After seeing the NHL’s record-breaking revenue for the 2021-22 season, the financial state of the league, a little over two years after being forced to shut down temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is as healthy as ever. Because of that, teams have been told to prepare for a large cap increase, and one that could potentially come sooner than expected. With the rise in revenue, a rise in prominent advertisements has become apparent too, one which many fans are not too thrilled about. Earlier today, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman discussed several topics related to the state of the league and its finances with Alex Silverman of the Sports Business Journal. In the interview, Bettman discussed revenue, new digital advertising on boards, jersey advertisements, the Arizona Coyotes arena situation, TV deals, growing the game internationally, and the future of the World Cup of Hockey.
Notably, Bettman detailed how the league plans to continue growing its revenue, specifically by utilizing technology, especially when it comes to advertising, engaging with fans more on social media, and using their television platforms to grow the game. On the new digitally enhanced dasherboards (“DED’s”), Bettman noted that the technology was not cheap to develop, but sees potential revenue growth from this alone to be in “the hundreds of millions.” In regards to the recent addition of jersey advertisements that have been met with it’s fair share of public criticism, Bettman appeared to understand the public’s distaste, calling himself a traditionalist, but cited the immense revenue growth as a reason to press on. The Commissioner added that although the market is “vibrant” for the jersey advertisements, the league has urged clubs to take their time picking a sponsor, urging them to find the “right partner” and get full value.
The entirety of Bettman’s answers, as well as his discussion on several other topics, can be found in the full discussion with Silverman.
- The Vegas Golden Knights have injury updates on a pair of key players. According to Vegas head coach Bruce Cassidy, as reported by Ben Gotz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, forward William Carrier is unlikely to play in preseason games this upcoming week as he continues to deal with an upper-body injury he suffered a week ago. On a more positive note, goaltender Laurent Brossoit, who is recovering from hip surgery, was able to skate on his own, however he still has yet to be cleared to join the rest of the team. Even without star goaltender Robin Lehner for this season, after acquiring Adin Hill from the San Jose Sharks and having breakout netminder Logan Thompson in the fold, Vegas can afford to be patient with Brossoit as he makes his way back.
- There’s some reason for concern for the Carolina Hurricanes with the team announcing defenseman Brett Pesce would not return to tonight’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets after suffering a lower-body injury. It’s unclear what caused the injury or how severe it is, but losing a key piece such as Pesce for any stretch of time surely puts Carolina in a difficult position.
- On today’s 32 Thoughts Podcast, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman touched on a pair of teams who could be in the market for additional help up front if the opportunity should arise: the Calgary Flames and the Minnesota Wild. Friedman mentions the Flames as a team who may want to add another scorer into the mix if they don’t believe the players in camp with them now can be that player. In addition to several intriguing prospects, Calgary has veterans Sonny Milano and Cody Eakin in camp on PTOs with the team having $1.487MM in available cap space. Worth considering, the Flames did claim forward Radim Zohorna off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier today. Also mentioned were the Wild, who dealt star winger Kevin Fiala, knowing their cap situation would likely prevent them from signing him long-term. Ultimately, they’re left with $5.738MM in cap space and needing to recover at least some of what they lost in Fiala, who posted 85 points in 82 games last season.