Free Agency and the Price of Beer
By stern on Jul 08, 2007
Scott Gomez' departure across the Hudson River was not the way I wanted to start my summer vacation. At some level; I knew he was leaving the Devils because he and general manager Lou Lamariello didn't see eye to eye on just about anything. But going to the Rangers was painful for those of us who started cheering for Gomez when he was 19 and enjoying a Calder Trophy rewarded rookie year. He's going to make $10M for somewhere between 80 and 100 games of hockey next season, or about $100,000 a game. High priced free agents usually are short-term pops for attendance, but long-term, they tend to crank the price of beer and do little for long-term fan support.
I carry on about this topic to the point of drawing a parallel between Alex Rodriguez and Scott Gomez over in my hockey blog. Building a fan base means investing in the community, in the media, in accessibility, and in brand image of your players, your club and your league. Hence the A-Rod comparisons.