Stu Siegel, the former CEO and co-managing partner of the Florida Panthers, wrote an interesting article in the Oct. 1 edition of Sports Illustrated under the headline: “The Big Matters of Small Markets”.
Siegel notes that over the past two decades, the NHL has lost more games to lockouts (1,698) than Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL combined.
Siegel adds that when “most of these (NHL) owners say they’re losing money every year, they’re telling the truth,” noting that Forbes reported that 18 of the 30 teams failed to turn a profit last season.
Siegel also noted that while the NHL might seem more profitable than ever with $3.3 billion in revenue last season, players received 57 per cent of hockey-related revenue with owners getting only 43 per cent “to cover almost everything else”, including team management salaries, coaches, scouts, minor-league system, etc.
Siegel added that while the cap was set at $39 million following the 2004-05 lockout and the floor was $21.5 million, this year the cap would have reached $70.2 million under the old CBA and the floor would have been $54.2 million. He notes that represents an 80-per-cent increase for the top of the cap and 152 per cent for the floor, which would really have an impact the small-market teams struggling to reach the floor.
One of the most interesting comments from Siegel concerned the league’s board of governors meetings he attended while representing the Panthers: “I remain in awe of (Gary) Bettman’s ability to control the agenda at those meetings, given the resumes of some of the attendees.”
Stu Hackel responded to Siegel’s article at SI.com under the headline: “How much blame do NHL owners deserve for their economic woes?” You can read it by clicking here.
Meanwhile, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien has been watching the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs’ training camp in Sherbrooke and spoke with The Gazette’s Pat Hickey on Tuesday night.
“We’ll be ready whenever there’s a settlement and, in the meantime, we get things right at this level,” Therrien said as he prepared to watch a Bulldogs intrasquad game. “Development is an important part of our plan, and we’re working to have the AHL team use the same system we use in the NHL. It all starts here.”
You can read Hickey’s article by clicking here.
The New York Times had an interesting lockout article on Anthony Stewart, who earned $800,000 last season with the Carolina Hurricanes but is now playing for basically nothing and staying in a $97-a-night hotel while suiting up for the Nottingham Panthers in Britain’s Elite League. You can read that article by clicking here.
The exodus of players heading overseas continued Wednesday with the Boston Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron joining Swiss club Lugano and Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog signing with Djurgarden in Sweden’s second division, rejoining the team he played for prior to coming to North America.
If you’re already fed up with the NHL lockout and are longing for the good, old days when the game was the most important thing, you can check out an old video about hockey in Montreal from 1947 – before Bettman and the NHLPA decided they couldn’t figure out how to split more than $3 billion in revenue – by clicking here.
(Photo by Andy Clark/Reuters)