The NHL has enough fires on its hands with its current impasse over the salary cap, but there's an even more alarming glow in the distance.
The NHL is apparently going to go to some desperate measures to ensure that the value of franchises don't drop below the current trading level. The flashpoint for the valuation devaluation could be the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
The Disney Corporation is apparently quite intent on eliminating the Ducks as a part of the Magic Kingdom profit (and mostly) loss statements and have been entertaining offers much below the NHL franchise's current Forbes listing of 108 million. The rumblings from Anaheim have the NHL putting together an emergency purchase plan to buy the team from Disney should they become seriously smitten by a lowball bidder.
While the NHL efforts to keep their franchise values high is a laudable thing, one wonders if they're thinking this whole situation out completely. First off would it really hurt their bargaining position with the players should one of their franchises tumble terribly on the financial market?
And more importantly just what do they think the value of any NHL franchise might be if they have suspended operations for a year and a half as is the rumoured possibility due to the current dispute.
Should the rinks remain dark for over 18 months, the 108 million dollar values will seem purely monopoly money like. A little extra incentive for Gary and the boys in the NHL office to bring this mess to a conclusion quickly. Once the owners start to find their investments declining rapidly, questions of competence will quickly rise to the top of the list.
A principle is one thing, but start to lose one's principal and heads may begin to roll!