The NHL revenue has been a very nice number over the past few seasons. Last year the NHL saw record growth and that $3.7 billion in NHL revenue has created a stable league. But, Gary Bettman and the NHL are seemingly not happy with steady growth and making a massive profit. They want to expand the brand. I say proceed with extreme caution; and don’t let the NHL revenue fool you; just because you have record profits now doesn’t mean the NHL should expand or make big changes. I think the NHL could be writing checks its talent base can’t back up and that could spell trouble for the league down the road.
Money does funny things to people. Some people buy new trucks or houses, and in this case the NHL is going to allow someone rich people to buy a team. That’s all well and good, but making more moneydoesn’t mean that the NHL is expanding their footprint in a positive way. I think that the NHL revenue is causing some blindness in the leagues front office. It’s great that this NHL is making boat loads of cash, but the game itself is still broken.
There are a handful of teams that are struggling to fill their arenas, or put a competitive NHL team on the ice, but still the NHL is looking to expand its teams. The economics of this are really not something I agree with, but it seems the NHL believes that more is better. While I believe that better hockey would offset the NHL revenue in the long run. It seems that the expansion will be two teams and that means $1 billion for the NHL. All good right?
Up front money now is all well and good, but what happens when the other shoe drops and we end up with more teams that shouldn’t be on NHL ice? If the NHL revenue is all that the league cares about then fine add the teams, but if the NHL cares about the on ice product maybe they need to fix the game before adding more cities. The strikes were shoved down fans throats and we were told the game would be better for it. The NHL lies.
The grabbing and trapping is back; the officials are calling whatever they want and often no one knows what a real penalty is anymore. There are star players who don’t have the open ice needed to true show off their talents, but that doesn’t matter as long as the NHL can fill their bank accounts. It’s time they open their eyes and fix the product before they attempt to water down the talent.
Of course there is the possibility that new teams bring with them new fans and the money train keep trucking along, but what good is that to real hockey fans if the product we watch is garbage? There is an old saying “Money Can’t Buy Happiness.” Well, in this case money can’t buy a better league; all it’s going to do is drive the product down and over extend a league that is already in need of flushing out a few teams.