May 03 2014 11:53AM
I wanted to so something different today, but I've got a street hockey game to host and a party to go to afterwards. So instead, mailbag time!
Hey, I've got a question about the Furies - don't know if you know the answer, but I might as well ask... Why don't they play at Ricoh? I know Furies tickets are ridiculously cheap by Toronto standards - $10 per game or $75 per season - but the MasterCard Centre is way west of the city and isn't easy to get to via transit. Is it that much cheaper than Ricoh? Or if cost isn't the reason, are there booking issues? Just curious, really.
Without getting into detail (I don't want to start pulling out numbers without verifying them, and it's not worth the effort to verify), it's definitely an economic measure. Ricoh is a more expensive venue to operate and has a capacity that's much bigger than required. Even when there isn't a tenant using it (which does happen on occasion), it's not worth the cost of operating it. MCC, on the other hand, is part of a complex that has something going on every single day, so the Furies squeak into the rotation.
The transit issue is something that's person-dependant. I wouldn't consider it more difficult to get to from a technical aspect, but just inconvenient for the central and east enders. That includes myself; Ricoh is way more convenient for me, but the reality is, both facilities are "get to a Bloor line stop and transfer to a southbound vehicle (29 or 511 for Ricoh, 44 for MCC).
If the CWHL grows, I could see them re-evaluating the playing location for the Furies, but it doesn't make much sense to now.
Who do you believe the Leafs should replace Randy Carlyle and/or Dave Nonis with, depending on whether either of them gets fired?
First off, I have to apologize to you, acg5151. You commented on the last mailbag saying that I missed your question, and then I brushed you off. I thought it was because you asked me a much more complicated question, but I was looking at the comments from a different mailbag.
As for this one, it's hard to give an intelligent, rational answer. Off ice additions are ones that you can't just look at performance, but also have to speak to them and get a feel for their frame of mind and how they want to approach things.
From a personal perspective? I'm okay with leaving Nonis at the helm, at least for now. I'd like to see what happens now that he has a hockey person above him to second guess his decisions, rather than having to look below, where there's a higher chance of yes-man things happening (not saying the assistants are those types necessarily). As for the next coach, I'm hoping for Guy Boucher. Cam had a good article on him a few weeks ago, and I've heard a ton of stories about his weird approaches to the game. From a pure entertainment standpoint, I'd love to see an oddball here if his systems work at the same time.
Is it possible that the Raptors ever become more popular among torontonians if they continue to get better and everything remains status quo in leaf-land next year
The second not-really Leafs question of this mailbag! But I'll take it. Something that gets forgotten by alot of people is that despite being just 18km tall, Toronto is a huge city with millions of people. On top of that, there are millions of people in the immediately surrounding areas. Toronto is incredibly diverse in pretty much every single way, and there's no set "like" or "dislike" in the populace.
The Raps are already huge in this city, as a result. Even without success, the Raptors have been a top 10-12 team in the NBA in terms of income for several years now. They're ranked 18th in actual value, but that number is tied to the sale of MLSE and the assumed greater interest in the Leafs in that deal (Forbes, who does the rankings, has the Leafs valued at 1.15 billion dollars, which would be third in the NBA and is $300 million higher than any other hockey team).
Playoff success is definitely going to help reach potential fans in this city. The Raptors don't have the "win or lose, we're still die hard culture" across the entire populace that the Leafs do. Yes, it happens in the actual fanbase, but it's not to the extent of the Leafs, where even someone who doesn't watch hockey knows if they won the last game. Breaking into that casual base is inevitable if the Raptors can sustain success into next year and beyond. I don't think that everything has to stay status-quo in Leafs land, either; both teams doing well will only create a greater emphasis on local sports, if anything.
Are the leafs closer to contending or a lottery pick next year if Carlyle's canned?
It's too early to tell. I think that hiring a different coach will probably improve the team, but that can be easily negated by a poor offseason. My gut says that they start to make their way back to success, but gut feelings are just cop-outs for when you don't have a real answer.
Do we have any idea who the Marlies might play next round? Also how do they match up against the other teams, are they contenders?
There's a couple of factors that play into who they could face, but it will be one of Abbotsford, Chicago, or Grand Rapids. I don't want to say that they are or aren't much of anything, because they've done a good job of playing against the common thought this year, but we'll have a series preview on here once the opponent is decided.