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Forbes BEARD Hockey Valuations, End Of Year Edition

With the playoffs beginning this week, BEARD Hockey has released extensive financial data via Forbes on the 2020-21 season to date.

Stats below are sourced from each club’s finances, along with other factors such as Endorsement revenue, monies owed through salary retention and signing bonuses (with those bonuses due in the offseason), projected playoff revenue, overall league revenues (including fines), and projected end-of-season cash balances.

Projected Overall League Revenue: $3,047,227,471

Overall League Expenses: $2,506,635,207

Projected Overall League Profit: $540,592,264


With a salary cap of $75 million and salary floor of $50 million for the 2020-21 regular season, Commissioner Thomas Gidlow expects both the cap and floor to rise, though perhaps not as much as he may have thought originally when heading into the inaugural BEARD Hockey season.

“Ideally you’d like to see a nice jump after things get settled in year one,” said Gidlow. “But I think we will be patient. We still have a lot of work to smooth out some of our revenue streams. Overall though, we’re on very strong footing for us being through our first calendar year."

While not confirming exact numbers, early reports from league sources indicate a rise of somewhere between $2.5-$5 million on both ends of the spectrum. The official cap numbers for the 2021-22 season are due later in this year’s playoffs.

17 clubs are projected to have more money in their coffers than they started with operationally after the 2020 Dispersal Draft. Four clubs ended the regular season with a negative cash-on-hand balance, but three of them will earn at least some playoff revenue and the other earned Endorsement payouts.

Speaking of, $421 million was paid in Endorsement payouts at the end of the regular season. The Montreal Canadiens led the pack with $28 million received from Endorsements, while Philadelphia was the only club not receiving any Endorsement money (the Flyers opted not to select Endorsement options prior to the season).

Nearly $170 million is expected to be generated in ticket and arena revenues for the 16 clubs in the playoffs. For purposes of club valuations, all playoff clubs are given a $10.4 million ‘playoff revenue’ figure, though obviously some clubs will earn less and some will earn more depending how long they remain in the playoffs. Clubs do not incur usual expenses in the playoffs, such as payroll and other costs.


New club valuations are based on a structured formula accounting for all revenue factors, such as club revenue and expenses, salary retention paid/earned and signing bonuses due, Endorsement payouts, potential playoff revenue, end-of-season cash total, and projected offseason Day 1 cash balance.

We also add an even split of total league-wide profit, and projected ‘BEARD Stimulus’ payments to the club’s overall valuation (currently at $1.83 million per club). Finances overall improved from mid-season as the league instituted changes on ticket prices and additional game-related revenue, which has resulted in a lower-than-expected stimulus payment projection.

Some quick hits: Five of the top ten clubs in terms of valuations are playoff teams, while the bottom six clubs are not. Two top-ten clubs have projected offseason cash balances of less than $20 million. Only three clubs have less than $100 million valuations, though only one of those clubs is at risk of being unprofitable long-term based on last season’s cap ceiling and floor.

In total, BEARD Hockey clubs have nearly $4.3 billion in total valuations.

One additional note: This isn’t a ranking of the ‘best’ clubs – this is strictly about finances. While low spending teams have a slight advantage here with less expenses, they were also less likely to hit high Endorsement goals or receive playoff revenue.

#32: ANAHEIM DUCKS - Valuation: $79.1 million

Burning through cash, the Ducks need to make major moves – and soon – to remain above water. Losing $10 million on the season (in strict revenue, less endorsements, vs expenses) and spending another $7.5 million to buy out Valtteri Filppula did not help matters, either. With only $3.4 million in cash on hand, Anaheim needs money and it needs money now. Perhaps a call to JG Wentworth is in order?

#31: TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING - Valuation: $96.6 million

While nowhere near the dire situation in Anaheim, the Lightning have righted the ship and at least have room to maneuver. Reducing or eliminating the loss of $16 million between revenues and expenses last season should be a priority in Tampa.

#30: PHILADELPHIA FLYERS - Valuation: $98.4 million

Safe to say this club learned their lesson on Endorsements. While having less than $10 million in cash on hand (projected) to start the offseason is not preferable, the Flyers have every opportunity to improve their financial outlook starting now.

#29: SAN JOSE SHARKS - Valuation: $100.7 million

For a club in the bottom-third of the league standings, the Sharks sure spent some money last season. Retaining less salary and not losing nearly $10 million between basic in-season revenue and expenses will help bring San Jose more financial stability.

The Carolina Hurricanes participate in a 'storm surge' celebration after a home-ice win (AP)

#28: CAROLINA HURRICANES - Valuation: $101.2 million

The Canes went for the playoffs and fell just short, missing an opportunity to reduce costs. Having less than $10 million in projected cash on hand may limit them some this offseason.

#27: TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS - Valuation: $103 million

The Leafs tied with Carolina (and Boston, but lost on a tiebreaker) but will have a little more money on hand (just over $11 million, projected). Can Toronto afford another playoff miss with a close-to-the-cap spending team?

#26: COLORADO AVALANCHE - Valuation: $116.7 million

The first playoff club on this list, the Avalanche can increase their outlook with a deep postseason run. Adjusted endorsement goals next season should also give Colorado more room.

#25: CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS - Valuation: $118.1 million

Not making the playoffs was costly to the Blackhawks in more ways than one. A nearly $14 million deficit on basic in-season revenue/expenses ate a chunk of the valuation here. But with an expected $25 million cash on hand to start the offseason, expect Chicago to vault up this list soon.

#23 (tie): NASHVILLE PREDATORS - Valuation: $121.7 million

The Predators benefitted nicely from improved financial conditions in the last half of the year, pushing their Endorsements over the line resulting in a nice expected $24 million war chest this offseason. Like Chicago, expect Nashville to make improvements to push them higher in short order.