Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Minnesota and Revenue Sharing

Messing around with the Attendance tracker at ESPN today, I sorted the "Road" attendance by average. The team in dead last didn't shock me, but it did get me thinking.

The Minnesota Wild are in last place in visiting team attendance, as the chart shows. What does this mean? Well, nothing really. The list is a rough correlation of which teams are most popular in the NHL, because casual fans might circle the date when the top teams on that list come to town for their team. But other than that, what could it be?

To be honest, I racked my brain all day. All I could come up with is the fact of how the Wild play their game, which is their infamous trap style. Still. a quick look at the standings shows that the Wild are not last in Goals For, in fact they would rank around 25th if I drew up a chart. As for Goals Against, they are tied for the second lowest, but I don't think this affects the fans decision.

They do have the 2nd lowest shots on goal, per 60 minutes. Any way I put it, they are a trap team. What got me thinking about this was that I wonder if their reputation really matters to fans when they see the Wild are coming into town. And if so, how much does it matter? Does it mean the difference between going to a game and not? Does it mean the difference between not watching a game? I'm going to keep an eye on this and see if I can think up of any ways to look into it.

Some plans for the future...

A comment last week from the Nashville Predators Playing Below Capacity article suggested that I look into NHL Revenue sharing, as Nashville should figure into that mold. Well after a couple days of poking around and actually reading the CBA, I have something.

I do plan on taking a deep look into NHL Revenue Sharing, and I hope to be able to forecast it in the months to come. But the following are just some raw facts that we all need to know going forward, as they are key in understanding on how I will compute the numbers for Revenue Sharing:
  • NHL Salary Cap (2008-2009): $56.7 Million
  • NHL Salary Floor (minimum): $40.7 M
  • Salary Midpoint - $48.7 M
  • Minimum Team Player Compensation: $29.9 M
  • Targeted Team Player Payroll: $48.7 M
  • Pro Rata Benefits Portion: ???
Understanding the Salary Cap and Floor aren't too difficult. The Salary midpoint is just the difference in the cap and floor ($16 M) divided by two which is added to the floor. This represents what each team should target for a payroll in order to maximize revenue. The Toronto Maple Leafs are the closest to this figure this season, at $48.6 Million, and only 8 teams including the Leafs are below this figure.

The Minimum Team Player Compensation represents what each team should have available at the start of the season to spend on players in regards to league revenue. It is calculated by dividing 20 Million by 1.74 Billion, and the multiplying that figure by the leagues revenue (which at the end of last season was 2.606 Billion). As you can tell, the floor is nearly 10 Million higher than this, but this gives the league a sense of the bare minimum of at which it can operate.

Finally, the Pro Rata Benefits portion. The Pro Rata is a small figure but it nonetheless figures into the final available funds for revenue sharing. It takes the total benefits paid by the NHL during its season and divides it by the number of clubs in the league (30) in order to determine the amount. I'm a bit confused on this, as the benefits cover a broad range of topics. If anyone has any information on how much the NHL spends in this area, please let me know.

That's all I feel like explaining at the moment, as the Rangers take on the Penguins. Tomorrow I will explain how clubs can qualify for revenue sharing to the best of my abilities. Please feel free to comment if you think I mis-spoke on anything or have something to add.

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