NHL Notebook: Winds of Change
Photo credit: canada.com
The last week brought several big news items off the ice for the NHL. We found out that, according to Forbes, the value of NHL teams went up by an average of 46.6%. 3 of the top 5 valued NHL teams are based in Canada. The Toronto Maple Leafs, again, top the list valued at a whopping $1.15B. The New York Rangers come in at a relatively distant second with a value of $850M. The Montreal Canadians and Vancouver Canucks come in at 3rd and 4th with values of $775M and $700M respectively.
The Canucks jumped from 7th last year to 4th this year; more than doubling their value of a year ago ($342M). The Canucks have by far the largest percentage increase from last year at 104.7%.
Comng out of a lockout-shortened season and seeing growth like this certainly bodes well for the NHL as a whole moving forward. That said, the bottom 5 or 6 teams still have low values and below par growth.
Further increasing team values is the Rogers Sportsnet-CBC television deal announced this week. Many were shocked to learn that TSN, regarded by many as putting out the best televised hockey product, was left out in the cold and will not have national NHL television rights for at least the duration of this deal. The deal is for a whopping $5.2B over 12 years, an average of $433M a year, a whopping increase over the $100M a year for the last deal.
My math tells me that’s an average of $14.43M per team, per year, and with 50% going to player salaries per the new CBA, it looks like the salary cap will be increasing steadily over the next few years. This is good news for the Canucks, in particular, as they can definitely use some cap space to supplement their core moving forward, more than likely targeting one of the many star forwards turning UFA at the end of this season.
It wasn’t all rosy for the NHL this week however, with a group of players filing a lawsuit against the NHL in relation to head injuries suffered during their playing career. The lawsuit originally started at 10 players and has since ballooned to over 200 players as of this writing. It should be interesting to see how this story develops over the coming weeks.