Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

A Time for Reflection

I have been reading numerous stories about the re-birth of the NHL in the last 24 hours or so and how great it is to have hockey back. But for some reason I keep on reflecting on a few key points Larry Brooks (reg. req.) brought up in his column on Thursday.
Indeed, not only don't owners and the league have incentive to increase revenues, they have incentive to depress revenue. That's because the players' share increases to 55-percent when revenues hit $2.2B; to 56-percent when revenues hit $2.4B; and to 57 percent should revenues ever hit $2.7 billion. This year's payroll range of $21.5 to 39 million is based on a revenue projection of approximately $1.8 billion that is almost certainly optimistic, given both the effects of the cancelled 2004-05 and the widespread cut in ticket prices around the league. If this year's revenue is in fact $1.6 billion, the range next year will be set at $18.8 to 34.8. But if revenues were to grow to $2.4 billion, the range would become $34.8 to 50.8 million. And understand, if revenues grow, it will because they're driven by big-market teams with a selfish interest in increasing the cap. The lower revenue teams - half the league, if not two-thirds of it - have no interest at all in adopting a floor of nearly $35 million. Who's kidding whom here? The more the league generates, the more the players make, the less the small-market teams clear. That's the partnership the league has achieved. I understand, you fans are so happy to have hockey back that you don't care about the details and you certainly don't care if the players make less money. But you will care about the details when progressively lower caps mean your team can't keep its core players together for more than a year or two.
In the next week, a few teams are going to buy-out some of their players. Most of these players are in their mid-to-late 30's and many of them do not deserve the treatment they are about to get. Just read what John LeClair said after receivng notice that he had been bough out. "Obviously I'm disappointed," LeClair said. "But it was something I was prepared for. "I knew it was a very realistic possibility for over a year now. My disappointment comes from knowing my years with the Flyers are over." We should all question if the new NHL was worth it?

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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