Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 01/15/13 at 01:02 AM ET
The Globe and Mail's Alan Maki asks a question we all know to the answer to this morning, pondering whether the new CBA, achieved at a half-a-season-starving lockout, was really worth it, or whether it will finally address the fundamental flaws still plaguing the NHL's current economic model.
The answer is of course, "No," and the dean of sports economists, Andrew Zimbalist, suggests that the NHL won't truly be solvent until it does indeed cross the Atlantic to establish a European presence, but at first blush, is this thing really going to work?
While the old CBA was chastised, in part, for not doing enough to help the NHL’s weak U.S. teams, hockey people are wondering if the new agreement will do any better addressing the financial disparities between the likes of the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets. Commissioner Gary Bettman believes it will and has pointed to the negotiated 50-50 hockey-related revenue split with the players and the now $200-million (all figures U.S.) in revenue sharing for needy teams as proof.
Others need convincing. They see a day when teams will be strained to the breaking point by having to pay the salary cap minimum – the floor will be $44-million for the next two years but could rise to $58-million by 2018. That would widen the gap between the rich and struggling franchises, even force relocation. When asked if the new CBA did enough to prevent that, one NHL owner responded flatly to The Globe and Mail, “No.”
[Dallas Stars president Jim] Lites, who will only say the Stars lost “a bunch” of disgruntled season-ticket holders, offered his perspective.
“Every club looks at the CBA differently,” he explained. “The richer teams, they’re upset they have to share at all.”
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