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(Alive) Hockey Night in Canada (maybe)
  Nov 14, 2004

A specifically targeted non random survey of 225 respondents between December 3rd to 5th, 2004 all of whom were originally identified in a previous ROBBINS survey whose composite in this survey is roughly equal to the original composite derived that very first survey. (See Triple survey on Hockey under Canada polls). This survey has an error rate of 1.55%, 19 times out of 20 @19% competency when considered in context of all (3) surveys together.

Question #1
(Preamble) The NHL Players Association and NHL President Gary Bettman have agreed to sit down and negotiate on December 9, 2004, and if necessary the following day, December 10, 2004. It is naturally hoped by many that this meeting will bring an end to the current NHL impasse. In your opinion how likely is it that an end to the current impasse will be reached as a consequence of the meetings between the NHLPA and NHL owners scheduled for the second week of December 2004?
Very Likely    11 %
Likely    23 %
Unlikely    43 %
Not Very Likely    24 %
Question #2
An NHL hockey team has a 23 man roster. What in your opinion is a reasonable annual budget for an NHL hockey team to pay for its 23 players? (Millions of dollars rounded)
Average-32 million dollars     %
Question #3
Which of the following statements BEST reflects your perception/impression of a significant contributing cause to the NHL impasse in the first place?
The Canadian NHL hockey markets cannot compete economically with the American hockey markets    62 %
Over expansion in the American NHL hockey markets has hurt the NHL    24 %
The Canadian hockey markets would be in a better position if a provincial government paid Canadian NHL teams their fair and proper share of NHL Lottery ticket sales    14 %
Question #4
Which of the following statements BEST reflects your current expectation of NHLPA and NHL owner accountability, if the league is to remain economically viable?
If the players make an appropriate sacrifice by instituting a salary cap, then the owners must make an equal sacrifice by paying a significant penalty for going over budget    65 %
The NHL players are paid way too much money and should accept a salary cap and permit the owners to work out an acceptable penalty arrangement amongst themselves-    17 %
The owners are clearly part of this problem-by promoting the league and specifically players, through high salaries and open market acquisitions, they have increased the value of their hockey Asset but hurt the league in the process    15 %
Question #5
If a salary cap for an NHL Team is pegged hypothetically at million dollars per year, and particular NHL Team exceeds that ‘cap’ by 10% or $100,000, which of the following in your opinion should be the penalty paid for by the owner of that Team?
an amount less than the 10% over budget    16 %
an amount equal to the 10% over budget    59 %
an amount greater than the 10% over budget    21 %
no penalty should be paid    03 %
Question #6
In your opinion, would the NHL be viable and produce a satisfactory product if the only Teams in the league were each of the six Canadian teams and six American teams including: Boston, Detroit, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Colorado?
Yes    82 %
No    13 %
Question #7
Would you be personally satisfied, and in your opinion would the NHL be successful, if it went back to a 50-55 game schedule?
Yes    66 %
No    32 %
Question #8
In your opinion would you be excited if a new league were announced, a New World Hockey League (NWHL) that included 12 hockey Teams from North American, and 12 Hockey Teams from other parts of the world including Stockholm, Prague, Moscow, Helsinki, London, Rome?
Yes    74 %
No    25 %
Commentary-The majority of ‘hockey fans who attend games’ are more likely to be of the opinion that an agreement will be reached in the upcoming NHL negotiations. This survey produced respondents determining an average annual NHL salary cap (insofar as Vancouver hockey fans are concerned) of 32 million dollars. Once responses from other questions in this survey (and the other previous two surveys in the ROBBINS trilogy-see Triple are factored statistically, ROBBINS estimates the appropriate annual cap, according to Vancouver respondents to be 28 million per year.
Any agreement between the NHLPA and NHL owners must be bilateral. If the players accept a salary cap, respondents in Vancouver believe the owners should accept a budget restraint. For example, if the average NHL Team budget (prior to the NHL owners forcing a lockout), were 45 million, and a cap of 30 million were agreed to, than the players would be accepting a cap equal to one third less than the monies the NHLPA members were previously accustomed to.
To provide symmetry to any agreement, consistent with the wishes of Vancouver hockey fans, the owners should therefore pay a penalty of $1.33 for every $1.00 they exceed the budget. In this scenario, if an owner exceeds the cap by 5 million dollars than the penalty paid to the league (and distributed to any non-offending teams) would be $6.65 million dollars.
Vancouver hockey fans throughout the trilogy of ROBBINS hockey polls conducted since September 2004 reveal an acute sense of justice and equity when it comes to the NHL hockey lockout. Initially, the respondents declared the hockey players were overpaid. Over the subsequent weeks, respondents began to look more closely at the owner’s culpability with regard to the whole of the problem. In every survey respondents declared on average that owners and players were equally to blame for the problem. Players were overpaid, and owners fueled this problem by attempting to purchase championships by offering free agents’ huge salaries.
NHL hockey players could hardly be blamed for participating in a market initiated by owners, particularly those in the United States who wanted to have their teams ‘make the grade’ by winning the coveted Stanley Cup.

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