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Report: NHL revenue at $3.7 billion, salary cap could exceed $70 million

Jun 9, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

Gary Bettman Getty Images

It’s no secret that business is booming for the NHL but the numbers are looking a bit better than expected.

Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal reports the league’s national revenue hit $3.7 billion. Botta adds that the new Canadian television deal that kicks in next season will likely bring those totals over $4 billion next near.

With that kind of haul and how it’s linked to the league’s salary cap, the original conservative estimate of just under $70 million is likely wrong and James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail points out the cap will likely be around $70.6 million for next season, which is closer to an estimate that was made in December.

That’s not all.

That kind of escalation is great news for teams with money and cap space to spend to either retain their own free agents or help unrestricted players to cash in heavily. And you guys thought Thomas Vanek wouldn’t cash in this summer.

With that kind of money set to start floating around, prepare your outrage machines when seemingly average players start making the big bucks.

  1. comeonnowguys - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Possibly 76 million the year after next? Somewhere Kane, Toews AND Stan Bowman are smiling.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Hopefully they still give Stan the hometown discount when he makes the upcoming Kesler for Leddy-Tevu-Morin deal.

      • comeonnowguys - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        Aw man, when I read that very briefly in the fast food line, it read Kesler Teuvo Morin line.

        What a harsh return to reality.

      • sneakers10 - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        Whar, are you out of your mind?

      • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        Every rumor blog I’ve read has Kaner pushing the Organ-I-zation for Kesler and that he might be willing to take less to make it happen. He was pushing Stan after Sochi to go get Kesler but the asking price was supposedly too much.

        If you are Vancouver, you are asking for an established player and a top player in the minors. Pittsburgh and Anaheim are also looking to get him, so you may need to overpay. Plus, 1B on your team (#88) would love to play next to him and is set to to hit UFA after next summer. You need to make #88 happy.

        If it happens, regardless of regular season and in the scenario above, here are your starting lines for the playoffs:

        Bickell – Toews – Hossa
        Kane – Kesler – Saad
        Versuckness – Shaw – Kevin Hayes (I think Sharp gets moved)
        Bollig – Kruger – Smith

        Keith – Seabrook
        Hammer – Oduya (I think he gets moved too)
        Rozsival – Clendening

      • comeonnowguys - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:52 PM

        I want Kesler on the Hawks badly. Just not as badly as before his most recent injury.

      • dueman - Jun 9, 2014 at 7:06 PM

        McFaddensPulledHammy – If you think that all Vancouver wants for Kesler is a roster player, and a prospect, you are high.

      • garn53 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        Obviously you have suffered some kind of brain injury or you are recovering from a major stoke or… Kesler for who? No. The players you mentioned are part of the keys to the Hawk future. Besides, Kessler is a hated man in Chi Town and he comes from a losing background – unless he is outrrageously cheap and begs for forgiveness he is not wanted – even then..

      • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        Garn53, as long as Q is the head coach, Leddy will be in the doghouse. Morin hasn’t been able to crack the top 12 for the past three years and Tevu has done nothing but show potential. I get they are part of the future, but if you really want a top tier center, you will need to give up something of value. Vancouver isn’t going to take Versuckness, Corey Crawford’s goalie mask, and three autographed Kaner sticks for one of their top players.

  2. calden99 - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Great for the pens!

    • stakex - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      Well obviously a higher cap is better for everyone, but the Pens still have a significant issues with it. They need to sign at least seven players, but only have $14 million or so to do it with a $71 million cap. Its that king of poor cap management that has caused the Pens depth scoring issues the last two years, especially in the playoffs.

      • hockey412 - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        Except that most of those players are third and fourth liners. The math ($2M/player) doesn’t look all that bad. It’s very tough to pay Crosby and Malkin and then step back on the cap the way the teams had to this year…but I am not sure I’d call that poor cap management. Those contracts weren’t ridiculous free agent signings like Brad Richards, for example.

        The Letang contract, eh…I’m iffy on that one.

      • pitpenguinsrulez - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        Stakex your knowledge/analysis amazes me at times on here. $14 million to spend can be spent wisely plus one would have to figure that either Neal or Letang gets traded, I’m leaning towards Neal which would mean more room to spend.

      • sneakers10 - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        That and 20 or so other things.

  3. sixchr - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    “prepare your outrage machines when seemingly average players start making the big bucks.”

    The Bruins jumped ahead of schedule on this one. *ahem* Chris Kelly.

  4. tapefolie - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    So why are there teams screaming their broke all the time?

    • JoeAvg - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      That’s only at CBA time or when they’re trying to convince the city to pay for buildings.

  5. govtminion - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    *whew* Good thing we had that lockout to get salaries and the cap under control.

  6. phtjoey - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Probably because gate receipts are too low.

  7. blomfeld - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    BETTMAN ROCKS !!! :)

  8. hockeyornothing - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    Awww man I wish you were right! I hope they don’t trade Morin. Probably Leddy goes not sure about teuvo. Haven’t seen him but a bit. Lots of talking him up and then waiting. Not sure he will go either. I don’t know how we get to Kesler. Wouldn’t be surprised either if we picked up Boyle but not for two years.

  9. comeonnowguys - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    I still have hope for Leddy. I know they have Clendening and a few others coming up the pipe, but I would rather they deal Seabs while the value is there.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      Coach Stache doesn’t trust Leddy yet. If you are going to have Q as your coach, Leddy will get moved before Seabs.

      • comeonnowguys - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:48 PM

        There is nothing that supports that.

        Except for Pirri.
        Oh, and Dowell.
        Oh, and Hayes.
        Oh, and…. yeah. :)

  10. stixzidinia - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Not too shabby. That’s not far from half of the NFL’s revenue. The NHL is doing pretty well for itself these days.

  11. nhstateline - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    As you all know I am a Bruins fan so this is good for the team that I follow. My question is what does it do for teams like Nashville, the Florida teams, the small market Canadian teams and the other US sunbelt teams ? Will they have enough money out of the revenue they generate plus the revenue sharing to actually hit the cap floor ? One of the things that has made the NHL so great since 05 has been all the parity. Much better than before that and I’d hate to see that come back.

    • comeonnowguys - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      Parity is good. I think the NFL is about to show us what too much parity can do, however.

    • sens101 - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      the only thing hurintg canadian teams is the dollar! If it can rebound a bit sit at par, teams like the sens will be far better off.

  12. jpat2424 - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Good for hawk fans.

  13. djshnooks - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    I truly don’t see Patrick Kane re-upping in Chicago before he becomes a free agent. He would be expected to take less money than Toews in Chicago…when he could sign for more back home in Buffalo…and not have to sit in anybody’s shadow.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ryan Callahan test the waters too, knowing Buffalo has so much cap room, and he is from about a half hour down the road.

    Both players just built new houses in the area too, as they live here in the offseason.

    It’s not as far-fetched as it may sound.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      You are correct. Kaner hedging against signing here is not far fetched.

      It all comes down to whether or not he wants to win Stanley Cups. The money will be there with both (or for that matter any) clubs, but how far is Buffalo away versus the Indianhead? The Hawks need to retool, Buffalo needs to rebuild. Will he be content to be on the wrong end of 5-2 games most nights?

    • comeonnowguys - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:51 PM

      There is no shadow issue. Hossa is easily the most overshadowed, and he is locked in until his grandkids lace Em up.

      Chicago is big enough for Kane and Toews. Especially since Toews has a lack of “endorsement charisma.”

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