With the new season well underway, BEARD Hockey, via Forbes, has released new financial data on its 32 member clubs on the 2021-22 season to date.
ALL READ NOTE FROM THE COMMISSIONERS: As most of you know, we made what we thought were small tweaks to the Season Ticket percentages just before the start of the 2021-22 regular season. As a result, though, team revenues are dramatically higher than we projected during our Rulebook discussions and finalizations.
Because the profits from the BEARD Hockey TV Deal would be astronomical now using the current formula, we have decided to remove the "Total Available Cash from all 32 teams" part of the equation. This will result - if projections hold - in teams still earning more than we originally projected. But it will keep things from being totally insane.
The link for all of the data on our shared Google doc is below. Please read on! :)
Stats below are sourced from each club’s basic in-season sim finances, along with other factors such as monies owed through salary retention, signing bonuses (both due this coming offseason and in the future), projected BEARD Media payments, projected playoff revenue, revenue from the new BEARD Hockey TV Deal, and projected end-of-year cash balances.
Projected Overall League Revenue: $2.997 billion
Projected End-Of-Year Total Club Cash Balances: $1.011 billion ($31.6 million per club)
Overall League Expenses: $2.703 billion
Projected BEARD Hockey TV Deal Profit: $454 million
The overall financial outlook of BEARD Hockey is strong. Expected profits from the first year of a multi-year deal with ESPN and TSN in Canada are roughly 50% higher than estimated, giving the league's clubs a shot at nearly $15 million each after the year is out (monies, of course, that are tied to 'performance' of the clubs in terms of activity).
The salary cap was raised last year by $2.5 million to $77.5 million, and early estimates show that the league is capable of supporting a larger increase in the years to come. But Thomas Gidlow, league co-commissioner, cautions that moving too fast could be detrimental.
"Last offseason we would have liked to have seen a little more of a jump, but even though we're seeing a great start so far this season, we'll be cautious with how we approach (the cap)", said Gidlow. "I'd love to say it'll be such and such a number, but let's get this season in the books and see what the final numbers look like."
Only eight BEARD Hockey clubs are projected to lose money year-over-year (the period starting the last offseason through the end of the playoffs). Even so, all teams are projected to have at least $15 million in the bank come next offseason, regardless of playoff revenues - and that's before Media payments and the TV Deal profits are divvied up.
A note - since Media and TV Deal payments are made during the offseason, they do not count towards end-of-year available cash balances. They are only used in this report when calculating the club's valuations.
On the other end of the spectrum, the shocking turnaround in Anaheim is producing a huge windfall for the club. The Ducks are projected to earn upwards of over $42 million in profits year-over-year, a dramatic turn as the club was ranked dead last in the 2020-21 End-Of-Year Valuations just five months ago.
Nine clubs who purchased the Media endorsement have yet to 'cash in', though it's still early.
New club valuations are based on a structured formula accounting for all revenue factors, such as club revenue and expenses, 2021 offseason starting cash versus Day 1 regular season available cash, salary retention paid/earned, signing bonuses due, "future debt", which includes beyond-this-season monies owed from signing bonuses and/or salary retention, BEARD Media payouts, potential playoff revenue (projected as an average amount per club based on the standings as of 11-27-21), The BEARD Hockey Stimulus Payment (TM), end-of-year cash total, and profits from the BEARD Hockey TV Deal.
PLEASE NOTE: The TV Deal profits are based on activity markers as laid out in the Rulebook. Teams can still 'drop off' if they fall behind those activity markers. Right now, all 32 teams are still eligible to receive a cut of 75% of the TV Deal profits. 30 clubs as of now are eligible to receive a cut of the remaining 25% of the TV Deal profits. See the Rulebook for all of the details.
Some quick hits: Seven of the top ten clubs in terms of valuations are currently projected playoff teams, while five of the bottom ten clubs are as well. This helps to indicate financial health throughout the league, led by the strong TV Deal revenue. Only one club has less than a $100 million valuation, though no clubs are at risk of being unprofitable long-term based on current projections.
