Phoenix and Nashville are having the worst problems
Leipold claims to have lost $70MM (after revenue sharing) primarily based on a poor showing in the stands, a bad lease agreement, and a lack of corporate sponsorship (Columbus has 4x the corporate revenue that Nashville has).
Phoenix...........anybody who is anybody in Phoenix thinks that the decision to build a rink in Glendale rather than downtown was pure suicide. The current majority owner is doing what he can to curtail the bleeding but to no avail. The Coyotes have a bad lease agreement (based on a hastily written accord that was agreed to before the rink was built). They have one of the worst naming rights fees set up. They have a poor local TV package when compared to other teams. Like a lot of other teams, the corporate sponsors don't feel that they'll get their money back.
Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa are all a victim of different circumstances. All three teams sell out their arenas, have rabid fans, etc, but the corporate sponsorship is not there. In the NHL, Ottawa ranks 27th in corporate sponsorship while Edmonton and Calgary are 29th and 30th respectively. Calgary and Edmonton are further screwed because they share a television deal with SportsNet West, just as Ottawa is screwed because they share a Television deal with the Maple Leafs for SportsNet Ontario. These three teams are really hurt by the lack of TV money in Canada (The Nashville Predators make $9MM a year on TV rights, Ottawa, Edmonton, and Calgary combined get $10.6MM).
Based on the results provided by the independant auditor, and were used to determine this years salary cap, revenue sharing etc............9 teams did not make money last year (in no particular order)
The last 3 teams lost less than $5MM combined.
This is a far cry from what Forbes claims (where the Islanders losing money, yet they their numbers revealed they made money...and had to give some to the lesser teams).
New TV deals should help Pittsburgh and St. Louis this year.
Note: With regards to Forbes, in 2001 and 2002, Forbes had the Vancouver Canucks making large profits. Orca Bay Entertainment, in filings with various Securities Commissions showed major losses for the Canucks. As the Securities Commissions felt their assessment was accurate (as did Levitt and the NHLPA during the lockout) I no longer have any faith in what Forbes publishes.............although I do believe the Leafs are the NHL's most valuable franchise
For a lot of reasons, Professional Sports Teams like to keep their finances private and the NHL has been no exception. All the same, it amazes me how accurate Forbes can be for some teams, and how far off they can be for others. Totally mind-boggling.
One of the important facets to come out of the 2004-05 CBA talks was the appointment of an independent auditor to go over the numbers with representatives from both the NHLPA and the NHL to make sure things are as fair as possible (and we all know at the level we are talking about here, nothing is perfect).
We'd all like to see more transparency. It's just as difficult to tell an 8 yr old kid in Nashville that you can't watch the Predators because they are in Kansas City as it is to tell an 8 yr old in Toronto that you can't go to a game until you're 40 because they are sold out at exhorbitant prices for the next 32 years.
Just like it is hard for some people to fathom how Darcy Tucker is totally deadset against a 24% annual roll-back on his salary.....when the amount of that roll-back in one year is more than you and your parents have made in your lifetime.