2) The reasons outlined at the time included:
- Player salaries are too high
- Too many teams are losing money
- Ticket prices are too high
- The NHL needs a salary cap to get parity in order to increase fan interest
3) Here's where we get confused. Before the Bettman lockout the average players salary was 1.8 million. The overall NHL income was stated as 1.9 billion. The NHL(Levitt report) said it lost 273 million that year. Jump ahead to this upcoming season. According to Decock, salaries will amazingly approach an average of a whopping 2.2 million! He goes on to say that revenues are estimated to be over 2.2 billion. Yes, ticket prices(as opposed to what Bettman promised) have risen, but certainly TV revenues have NOT increased all that much from pre lockout levels to account for this apparent(temporary in our opinion) amnesia the owners have over monetary losses.
4) Let us explain. It would seem that to stay out of the red the league would have to either increase their revenues from the pre lockout level of 1.9 bil to 2.3 bil and keep player salaries unchanged, OR increase income to 2.5 bil to keep pace with current player salary inflation. Else where is all this 'new money' coming from? Is the NHL really out of financial danger? It would seem so. If one goes by franchise values and the fact that there seem to be owners lined up to buy teams, business must be good, right?
5) Yes, yes, we all know about 'cost certainty, and how the players merely get a fixed % of income, but we want to know is the current NHL income inflated to allow player salaries to increase so much, or were revenues under reported(hidden) before to inflate losses before the Bettman lockout? Either answer means things have been/are being manipulated to get the result that is desired.
6)So what does this all mean? Of course its all conjecture on our part, but we are NOT optimistic about avoiding further lockouts in the future. It wouldn't be a stretch to forsee in the next 2-3 years before the CBA expires a resuption of owners complaining they are losing money and a 'change' needs to be made. The owners next goal, guarenteed contracts?!? Eliminating those would erase a huge headache. One that the NFL to this day has avoided. The players said they'd never capitulate on a salary cap, and they ultimately did, so the owners may feel they can impliment whatever system they want. Billionares always trump(no pun) millionares!