In total, BEARD Hockey clubs have over $4.9 billion in total valuations.
One additional note: This isn’t a ranking of the ‘best’ clubs – this is strictly about finances. Teams spending less doubtless have an advantage over teams spending more. With the overall health of the league looking quite strong after a volatile 2020-21 campaign, let's all take this ranking with a couple of grains of salt. Enjoy!
#32: SEATTLE KRAKEN - Valuation: $96.4 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #2
GM David Springgay opted not to purchase the BEARD Media endorsement, and burnt through their cash stores a bit this past offseason. The Kraken also have the misfortunate of being at "the bottom of the Pacific", which is just too good a pun to pass on. A higher payroll will likely be shed if Seattle can't turn it around, so look for this valuation to be temporary.
#31: WINNIPEG JETS - Valuation: $125.4 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #20
The Jets headed into this season looking to make a big splash, amassing over $83 million in actual payroll (but remain under the cap due to salary retention). That will likely result in a loss in terms of available cash year over year - especially if the club misses out on the playoffs. Look for GM Jesse Edwards to right the ship if the club doesn't right itself, and soon.
#30: CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS - Valuation: $127.2 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #25
A big payroll with an inconsistent result on the ice keeps the Blackhawks low on the totem pole when it comes to valuations. A projected $2 million loss on the year-over-year, along with a comparatively low cash-on-hand total, equals some consternation here. There's no long-term issues, but GM Dan Bacon may need to look at a reduction in payroll if his club doesn't climb in the standings.
#29: MONTREAL CANADIENS - Valuation: $127.7 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #11
The Habs and GM Lennart Westman spent money this past offseason like it was going out of style, spending over $30 million buying up players and re-tooling a club that nearly won it all last year. That nearly guarantees a loss year-over-year, but Montreal continues to ride toward the top of the Eastern Conference - so the money figures to roll right back in.
The New York Islanders can celebrate as they are finally in their new home at UBS Arena. (AP)
#28: NEW YORK ISLANDERS - Valuation: $129.5 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #13
It took a 13-game road trip to start the season, but Islanders GM Joe Bubanj and his club can finally have some games at the new digs. This valuation is quite projected since the club hasn't generated a dime of home game revenue yet. But despite a projected $86 million in basic expenses this year, New York is finally on firm ground.
#27: TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING - Valuation: $132.6 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #31
Slow and steady wins the race. New Lightning GM Wes Muyck rebuilt his club after a rocky debut campaign under old management last year. The result is a modest bump up this list and some semblance of financial sanity. With $6.5 million already banked in BEARD Media money and a profitable season on the horizon, things are looking up in Tampa.
#26: WASHINGTON CAPITALS - Valuation: $135.0 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #14
The Capitals knew there would be money to spend this offseason, and they did so - to the tune of over $20 million. The result is same old news - the club sits 1st in the East at the time of this article's posting. GM Shawn Davis has this thing in automatic, and despite a drop on this list, could see a lengthy playoff run vaunt him right back up.
#25: FLORIDA PANTHERS - Valuation: $135.7 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #16
The Panthers spent some money this offseason but look to have the ship nearly righted on the 'break even' train year over year. If GM Trevor Cook can keep his Cats in a playoff spot, then a return to the middle of the pack should be in order.
#24: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS - Valuation: $136.3 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #3
The Penguins saw the forest through the trees and decided to accelerate the rebuild. After nearly making the playoffs with a team of young guns last year, GM Matt Swackhammer significantly increased his club's payroll to try to get over the hump. Pittsburgh is right in the thick of it, so it appears it's so far, so good for the Pens.
#23: VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS - Valuation: $138.2 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #15
Golden Knights GM Neil Loughran made a slew of changes to his club this offseason, and it took a little bit of spending to do it. But the transformation appears to be real, as Vegas currently sits in 1st place in the Western Conference. A deep playoff run could put the Knights into the top ten on this list down the line.
