Nov 22nd, 2012 | By | Category: Canadiens, Latest News


“The business is probably losing between $18-20 million a day and the players are losing $8-10 million a day. I don’t think it’s realistic for anyone to expect the economic deal to get any better.”

…………..Commissioner Gary Bettman –On Day 67 of NHL Lockout

Step-by-step, inch-by-inch, little-by-frustrating little, the process of negotiation unfolds. And if you think the players are feeling financial hurt, Bettman is right, it is not a one-way street..

Forbes Magazine helpfully informs us that the combination of Toronto, Canadiens and the New York Rangers annually generate fifty percent of the                                                                                                                                                total operating revenue for the entire league.  While there are no Roman Hamrlik’s on the ownership side of the process due to the Bettman gag order, I can’t imagine there’s lockout frenzy in the sixth floor Bell Centre offices of the Canadiens.

Tomorrow  (Friday) the league will be officially removing all games up to and including December 15th from the schedule.  For the Canadiens it means a total of seventeen regular season home games off the season plus 5 more from pre-season will be gone, never to be replaced.

The financial damage to the Canadiens is considerable.  At an average ticket price of 90 dollars, the 21,273 fans for every sellout crowd amounts to 1.91 million dollars per game.

Do the math.  Twenty-two lost games (including training camp) multiplied-by 1.91 million dollars adds up to 42 million in season gross revenue.  To get to a bottom line, we have to deduct basic operating expenses from that, including what will be the 50 percent slice of hockey-related-revenues the players will be getting when the CBA is finally signed.

The last time Forbes Magazine did it’s survey of NHL finances they covered the 2010-2011 season. That season, they estimated the Canadiens bottom line after expenses was 47.7 million dollars operating revenue or in financial circles, something called EBITDA, the acronym standing for “Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization”.

The Canadiens played 47 dates at the Bell Centre in 2011-2012 (including six sold out exhibition games) which meant just over a million dollars per game in operating income.

Translate that to 22 home games lost this season and you can understand why the lockout enthusiasm of Geoff Molson and his partners is somewhat curbed.

Of course, there are eighteen or twenty franchises who are feeling no financial pain at all because they operate on the line or in the red every year.  These franchises are  setting the lockout agenda from the ownership side.





  1. philippe ouimet says:

    Looking at mr. Molson’s expression today …..I think it says it all!!!! The question is how long will it take the Leafs,Rangers,Canadien,Canucks and Edmonton owners to quit dancing to Gary Bettmans tune!!!!

  2. reusch says:

    All it takes is eight ownership votes to prevent any agreement that isn’t satisfactory to some of the league money-losing teams. Those teams are desperate to get revenue outside of their paltry ticket sales and will hold out until some subsidy system is in place. The league’s proposal is to make the players pay all of it. The NHLPA thinks the league needs to seriously examine a ownership revenue sharing system that has the rich franchises(Toronto, Montreal, Rangers etc) subsidizing their poorer partners. Eventually there will be a compromise system in place, where the players’ concede some of their financial demands with those concessions targeted for revenue sharing and the league ownership matching those funds. There has been talk about increasing the pot to 240 million dollars but league ownership wants the players to fund most of it through payroll cuts. When the league decides to share responsibility with the players we’ll have a pathway to an agreement. Off what we’ve seen in the last two weeks of negotiation, we’re a long way from reaching that point.

  3. philippe ouimet says:

    I really don’t think subsidizing is going to fly with CND owners nor with the players. Everyone is in it for the money besides the very few rich USA owners are most probably all Republicans and that word just scares the hell out of them. I for one have no confidence in a league that does not respect it’s obligations and I’m talking about the guys that contributed to the sport and are now retired and don’t receive their pensions. I never thought I would write this however this Bettman guy is beginning to resemble the great Allan Eagleson!!!!

  4. roastbeef says:

    Big hockey, but I really don’t care, nor do I miss it.

    Have been enjoying the ‘classic’ games on RDS and CBC, when the game was better…

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