Monday, December 7, 2009

The brightest light in a dark picture

The fine folks at The Hockey News offer a grim forecast for the NHL's escrow system for this season. For those who don't know about it, here's a brief description:
To ensure the correct revenue split, a percentage of player salaries could be placed in escrow. When total NHL revenues are determined at the end of the season, the escrow account is divided among players and owners to ensure that the target has been met.
As the NHL is so dependent on ticket revenues (without the gargantuan television contracts of the NFL and NBA, for instance), low ticket sales equals low revenue sharing ... equals escrow money being withheld.  THN tells us that a full 18 percent of salary monies are being put into escrow.  Yow!  That $3 million contract might not be worth $3 million, if you know what I mean.  More like $2.46 million.

Despite the rough news on the league-wide front, THN offers a listing of the team-by-team attendance changes on a year-to-date comparison basis against last year.  And wouldn't you know, the Columbus Blue Jackets, with 15,111 average attendance for the first two months of the season, eclipsed last season's 13,822 by an average of 1,289 more rear ends in seats.  That 1,289 is the highest such increase for any team in the NHL this year, and many teams are well below last year's numbers.

This again proves that the fan base in Columbus is hungry for a winner and will support a winning team, even in the hardest of times.  Now, let's work on this defense thing...

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