Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Quick Question: Who is Better Off?

Wayne, our ever perky Southern Correspondent, comes to me with a rather hard-to-answer question

In a typical Presidential election year, the candidate whose party is out of office always asks the voters, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

Four years ago, NHL fans were about to face a lockout. Three years ago, we finally got back to playing. But are things any better for fans of certain teams? Of these teams, who's better off (or worse off) today than they were three years ago when the playing field was supposed to be leveled financially?

L.A. Kings
Atlanta Thrashers
Florida Panthers
Columbus Blue Jackets
Phoenix Coyotes
Chicago Blackhawks
St. Louis Blues

Or everyone's favorite:

Toronto Maple Leafs

Without having access to the finances of these clubs, it is very hard to comment on if they are truly better off than they were before the lockout

Chicago? They are much better off, simply because "Dollar Bill" Wirtz bit the big one and his spawn 'get it'. The Hawks are on TV (GASP!), have some great young talent, and seem to be getting some buzz in the Windy City.

St. Louis? They were always well off...they have a good fan-base, good corporate sponsorship, and never were in any danger.

The Canadian teams are doing great, but I would opine that they got hurt a lot by the CBA. We know the Canadian teams make a huge chunk of the league's revenues, so we know that these same clubs have to contribute a huge chunk into the revenue sharing pool.

Who benefits? Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, etc.. Oh, the Leafs are in terrific shape, especially since the Canadian dollar is strong, but they likely would be stronger if we were under the old system and the Leafs could keep every dime they make.

Does anyone else have some theories?


Trevor Linden formally announced his retirement today, to little surprise.

I've already done some Linden stuff on this blog, so head on over to FanHouse where I give non-Canucks fans a reason to mourn the NHL's loss.


Labels: , ,

1) We would have to say that overall there is NO change in the fundamental problems of the league. The rich got richer is the only change.
2) Big revenue teams now only have to spend 57% on players. The income remains as high as before the Bettman lockout.
3) Canadian (non Montreal/Toronto) are largely benefiting from a strong CN dollar. If that changes (as it ultimately will at some point) the same 4 teams will again be in similar dire straits that required the NHL to give them compensation under the previous CBA
4) Small US revenue teams are still losing money (if you believe what teams tell you-we don't) The salary floor is now MORE than what the ceiling was 3 years ago. Teams can no longer go on the cheap like Nashville, etc. did pre-lockout. They are forced to spend 40 mil on payroll no matter what.
5) For these reasons we see another labour confrontation erupting when this CBA expires in 3 years.
I wasn't so much interested in how much a team is doing financially, as how the are doing artistically:

We know Nashville is much better on the ice than at the cash register, while Toronto is the exact opposite.
We are much better off in Detroit, thanks. The cap forced a youth-move, and the jettisoning/avoidance of creaky old-timers. No fall-off in overall-talent, whatsoever. We've managed to keep the guys we really wanted to keep, by signing them to long-term deals at slightly-lower per annum rates than they might have nabbed on the open market.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?