NHL Lockout: Why Financial Imbalance Exacerbates the Conflict

Adam WaksmanCorrespondent IIISeptember 20, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 20: Fans show their feelings regarding the NHL lockout as the Florida Gators take on the Villanova Wildcats in the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Gaylord Entertainment Center on March 20, 2005 in Nashville, Tennessee. Villanova defeated Florida 76-65.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The NHL lockout is getting more serious this week, with the NHL officially cancelling the first batch of games. Some believe the lockout will wipe out the entire year. As Alex Ovechkin said (via ESPN):

If the [NHL] continues to insist on their [demands], then it will take a full year. That's because we are not going to cave in. Then I will spend the entire season in the KHL. It's an absolute reality.

A big issue in hockey that exacerbates this conflict is the major imbalance in profits. According to Forbes, nearly all of the profits in the NHL belong to three teams.

This past season, profits exceeding $170 million went to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers. The other 27 teams combined to lose over $40 million.

In other words, 90 percent of the owners have no reason to be happy with the current situation. Increased revenue sharing could help this problem somewhat. However, concessions from the players' union will be necessary to satisfy those 27 teams.

The bottom line is that 27 NHL teams have unacceptable bottom lines. What this means for fans is that there will not be any NHL hockey any time soon.


Adam Waksman is a featured columnist for the Bleacher Report New York Jets community. Be sure to follow Adam on Twitter to receive updates right away.