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The $5.2-billion deal that Rogers scored for the television and digital rights to NHL games rocked Canada's hockey world this week. Readers, print and digital, are anywhere but the neutral zone on this venture


This deal provides yet another reason (as if we needed another reason) why the NHL is not to be confused with Canadian hockey. The NHL is not a great and sacrosanct Canadian institution. It is an entertainment business and as such will sell its product to whomever gives it the best deal. Hockey, on the other hand, is something that belongs to all of us. So let us go our separate ways.

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Seth Feldman, Toronto


Now that the Rogers execs have stopped patting each other on the back over this deal, you have to look at it and ask how Rogers intends to make money from it.

There will be some incremental income from more advertising and putting hockey on other platforms, but without an increase in cable rates this deal is potentially a money-loser. While there may be a lot of people willing to pay more for hockey, there are also a lot, like myself, who don't want to pay a dime for it.

Ian Caldwell, Calgary


Don Cherry. Gary Bettman. Rogers Communications et al: What a bunch of pompous windbags. Somewhere out there, a child is learning how to skate on a mythical pond.

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Sebastian Grunstra, Ottawa


All hockey, all the time. Woo-hoo!

Morag Harris, Calgary


I would actually pay an additional fee to Rogers to remove Don Cherry from any hockey content I consume.

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Jesse Gainer, Montreal


Soon, apparently, no matter where I am, and no matter what digital video device I have – smartphone, tablet etc. – I will be able to summon up video of two NHL enforcers giving each other concussions, egged on by Don Cherry. Oh, brave new world …

Garth Goddard, Toronto


God bless Rogers. Perhaps now we can hope for the day when we will get The National on CBC on time and uninterrupted during the hockey season.

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David R. Cox, Georgeville, Que.


My guess is that TSN should look to doing more basketball, particularly college basketball, where Canadian kids are starting to play important roles and are getting the attention of the general public.

Allan Wexler, Toronto


Tony Keller, in arguing that the Rogers deal dooms NHL-wannabe cities in Canada, doesn't give enough weight to the singularity of the Quebec economy within Canada (Sunbelt Solidified – Sorry, Saskatoon; Nov. 27).

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Quebec has a distinct domestic market and large pools of private and public capital that often work at cross-purposes with pan-Canadian trends. In this case, Rogers will subcontract its French-language hockey broadcasts to private network TVA, owned by media giant Quebecor Inc. In some playoff years, French audiences make up a third of national TV hockey viewers. And Quebecor has a close relationship with the political entities building an NHL-ready arena in Quebec City.

Could Quebecor mention to its new partner Rogers how helpful it would be, wink wink, to support NHL expansion to its prime market in Quebec? Stay tuned.

David Winch, Montreal


Hockey is part and parcel of Canadian culture, as is the CBC. It's been a long-standing, beautiful, mutually beneficial relationship. I'd hate to see the NHL reduced to simply another commercial brand, like Starbucks or Wal-Mart, but I see it coming.

Gordon Ball, Coulson, Ont.

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NBC pays $2-billion for 10 years for a market with a population of 350 million people. A Canadian broadcaster has to bid $5.2-billion for 12 years in a market that is one-tenth the size.

The U.S. expansion into forced markets has diluted the quality of the product and Canadians are paying through the nose for a very, very boring product.

There is more and more content in sports media about the financial side of the game and less about the sport itself.

Canada, we are being taken for a ride. It's time to support a people-owned Global Hockey League.

It's time to stop putting money into the pockets of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's Group of Greed. It's time for hockey fans to take back control of the game.

It can be done.

A new global league where trusts are set up as owners of teams and no one individual can own more than 0.01 per cent of the shares (or even less), no corporate ownership allowed. Shareholders vote in a board of directors for the league every five years and for each team every year.

Bruno Santia, Oakville, Ont.


The announcement of the sale of NHL broadcast rights to Rogers brings two big questions.

Don Cherry has asked his.

The second question is: Will "Peter Puck" find a Québécois counterpart as "Roger Rondelle"?

Henry Ko, Montreal



The price of silence

Re Isn't Flying Hard Enough? (Nov. 29): Gary Mason notes that airlines are already charging extra for such things as luggage and more leg room, and that soon – if Transport Canada permits cellphone use – airlines "would love you to pay them exorbitant charges to make in-flight calls."

For those of us who prefer peace and quiet, they no doubt will charge even more for seats at a remove from cellphone users.

Rick Walker, Toronto


CMHC for sale?

Re IMF Wants Ottawa To Reduce CMHC Role (Nov. 28): The recommendation from the IMF to curtail the role of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp is an ominous sign.

Throughout the Harper years, ministers have speculated about selling off CMHC. The 2013 budget identified the sale of federal assets as a deficit-reducing strategy and the government has only appointed an acting chief to lead the agency. Sticking with a temporary caretaker may be an indication of the government's true intentions. Is CMHC on the block?

Steve Pomeroy, Ottawa


Eco-image spending

Re Ottawa To Bolster Green Image Abroad (Nov. 28): The fact that Natural Resources Canada is planning to spend $40-million on advertising says a lot about the state of responsible resource development in this country. This reaffirms that so-called environmental responsibility is all about cleaning up the image, not the problems. It bodes very poorly for the future of our country.

Anna Kraulis, Vancouver


What midwives earn

Re Ontario Midwives To Fight For Big Pay Increase (Oct. 28): Ontario provides generous grants for overhead, liability insurance and benefits for midwives, who can earn up to $102,560 (an increase of 33 per cent since 2003). The government provides each midwife with benefits worth 20 per cent of their compensation and about $30,000 in support for overhead, as well as $33,000 in liability insurance. Three times more women and babies now benefit from midwives' care annually, compared to 2003.

Deb Matthews, Ontario Minister of Health

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