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For those that know me, you know that while my background is in marketing and while I currently work in the field of search engine and online marketing, my true passion is hockey. I have played hockey, officiated hockey, and simply been a fan of the greatest game on earth since before I can remember. I'm known for having an uncanny ability to rhyme off the most obscure stats, mainly about the Edmonton Oilers, but I've also known to pull out stats from all eras of the NHL.
Two areas that I have always been interested in are business and hockey, so it makes sense that I have a fascination with the business of hockey. I believe that it is in my destiny to be owner of a professional sports team at some point, that is if I put my mind to it. We'll have to wait and see, as being a fan of the sport is, at times, more than enough to keep me occupied. I'm currently working on a book about my favorite team which I hope to have out by next Christmas. (We'll keep you posted with announcements.) In the past decade or two, as sports fans have matured, we have seen the business of sports take over. It's not the same as when we were kids. The business of sports has always been there, but it seems so much transparent these days. Business has taken over in the sports arena.
A couple of years ago I had done a fun post about how much is your favorite NHL team worth? There were some teams on the list that I was surprised at where they placed. I mean I knew that the Leafs would be number one on the list, but I was surprised to see some of the other Canadian teams further down where they placed. After all, reports suggest that the Canadian teams are responsible for anywhere from 28-40% of the league's total revenue. Yes with only six out of the thirty NHL teams being Canadian, one can see where the true passion lies. Let's be honest, there are teams south of the border in the US that are frankly dragging the rest of the team down. Yet for years, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has continued to block the growth and emergence of additional Canadian teams, but alas any true businessman knows that this is not the best move for the league at this point. Frankly, I think that we will see teams end up in Winnipeg, Quebec City with a third team in southern Ontario. The demand is there as is the profit potential. The fact that the current NHL owners are indirectly opposed to this (as they do not want to share revenues further) is something that will need to change because at the end of the day it is the fans who will decide which teams are successful. The League and owners need to understand that.
So how has the business of hockey changed in the past two years? Well let's examine the worth of NHL teams as of 2009/2010.
NHL Team Worth 2010: How Much is Your Favorite NHL Team Worth?
six of the top seven teams are original six teams
three of the top ten teams are Canadian
the Vancouver Canucks are the highest valued western team coming in at a value of $239 million US (10th overall)
the Edmonton Oilers are the Canadian franchise worth the least coming in at having a value of $166 million US (yet their merchandise sales are top five in the league.) The Oilers do have the tenth best operating income of the 30 teams in the league.
The Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Atlanta Thrashers have lost the most in value of the past two seasons.