Red Wings players playing for the Motor City Mechanics in UHL League

Derian Hatcher, Chris Chelios, and Kris Draper of the ‘not playing’ Detroit Red Wings have signed to play for the ‘very much playing’ Motor City Mechanics, an AA-Professional Hockey expansion team of the United Hockey League (UHL). They will be playing out of the Great Lakes Sports City, an arena in Frasier, Michigan, that (according to their web site) has a seating capacity of over 4,000. By comparison, Joe Lewis Arena, home of the Red Wings, holds 20,058 per game (not including standing room tickets). Getting a ticket to a Red Wings game was hard… I bet tickets to the Mechanics are going to be next to impossible to get.

Hockey fans in Detroit need their ‘hockey fix’. We love our hockey. On the other hand, some things are getting out of control. For example, according to the Detroit Free Press, instead of saying ‘Welcome to Hockeytown’, they are now saying ‘Welcome to Hockeyburg’. (Kinda lame in my opinion…)

The irony is that they are playing for a league with salary caps. Even with their ‘star’ status, they are NOT going to get NEARLY the amount of money they got from the Red Wings. They claim that it’s more than the salary caps. For some, it might be, but for others, who knows?

Some players in the UHL are upset that the Red Wings players were signed. What’s your thoughts?

  • The system is broken, the income isn’t matching the salaries, and the players have to understand that they aren’t playing to the same market as the other three major sports. Football implemented a cap, and it doesn’t seem to be hurting the popularity of that sport. Just bite the bullet, realize that your bubble has burst, and get your butts back on the ice!

  • Actually, I got tickets for Friday’s game, section 104 in the corner, row E seats 1,2,3 no problem for only $10.00 per seat. With the added fees of Ticketmaster, the total cost was 47.50 for me to take my two sons to see Red Wings, albeit a very small sample, which I could not do at the Joe, even with Standing Room only tickets.

    I agree with Duffbert, but then again, the owners and the league are responsible for the situation more so than the players. After all, we all will attempt to get the best dollar for our work, won’t we? If the boss says yes, great if not well then we stay we are or we look else where. In the case of the NHL, the players hold out for more money and somebody will pay it.

    But once you have that money, you won’t settle for less until you’ve been put into a situation where you no longer have a choice and have to get a lower paying job. Right?

    Oh well, I fully expect with Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow at the table, that nothing but personality issues will be addressed between the two and that the season will unofficially be cancelled. Afterall, Bettman doesn’t want to be the one to say it’s over. He will blame that on the players association.

    I can see both sides of the issue but there are a heck of a lot of guys who would love to play at the NHL level, and never get the the chance. And this happens while we have players who swing sticks at other’s player’s heads, players who plot to murder their agents, and players who can’t understand that booze, and drugs do not make you a better player.

    I played hockey as a kid, and again as an adult until I got into a consulting job that prevented me from enjoyin the sport at the regularity I wanted. I just really want to see hockey on TV again.

    I’m done ranting now… Thanks Ray, for letting me vent.

  • @Duffbert – Yea, it seems like the system is broken. If a owner offers a player a boatload of money to play, the player would be stupid not to take it. The owners put themselves in this position, but both sides have got to come to an agreement, otherwise it’s over.

    @Perry – Glad to give you a place to rant. You’re probably one of the best examples of what has to be done to the sport…dump the owners, dump the players, and find the ones that play for the love of the game.

    I’m hearing a rumor that the owners may close the league down completely, and reopen it as a new league with the rules that they want. That means that the current players will have to ‘try out’ for the ‘new’ league teams. Just think of the ramifications then…

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  • I had a talk with my older son (Ian) who is completely into the sport. I asked him what the outcome would be, and he honestly felt that the NHL was completely dead and would never resume. I was a bit taken back as I hadn’t heard quite that position taken before. But given the rumors, it wouldn’t surprise me now…

  • As a die-hard hockey fan and former employee to the Red Wings organization, I completely side with the owners, but I agree with the players that the NHL front office is overwhelmingly unreasonable and that Gary Bettman must go (and that he’s the worst thing to ever happen to the NHL…besides Bob Probert). What about the hundreds of thousands of workers that depended on the game to feed their families, or pay their tuitions, or just have a little extra money in their pockets? The regular people that sell merchandise, or vend food, or PARK CARS are left without hope and with a financial burden……..and can’t even watch their heroes anymore. At least the boys of summer are right around the corner…