#22: MINNESOTA WILD - Valuation: $138.6 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #10
Opting to spur the cheap ways of their first year in the league, the former GM of the Wild scaled up the club salary-wise this past offseason. Minnesota is among those competing for the postseason, so it's working for now. But a new GM may opt to go in another direction.
#21: BUFFALO SABRES - Valuation: $141.2 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #23 (tie)
There are some smoke and mirrors at play in Buffalo, as GM Thomas Gidlow has opted to spend some dough, but managed to increase the bottom line during the offseason. The club's pending debt weighs the valuation down, as well as a payroll better suited for a top contender. If current changes don't take, the Sabres could stand to shed a few (or half a dozen) contracts.
#20: DETROIT RED WINGS - Valuation: $143.3 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #12
GM Mathias Lundgren has taken a decidedly different approach to his Red Wings this season. It's led to some volatility in the standings, but almost an eerie calm on the balance sheets. Nothing much up, nothing much down for Detroit as it sits now - but this could easily change if the Wings slide further down in the East.
Ottawa assistant captain Erik Johnson gets high-fives for a goal scored on home ice. (AP)
#19: OTTAWA SENATORS - Valuation: $146.4 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #17
Modest expenditures and a consistent product on the ice has contributed to stability for the Senators. GM Mike Bell has his club situated nicely, and could have over $50 million in the cash coffers with a lengthy playoff run.
#18: DALLAS STARS - Valuation: $152.7 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #19
Breaking even is the name of the game in Big D, as GM Marc-Andre Laberge has his Stars firing on all cylinders on the ice and in the finance department. With a healthy amount of cash banked from last season, there's no reason to think Dallas will have any difficulties in this department down the road.
#17: ST. LOUIS BLUES - Valuation: $153.1 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #7
Similar to Dallas above, the Blues sit on firm financial footing. The club on the ice, however, hasn't quite got over the hump just yet. But GM Todd Snider has the long game in mind, as evidenced by his patience in keeping expenses in line with expectations.
#16: CAROLINA HURRICANES - Valuation: $155.3 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #28
One of the big movers on this list is GM Jay Williams and his Bunch of Jerks in Raleigh. After staying largely pat on the financial front this offseason, the Canes have exploded on the ice, winning their first six games. With modest expenses and the playoffs more than just a possibility, there's plenty of reason to skull-clap the progress made in Carolina.
#15: VANCOUVER CANUCKS - Valuation: $156.6 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #5
Some movement was certainly expected after the tumultuous offseason drama in Vancouver. New GM Shaun Young has been mostly patient with his club, which has hoards of cash in the coffers already. But being cut off from some of the BEARD TV Deal revenue already and possibly missing out on playoff revenue might hurt the bottom line a little bit.
#14: BOSTON BRUINS - Valuation: $156.8 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #1
A new GM brought with him a new approach in Beantown. GM Kelly Flewelling dipped into Boston's large cash reserves this offseason but has kept expenses on the new season manageable. A small profit on the year despite a possible playoff miss (there's still time, of course) would be an achievement here.
#13: NASHVILLE PREDATORS - Valuation: $158.3 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #23 (tie)
Perhaps no club benefitted from the league's changes than the Predators, who've been without a GM as well for some time now. With plenty of cash on hand and a modest payroll, Nashville should make eight figures year over year. A new GM could steer this ship in any direction, though.
#12: TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS - Valuation: $161.0 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #27
The Maple Leafs took their financial situation seriously this past offseason. As a result, GM Sean Hanley has his club heading for new heights in the financial department. Toronto stands to earn around $18 million in profits year-over-year before the additional monies roll in. A playoff appearance would just be icing on the cake.
The Colorado Avalanche have struggled this season - but not on the balance sheet. (AP)
#11: COLORADO AVALANCHE - Valuation: $161.7 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #26
The Avalanche are poised to bring in some solid dough after a relatively uneventful offseason. New GM Jeff Kuntz is taking a wait-and-see approach with his club, but has plenty in the coffers to take the team in whichever direction he pleases.
