So Cal Nichols, chairman of the Oilers, says that if the NHL doesn’t get its cap, he’s going to get the Oilers out of Edmonton.
Larry Brooks reports the NHL and the players are discussing hard and soft caps in the neighborhood of between $40 million and $50 million.
Very interesting. The Oilers had a payroll of $33.375 million last year. That’s below the cap being discussed. Since most caps, hard and soft, have a minimum, it’s entirely possible the Oilers would have to raise their payroll in a capped NHL. So I’m not exactly seeing how the cap would help the Oilers. Sure there would be cost certainty, but the certainty would be that the Oilers are losing money. Still.
Forbes explained the Oilers’ money problems in their annual hockey valuations article: ” The team’s small budget practically prohibits it from competing for the Stanley Cup, but attendance is among the highest in the league. The franchise’s main problem: a small business community and low corporate sponsorship revenue.”
So unless a salary cap would somehow bring a flood of big business into Edmonton, I’m not seeing what a salary cap has to do with the Oilers being a successful franchise.
If the Oilers are selling out like crazy and still not making money, then they have bigger issues than salaries. Unless they’re thinking they’re going to qualify for some kind $10 million cap.
Oh. And George Vecsey from the Times misses hockey.
So do I. Without it, I spend way too much time crunching numbers.