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The Overlook: Revenue Sharing Will Bite the NHL 



January 31, 2013 — SOCAL — First, say hello to the new Hockeytalk.biz. I hope you like the new site, and will comment, share, etc. I brought JR Reed on board full-time for the rebuild and I hope you’ll poke around. We will also be migrating old and classic content as well.
And now, the NHL:

Revenue Sharing Will Bite the NHL

You’ll be hearing more about this in coming months as Hockeytalk embarks on an NHL Revenue Sharing feature, but I’m here to tell you first that the National Hockey League is going to go down the same stupid lockout path in 8-10 years.

The reason is revenue sharing. The NFL shares roughly 70% of its revenues; NBA and MLB around 30-40%. The NHL? About five, maybe six percent.

I’ll make it simple and plain: If the NFL treated its franchisees with the same sink-or-swim attitude the NHL has employed, there wouldn’t be 20 teams in that now-32-team-strong league, the gold standard of all professional sports.

This is bigger than network TV money, by the way. This is all relative, and while people howl constantly about the presence of the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes and other forays into “non-traditional” hockey markets, the fact is that you would have to erase the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints and other clubs from the NFL if the footballers took the same non-sharing attitude.

I’ve noticed that Larry Brooks of the NY Post and others have remarked that Ed Snider, owner of the Flyers, helped finance the film versions of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, a defining American novel. The argument goes “Aha!” you see, these owners are all selfish capitalist pigs. This argument is nonsense. There are capitalists galore amidst NFL owners, of course, and somehow they seem to “get” that the NFL must share revenue and the practice is not socialistic in any way. It’s capitalistic. So to Brooks and others, spare me your nonsense: The NHL’s inability to understand the value of hifalutin’ capitalism big-time-sports revenue sharing does not prove capitalism wrong in any way. In fact, there wouldn’t be big-time sports if not for capitalism, so spare me the indictment of the system that best allows us to live freely. The NHL chooses poorly, but capitalism is not on trial here.

The 2005-06 CBA excluded Anaheim and the Islanders from the revenue share. That bit of nonsense was corrected in this CBA, but Hockeytalk has heard grumblings from at least one NHL GM and a number of high-placed player agents that the new CBA does little to spread the wealth. They’re right.

So while everyone is happy to see the NHL return, make no mistake that the overlooked issue of revenue sharing is going to bite this league where the sun don’t shine in eight-to-ten years.


Gotta hand it to Dustin Penner. The guy’s a pisser. He’s been a scratch of late, but he’s smiling.

“It’s not something I’m seeking counseling about,” Penner told the LA Times. “It’s part of the business when it’s a team-first, win-first organization. I’m waiting like a dog in a car being waiting to be let out. (The window needs to be rolled down) just an inch so I can get my snout out. I have a new outlook on life. So … I’m in a good place professionally and mentally. So, it’s a lot easier to take this now than it was last year. In my upcoming book I will (explain further).”
Penner spent the lockout as an intern on the Conan O’Brien show, which shoots at Universal City. He certainly has a good sense of humor, as evidenced by the fact that he let this writer lift the Cup with him in 2007. Good dude:


About the author: Josh Brewster

Josh Brewster's HOCKEYTALK.BIZ is a web pioneer, having created the first internet hockey radio show back in 2000. Hockeytalk.biz launched in 2004, and its groundbreaking web radio series "Hockeytalk Audio Features" paved the way for Brewster's hire as postgame radio host for the Anaheim Ducks in 2006. Hockeytalk.biz is home to the Anaheim Ducks Radio "Duck Calls" radio archive, as well as articles from around the world of hockey.

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