NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held his yearly State of the League Address over All Star weekend. I sifted through a lot of the political jargon, the what may or may not happen scenarios, etc. etc. The league seems to be doing great. The NHL is expecting to break the record for people attending games for a season, conference races for the playoff spots are close, and the competition is great. Fast forward to Jim Rutherford and his comments.
“Our franchise and our market has not kept up with the growth of the League through this CBA,” Rutherford said. “When that happens, because of where the floor is, we’re at the point now where it’s getting to be a stretch where we can make it work financially on a break-even point of view. There’s a little bit of concern about that.”
Breaking even to me does not seem like a good scenario for the Canes. In fact, it is downright unsettling. The salary cap floor currently sits at $48.3 million with a maximum cap of $64.3 million. The Canes currently carry roughly $50 million in contracts this year. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the capability of spending that extra $14 million? If that were the case, Cole would definitely still be in Raleigh.
The upside to this? The canes are currently in negotiations for their television and radio contracts. With the extra money, possibly coming from those deals, the Canes may be able to go after one of the top free agents in the league during the off-season! Don’t believe me?
“It’s going to depend on a few things – where are season ticket sales go prior to July 1, whether we get our TV deal done – but we may be in the market for the first time to look at one of the top free agents,” he said.
Booyah. I told you. A lot of it hangs on the first item he mentions. It all comes down to the fans supporting their team. We are lucky to have a team here in Raleigh that has brought a lot of joy to all of us. Even though it has been a rough season for the boys, we still have to show up and support them. Do not be a fair weather fan. Buy a ticket and root them on.
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