When you put money and the NHL together, things rarely make any sense. To wit, here are some financially related things this season that make a person go ‘Hmmmm.’
• The guy making the most money for the New York Islanders is being paid $4.76 million to not play hockey for them this season. Hint: It’s Alexei Yashin. And if his recent history holds up, their second-highest paid player, Rick DiPietro, will make $4.5 million to not play this season.
• The Nashville Predators could have had Shane O’Brien for nothing on waivers, but instead traded a decent young asset in defenseman Ryan Parent and cleared the decks of his whopping $850,000 salary to make room for O’Brien’s $1.6 million stipend.
• The NHL locked out its players five years ago under the ruse that it was about making ticket prices affordable, then watched most of its teams hike ticket prices, proving beyond a reasonable doubt that ticket prices have almost nothing to do with player salaries and almost everything to do with supply and demand, and what a market will bear.
• The NHL locked out its players five years ago to presumably get spending under control, then spends more than ever because it chose to give the players almost 60 percent of revenues.
• The NHL really locked out its players to enhance franchise values and has watched them plummet over the past two years. And don’t believe the NHL’s publicly stated selling prices any more than you believe the attendance figures in places such as Florida, Phoenix and Nashville.
• The Dallas Stars play in a fertile market where they get half the revenues from a very busy building and have a desperate seller, yet can’t seem to find anyone who wants the team.
• The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup and lose $14 million in the process. There’s a good chance they won’t win it this season and their losses will be much less.
• Twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin made a combined $12.2 million last season. They will make the same amount this season and for each of the next three years to come. They make almost as much in one year as the six Sutter brothers did combined for their entire NHL careers.
• Veteran Wade Redden will earn $6.5 million playing in the American League. Pro rookie Kevin Shattenkirk, who will probably be a better defenseman than Redden in the minors, will make 1/100th of that total. So Redden will make more in one game than Shattenkirk does all season.
• First-year players in the NHL will spend thousands of dollars this season on rookie initiation dinners for their millionaire teammates, while millions of others try to scrape by on low-paying jobs or social assistance. How about donating the money you would have spent on a rookie dinner to a worthy charity, fellas?
• Fans in Pittsburgh will pay more to watch a game outside in the middle of the winter from further away this season than they would to see the same game inside the brand-new Consol Energy Center.
• The Colorado Avalanche, who not too long ago was one of the highest-spending and highest-revenue teams, will spend less on players this season than any other team and will once again struggle mightily with attendance.
• The Pittsburgh Penguins will devote $17.4 million in cap space to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in 2010-11 and a combined $16.03 million to their 11 other forwards, including $4 million to Jordan Staal.
• If Duncan Keith and Derek Boogaard play the same number of shifts this season as last, Boogaard will make $7,286.99 per shift ($1.65 million for 223 shifts) and Norris Trophy winner Keith will earn $3,307.15 per shift ($8 million for 2,419 shifts).
• If Duncan Keith and Derek Boogaard have the same number of fights this season as last, Keith will make $8 million per fight ($8 million for one tilt) and Boogaard will earn $183,333.33 per fight ($1.65 million for nine scraps).
• The Toronto Maple Leafs have almost no cap space and might miss the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference. The Avalanche has $18 million in cap space and stands a better chance of making it in a much more difficult Western Conference.
This article first appeared in the Oct. 25 issue of The Hockey News.
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