The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/29/11 at 04:23 AM ET
So we understand that it’s the salary cap’s “floor,” not its ceiling, that’s pushing smaller-market teams into the red—and the $15 million gap between the “floor” and “upper limit” was Gary Bettman’s idea to foist parity upon the NHL, as a sort of bonus in the NHL’s dream CBA that was supposed to fix every team’s financial problems—and after a weekend’s worth of discussion as to whether the NHLPA will bear the burden of smaller-market teams’ desire to witness the a significant market “correction” in terms of the players’ share of wages and actual player salaries, the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts offers the other side of the coin: if there is to be another lockout, Bettman will have a hard time selling it to the Board of Governors as owners are now splintered.
Via a salary cap determined by league-wide revenues, big-market teams are both making more money than they did prior to the lockout and are being demanded to toss large revenue-sharing checks and up to half of their playoff ticket sales to float the smaller-market teams—and the checks are blank ones—and the bigger-market teams feel that there’s no need to stage a lockout to screw themselves out of good business for their weaker sisters’ sakes:
Those familiar with the league’s finances say a lockout is possible since new NHLPA leader Donald Fehr is not likely to preside over a huge decrease in the players’ share of the revenue. But a more important negotiation may lie ahead. That would be a discussion between the big-market teams and the small-market teams about a more equitable way to cut up the revenue pie. That is not likely to be a pleasant discussion.
A big-market governor scoffed at the idea. He said a lot of the poorer teams don’t run their businesses well, and besides, it’s the big boys who pull in the money. NBC laid out only $2-billion over 10 years for a U.S. television contract because it wants lots of the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings on the schedule, not the Predators and Blue Jackets. But, the governor said, the little guys still get an equal share of the $200-million a year NBC is paying.
He had some other examples, too, but the point was clear – if labour peace depends on large-market largesse, forget it.
Continued with “other examples” as to why the cap floor has pushed many small-market teams into operating loss territory…
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.