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Forbes tabs Kings, Panthers as teams with “most to lose” from lockout

Aug 16, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Florida Panthers v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

One could argue that all 30 teams would lose a lot from a lockout, but some will sweat it more than others.

Forbes’ Chris Smith named two teams that have the most to lose: the Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers.

Smith begins with the Panthers, emphasizing the fact that Florida could lose much of the momentum that came from breaking its lengthy playoff drought and averaging about 1,000 extra fans per game.

That’s why the Florida Panthers cannot afford to miss next season. The team must capitalize on its recent success, especially because it will now have to compete with LeBron James’ Miami Heat, which will play a full season this year. The Panthers are worth $162 million, ranking among the NHL’s least valuable franchises, and the team hasn’t generated a profit for more than a decade. A second successful season could begin turning the Panthers’ fortunes around, but losing the season entirely could threaten the team’s very survival.

Competing with glitzy NBA stars and maintaining unusual momentum carried over to Smith’s discussion of the Kings, too. (After all, they have to deal with the Lakers and Clippers.)

The defending Stanley Cup champions ought to be one of the NHL’s top stories heading into next year, but the team may be forgotten in its own hometown if next season is cancelled or even delayed. It’s doubtful that the Kings could afford the loss; while Los Angeles ranked tenth in our most recent NHL team valuations, the team was actually losing money and had a seventh-worst debt-to-value ratio of 66 percent.

Which team(s) do you believe have the most to lose if a lockout happens, though?

  1. martysbetter - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    You know who doesn’t have the most to lose from a lockout! YOU!
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    • velocirapist - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:10 AM

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  2. velocirapist - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    The fans.

    Who cares about teams having anything to lose, the owners are bringing it on themselves.

  3. 950003cups - Aug 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Islanders would love a lockout. That’s a free year coming off DiPietro’s deal. It might be their first profitable year to date.

  4. ron05342 - Aug 16, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Forbes’ analysis is ridiculous, at least when it comes to the Kings.

    The team may have had a serious debt ratio in the past, but geez they just won the Stanley Cup, and merchandise has been flying off the shelves. That must count for something, and it is an analysis component that was not considered in the computation.

    In addition, Forbes claims that “it’s doubtful the Kings could afford the loss.” Excuse me? The owner has a sick amount of billions of dollars and it’s doubtful that any losses he suffers makes a dent in his vast portfolio.

  5. namriverrat69 - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    As a Kings season ticket holder our ticket prices have been very reasonable forever (5th row behind the attack goal under $60 per game)until this coming season. We needed to renew before the playoffs started and our ticket prices jumped 20% to $72 per game, and they hadn ‘t won the Stanley Cup yet. The current prices are more in line with many other teams now but a 20% hit in the wallet is big regardless.

    I agree that if the season is lost it will have a bearing on a number of players whose contracts expire after next season, most especially Jonathan Bernier who will become an RFA and would be hard to keep. Quick’s back surgery is keep everyone extremely nervous.

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