of our sons, one of whom was buried in a Canes jersey. I give you this background so you understand our family has invested in this franchise. I would also like to state that I think Mr. Karmanos and Mr. Rutherford have run a tight ship, spent money when it would make a difference, and have treated us fans in a fine manner.
I raise the question whether it is worthwhile anymore to continue to be a fan is fueled by the following:
1. From what I read a lot of FANS in the major (traditional) markets seem to resent the presence of teams in the smaller (non-traditional) markets. They resent paying higher ticket prices a part of which goes or would go to support the smaller (non-traditional) market teams. I'm not sure how much revenue the Canes receive from other teams, if any. But, if the FANS in the profitable markets don't see any advantage to 30 team NHL I can understand their reason for the resentment. I'm not going to argue that I think they are wrong even though I believe they are mistaken.. I will just say if the league got rid of 12-14 teams I don't believe the fans in the large (traditional) markets would see any reduction in their ticket prices.
2. OWNERS in the traditional (large) markets seem to be against any sort of revenue sharing to maintain franchises in the smaller (non-traditional) markets. They seem to take the attitude they would be better off without several of the smaller (non-traditional) market teams. Again, I'm not going to argue the point even though I think they are mistaken. I will just say I believe the sport will then revert to the status of a niche sport and generally be ignored by the major media.
3. The PLAYERS don't seem to understand the need for owner's to make or have a chance at making a profit. Despite all their rhetoric, they only want more and more money and really don't take into account the 300+ or so NHL jobs provided for players by the smaller (non-traditional) markets. Actually, the players would probably be worse off as there would be more of them available for a smaller number of teams reducing demand substantially IMO. But, I won't argue the point. I will just say IMO the players need to take a smaller cut of the pie (50/50 of HRR) and move on and leave revenue sharing decisions up to the owners.
Since all parties involved with the sport other than the fans don't seem to think my spending my time and money on their sport, why shouldn't I just toss in the towel as it appears that it is inevitable that the sport will eventually (and probably sooner than later) disappear from Raleigh. After all, we are just considered to be a Gary Bettman mistake.