My, what a difference one year and a massive TV contract can make.
In 2013, when American business magazine Forbes released their NHL franchise valuations, only one team was said to be a billion dollar organization: the Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.15 billion). That the Leafs were – and still are – the most valued team in the NHL comes to little surprise what with a fan base that continually shells out top dollar regardless of the outcome. It is hockey mecca, like it or not.
But Tuesday, when Forbes released its rankings for 2014, two franchises, the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers, found themselves in the billion dollar club thanks in large part to a friendly bump from the NHL’s league-wide television deals plus some added money from local television contracts. Read more
The big stories in the prospect world lately have been college related. Specifically, players changing their minds about where they want to go. Brock Boeser was headed to Wisconsin, but the 2015 prospect has re-opened matters. And Notre Dame has been bit twice in the past couple days, first by Matthew Tkachuk (2016) and now by Brent Gates (2015). Will these talented players end up in major junior, or just elsewhere on the college scene? We’ll keep you posted, but for now let’s look at some of the other kids making noise in the hockey world right now.
There are always early season surprises. That’s just the nature of hockey. A lucky bounce here and there, and you have Jon Sim fighting for the lead in preseason scoring, which is something that has actually happened in the past.
Over the course of the year, however, these things tend to even out. At the quarter mark of the season, trends are starting to develop. Of those trends, you’ll notice some are related, while others, not so much. These are the ten most unexpected stats at the quarter-pole. Read more
It used to be that every time the now-retired Detroit Red Wing Nicklas Lidstrom wound up from center ice, looking like he was about to dump the puck in, that opposition goaltenders had to be on watch. More than once he had beaten goaltenders from that spot. It looks like Boston’s Dennis Seidenberg has been watching some game tape.
On Friday night, with the Boston visiting Columbus for a contest with the Blue Jackets, the Bruins defenseman tried fired a slapshot from the red line that is going to give Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky nightmares: Read more
Stephane Robidas has made $25 million during the course of his NHL career, with another $5 million coming to him within the next two years. That’s enough money to set himself, his children and probably his children’s children up for life if he’s responsible with it.
That’s the best part of being a professional athlete. You’re among the best in the world at what you do and you get paid wildly enormous amounts of money to do it. The downside is that in working so hard to become that hockey player, you often become so singularly focused that other areas of your life, like money management, take a back seat. And that opens you up to having others manage your money, which can lead to situations such as the one involving Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Despite career earnings of almost $21 million, Johnson filed for bankruptcy last month after firing his agent and leaving his finances to his parents.
Given the circumstances, perhaps it’s surprising it doesn’t happen more often.
“I find whenever you start making money, you have lots of friends,” Robidas said. “It’s tough to earn money, but it’s really easy to burn money.”
And the more money you have, the easier it is to watch it burn, or at least have it burn without you knowing about it. According to the excellent report on the Johnson situation by Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, Johnson allowed his parents complete access to his finances without any accountability checks. And when he did ask questions about where his money was going, he took the answers at face value.
It’s a bombshell of a story and one that nobody is going to delight in. Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson is going through bankruptcy and the path to financial ruin seems to have been blazed by his own parents.
When a team runs into a rash of injuries, it’s easy to say that it creates an opportunity for someone else, that injuries can’t be used as an excuse, that organizations should have enough depth to recover and that everybody just needs to play harder.
And some of those things are true. But then you have the Columbus Blue Jackets, who until recently were losers of nine straight games and currently 10 of their past 12. There’s a time where injuries have to stop being an excuse. But, when you look at it objectively, this is not one of those times. Read more
Since the implementation of the salary cap in 2005, early-season NHL trades have become rare. Even the ability for teams to absorb part of a player’s salary failed to spark an increase in player movement during a season’s opening weeks.
That partially explains why it took a month for this regular season’s first trade to occur, when the Dallas Stars shipped aging defenseman Sergei Gonchar to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Travis Moen. Since that deal there’s anticipation over when the next NHL trade will take place. Read more