#9 (tie): NEW JERSEY DEVILS - Valuation: $162.1 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #8
Big profit for the big club in Jersey. GM Corey Chernuka has his Devils purring like a kitten in terms of finances, staring at a nice projected $14 million profit for the year. The club on the ice could use a jumpstart, but New Jersey is still projected for the playoffs - and from there, anything can and usually does happen.
#9 (tie): ARIZONA COYOTES - Valuation: $162.1 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #21
A very nice turnaround for GM Colin Small and the Coyotes, whose NHL counterparts could learn a lesson from their BEARD brethren in economics. Despite a healthy payroll, Arizona is quite stable with a healthy bankroll that will continue to grow if the course stays true.
#8: EDMONTON OILERS - Valuation: $174.3 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #6
Sound financial management coupled with winning the Stanley Cup is always a recipe for success. GM Dean Richter has his Oilers primed for yet another successful season on and off the ice. While they may not surprise anyone this season, Edmonton stands to benefit from their success with over $40 million in cash on hand right now - that number is only going up from here, boys.
#7: PHILADELPHIA FLYERS - Valuation: $181.1 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #30
A much-needed reversal has taken place in Philadelphia, as new GM Stefan Kiss has not only righted the ship financially but has the Flyers poised to have big-time bucks in the coffers come next offseason. While the club on the ice has some work to do, the financial future of the club looks highly secure thanks to some sound judgement in the GM position.
#6: NEW YORK RANGERS - Valuation: $183.3 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #18
An offseason adjustment from the previous regime put the Rangers back on course toward financial stability after an up and down year. Despite a high payroll, New York stands to clear $20 million or more in profit year-over-year, leaving new GM Kirklan Lycar with plenty of options (including perhaps a playoff run?).
#5: SAN JOSE SHARKS - Valuation: $190.9 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #29
With plenty of cash in the bank and a renewed commitment to expense management, the Sharks have made a dramatic turnaround on the balance sheet. GM JP Mercier has his club looking for the playoffs as well, which could add even more money to the already near $30 million in projected profit year over year. Keep in mind, San Jose had just $12 million in the bank to start the offseason only five months ago.
#4: LOS ANGELES KINGS - Valuation: $191.7 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #22
The GM-less Kings benefitted greatly from having the league augment their cash balance after the previous GM left the club gasping for air at the financial table. With most of the profit on the year due to this, Los Angeles is a bit inflated on this listing. A new GM will have the benefit of a club nearing a playoff run, as well.
#3: CALGARY FLAMES - Valuation: $200.2 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #4
Flames GM Theo Pepper hasn't been shy about keeping his club generating buckets of revenue and profit. With easily the lowest projected seasonal expenses and improved ticket revenue, Calgary sits in the enviable position of having nearly $40 million projected in the coffers come next offseason, plus potential playoff revenues.
Anaheim's resurgence has led Ducks fans to return with a passion to the Honda Center. (AP)
#2: ANAHEIM DUCKS - Valuation: $211.5 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #32
Clearly, the most amazing and stunning turnaround on this list is the Ducks, whose GM Michael Stafford has done a yeoman's job bringing this club back from the financial brink. With a dramatic reduction in expenses and a firm commitment to doing whatever it takes (Stafford has already hit the maximum for the BEARD Media payout), Anaheim is set to add a whopping $42 million in year-over-year profit to a balance sheet that - surprise - could also include playoff revenue. Hell of a job, Michael!
#1: COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS - Valuation: $211.6 million
End of 2020-21 Season Rank: #9
Just barely eeking past Anaheim to earn the #1 spot on this list, GM Tommy Barr and his Blue Jackets are mastering the balance between revenues and expenses. Though patient with the product on the ice, Barr has Columbus filling to the brim with cash, projecting to have over $40 million in the coffers before TV revenue comes in. It'll be a long road to prominence on the ice, but there's no doubt the future is sound on the financial front.