Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.
We all knew that the NHL's return from the lockout was met not with the icy disinterest and empty buildings – that romantics envisioned as payback against the owners for robbing fans of the game they loved – but rather overwhelming enthusiasm.
Since coming back in mid-January, the league has enjoyed sellouts across the continent, sky-high ratings, and so on and so on and so on. What very few probably saw coming was just how eager fans would be to not only see the NHL return, but to fork over their money to its greedy, cynical owners. Larry Brooks reported yesterday that the NHLPA learned the League was projecting it would walk away with $2.4 billion in hockey-related revenues for this abbreviated season . You'll note that's down only $900 million or so from the $3.3 billion it generated in an 82-game season, complete with a Winter Classic and an All-Star Game.
As Brooks points out, that's 72.7 percent of revenues enjoyed in a full season from just 58.5 percent of the games, without the league's usual days-long cash-cow events. And it only serves to underscore the owners' belief that hockey fans are gullible money machines who will make willy-nilly purchases of tickets, merchandise, concessions and more like a teenager at the mall with mommy and daddy's credit card.
I didn't think it was so long ago that the Canadian media was running polls showing definitively that well over half of all NHL fans swore up and down that they would never give another cent to their favorite teams no matter how much it killed them. So what gives?
Posted under NHL