The San Jose Sharks have money to burn, and now the whole world knows about it.
The Sharks have sold out 110 consecutive games at HP Pavilion at San Jose, yet lead owner Kevin Compton said Sharks Sports & Entertainment, the team's parent company, lost $15 million during the 2011-12 season.
CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz is reporting that last year's annual report read that the Sharks were worth $211 million–a $12 million upgrade from last season.
In addition to Forbes' report, the San Jose Mercury News' David Pollak reported that the team announced they have zero debt. They would be one of the only four teams able to say that in the NHL. The other three teams are the Blackhawks, Red Wings and Rangers.
Judging by that list, the Sharks have money to spend, despite their recent admission of money woes. It was reported during the summer that the Sharks had lost $15 million last season even though they had sold out every game in 2011-12.
The Rangers went out and spent their loads of money on Rick Nash this offseason; the Blackhawks will eventually lock up their young stars for the foreseeable future; and the Red Wings have used their money in the past to put consistently successful teams on the ice. The Sharks must do something with their debtless claim, as many teams would love to have their type of financial situation.
Of course, the Sharks do have their list of players they will need to re-sign to remain relevant in the Western Conference. Ryane Clowe will be a free agent after this offseason, and teams will be getting in line for a physical scorer and underrated passer that has realistically been playing the enforcer for San Jose the last couple of years.
However, the Sharks must be saving their money for something. They have attempted several trades instead of reacting to high-profile free agency, but it is their own roster they will need to re-sign if they want to keep their core group of players, as well as their tradition of success.
Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture will all be free agents after the 2013-14 NHL season, and it is due time the Sharks spend their debt-free money on talent before this business investment plan becomes more obvious.
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