Nov 1, 2012; San Diego CA, USA; Fans of the NHL and the San Diego Chargers hold a sign that reads "Lock out has got us down so we

A New CBA Will Not Solve Anything For The NHL


As we sit here on day 75 of the lockout, it’s hard not to wonder how we got to this point.  With the NHL coming off a season of record revenues of $3.3 billion, how could the league and players possibly be at a point where they have missed nearly two months of the regular season with no end in sight?

Forbes recently released their annual NHL team values and it got me thinking about how healthy the league actually is.  Let me preface this by saying that the Forbes numbers are only estimates and some consider them to be utterly useless.  Tyler Dellow at mc79hockey does a nice job in a post he wrote recently describing some issues with the numbers and why we should not take them as 100% accurate.  Saying that, I thought it would be interesting to take a deeper look at their numbers, specifically the revenue numbers for each team.

The table below gives each team’s revenue in millions of dollars as estimated by Forbes for each season since the last lockout (I could not find the revenue numbers for the year prior to the lockout).  The final column gives the percentage revenue change from the first year after the lockout to this past season.

Team Name

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

2007-08

2006-07

2005-06

Revenue Change

New Jersey Devils

122

100

104

97

97

65

62

96.8%

Pittsburgh Penguins

120

110

91

93

87

67

63

90.5%

Montreal Canadiens

169

165

163

130

139

109

90

87.8%

Chicago Blackhawks

125

118

120

108

79

69

67

86.6%

New York Rangers

199

169

154

139

137

122

109

82.6%

Vancouver Canucks

143

146

119

109

107

96

80

78.8%

Calgary Flames

117

105

98

95

97

77

68

72.1%

Washington Capitals

106

94

82

83

73

66

63

68.3%

Toronto Maple Leafs

200

193

187

168

160

138

119

68.1%

Winnipeg Jets

105

71

71

68

70

67

64

64.1%

Boston Bruins

129

125

110

108

97

87

86

50.0%

Ottawa Senators

113

100

96

90

96

93

76

48.7%

San Jose Sharks

101

96

88

84

85

72

69

46.4%

Los Angeles Kings

120

101

98

92

91

84

82

46.3%

Nashville Predators

88

82

74

71

70

65

61

44.3%

Detroit Red Wings

128

127

119

130

110

109

89

43.8%

Edmonton Oilers

106

96

87

83

85

71

75

41.3%

Philadelphia Flyers

124

111

121

101

102

87

88

40.9%

Minnesota Wild

99

97

92

95

94

78

71

39.4%

Buffalo Sabres

95

87

81

79

76

74

70

35.7%

St Louis Blues

89

78

79

80

73

66

66

34.8%

Florida Panthers

87

81

76

74

74

67

65

33.8%

Phoenix Coyotes

83

70

67

66

68

67

63

31.7%

Columbus Blue Jackets

85

80

76

77

71

68

66

28.8%

Anaheim Ducks

91

84

85

94

90

89

75

21.3%

Carolina Hurricanes

85

81

75

82

75

68

72

18.1%

New York Islanders

66

63

63

62

64

60

56

17.9%

Dallas Stars

100

90

95

97

105

91

89

12.4%

Colorado Avalanche

91

83

82

84

91

79

81

12.3%

Tampa Bay Lightning

88

87

76

80

84

85

82

7.3%

***All Revenue Numbers From Forbes.com***

The revenue change is very interesting.  The league as a whole has increased revenue from approximately $2.1 billion in 2005-06 to $3.3 billion this past season.  That is a 57.1% increase in revenue.  If you examine the table, only 10 teams have experienced a revenue increase at or greater than that amount from the 2005-06 season.  One of those teams being the Winnipeg Jets who were clearly buoyed by the move from Atlanta to Winnipeg.

Think about this for a second, the salary cap was $39 million in the first season after the lockout with a salary floor of $23 million.  Those values sky rocketed to $64.3 million and $48.3 million respectively last season.  The floor more than doubled in only six seasons!

Based on what is being reported on the negotiations between the owners and the players, it looks like the main change to the new CBA will be a reduction in the player’s share of hockey related revenue from 57% last season to 50% at some point in the next few years.  Given the economics of the NHL, this will not do anything to help resolve the issues with the struggling franchises.  Although teams will be paying out a smaller share of revenue to the players to start, teams like the Maple Leafs and the Rangers will continue to grow revenues and drive the salary cap and floor higher, while teams like the Lightning and Blue Jackets will only see minimal growth and in some years revenue regression.

Given what we know about the negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA the league continues to ignore the fact that revenue growth in the league is being driven by the high revenue teams.  I realize that this is a very simplistic way of looking at things, but it is obvious that a majority of teams in the NHL cannot keep up with the overall revenue growth of the league.  Bettman’s failure to accept this fact will only lead us to another lockout in five or six years when this new CBA expires and the majority of the leagues owners continue to cry poor.

 


Follow Tony on Twitter:
@TheDailyBites

 

Tags: CBA Forbes NHL Lockout