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Could We See A Few NHL Fold?

from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

The majority of NHL teams these days are owned by extremely rich individuals or large corporations. Financial pressures from other businesses may nonetheless put more focus on their NHL holdings if there is no hockey revenue.

So which teams could be in trouble?

The first one that comes to mind is Ottawa. A small-market team with diminishing attendance, last in the NHL with well under 13,000 per game. There have already been rumours that the Senators might one day have to move, all quickly dismissed by owner Eugene Melnyk. He’s been focused on trying to get a deal for a new arena....

Arizona and Florida, 28th and 29th in NHL attendance, would also face challenges with an extended shutdown.

The fragile Coyotes’ story is well known, and even the acquisitions of star forwards Taylor Hall and Phil Kessel improved attendance only slightly this season.

The Panthers have a deep-pocketed owner in Vinnie Viola and have vowed to keep paying workers. But that’s a money-losing operation, and the losses will become even more significant. Billionaires run out of patience, too, and the stock market is doing no one any favours these days.

The Islanders have struggled without a permanent home. Carolina has been wobbly for years. New Jersey, Buffalo and Nashville could also face big financial challenges.

Knowing Bettman’s legendary determination to keep teams afloat and in the same city, he’ll fight to the death to keep all the existing teams alive. But he also knows Atlanta going out of business turned into a positive story for the league when the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink




Posted by BaromirBragr on 04/06/20 at 04:30 PM ET


I seem to recall Al Strachan saying the Wings were going to move from Detroit during the big recession of 2008 if GM went under. Canadian writers always seem to hope the Panthers, Coyotes, Hurricanes and others are going to fold.

Posted by mc keeper on 04/06/20 at 10:23 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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