SBD/4/Leagues Governing Bodies

NHL REPORTS $32M LOSS IN '92-93; PLAYERS DON'T BUY IT

     As the NHL labor talks resume today, the league continues to
"confront a pattern of stonewalling" from NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
Goodenow, according to a report in this morning's N.Y. POST.
Larry Brooks bases this conclusion on "financial documents and a
year of correspondence between the NHL and the NHLPA."  Among the
findings:  In conjunction with the union last Fall, the NHL
developed a "comprehensive financial report" -- the Unified
Report of Operation -- to provide accounting of all teams'
expenses and revenues; the NHL reports an operating deficit of
$32M for '92-93, the last season for which complete records are
complied; the Unified Report was the result of a suggestion in a
9/30/93 correspondence from the union; repeated attempts from the
NHL to open negotiations were rebuffed as long as the owners'
proposal tied revenues to salaries; the NHLPA did not request
partial financial information until August 31.  Concludes the
POST's Brooks, "If the pattern persists, if Goodenow's position
remains intransigent, the 'postponement' will become a lockout,
which might indeed last for the duration of the season" (N.Y.
POST, 10/4).
     TRUTH OR DARE:  In response to reports that most NHL clubs
are losing money, William Houston cites "informed NHL observers"
who say they are not accurate.  "In terms of money in and money
out, only two teams were in the red last year -- the Winnipeg
Jets and Hartford Whalers -- but in the case of Winnipeg, the
city underwrites any loss incurred by the club."  For example,
Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. can report a '94 gross of over C$60M
(Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/4).  Capitals President Dick Patrick
said the team lost $8M last year, with player salaries ("around
$15 million") causing the bulk of the deficit.  Union sources
claim creative accounting, and cite '92 figures in which USAir
Arena sky box and parking receipts were counted as "arena
revenue," not "hockey revenue" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST,
10/4).  CANADIAN PRESS' Alan Adams reports that, since the over
$20M in economic rollbacks imposed in August by Commissioner Gary
Bettman, NHL owners have spent "more than 10 times that amount"
on player salaries, including $70M for the '94-95 season alone
(Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/4).
     NOT BUYIN' IT:  Lightning Player Rep Brian Bradley:  "You
can't tell me that big corporations like the ones that have
bought the Rangers are getting into this thing just so they can
hang out with the guys and go to games.  There's big money to be
made in this league. ... And I think they're just trying to push
the players down and keep them from getting any of it" (TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 10/4).
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