WRITTEN BY SENSCHIRP READER- Sensnation
Step right up folks, it’s “The Price is Right”!
Thanks to TSN, Eugene’s getting his money. Now the fans are ready to spend it! It’s been years in the making, but thanks to the new CBA, the growth of the NHL game and the passion of Canadian fans, our “small market teams” are now in a position to become not only profitable, but even thrive in the next chapter.
While the focus of the country is on the upcoming Olympic hockey tournament, the talk of this town is now about the very near reality that this Sens team is on the brink of becoming a Stanley Cup contender. The core is strong, the incoming youth are growing and learning, and the veterans are doing their best to keep up with the faster and increasingly talented game each generation brings with it. Though the hard numbers are not known, here are the best estimates out there:
Annual Revenue $83 million (Forbes)
Estimated annual losses $10 million (random Melnyk quote)
2013-14 Team Payroll $56.5 million (Capgeek)
2014-15 Team Payroll $48.3 million (16 players signed)
Difference +$8.2 million
Old National TV Deal $6.3 million (SBJ)
New National TV Deal $14.5+ million (Lebrun, Garrioch says $17-20mil up north)
Difference +$8.2+ million
Old Regional TV Deal $7 million
New Regional TV Deal $33.3 million max (Garrioch)
Difference up to $26.3 million
Old Scotiabank Deal $1.3 million (Forbes)
New CTC Deal $1.5-2 million (Forbes)
Difference +$0.2-0.7 million
Total Increase from New Deals up to $35 million
This total hinges on the accuracy of the new numbers, however even using a conservative 80% of this number gives the team an annual windfall of about $28 million in revenue. Following the CBA’s 50% share, the team could realize up to an approximate $14 million increase in player salaries while maintaining their current “negative” balance sheet at the end of the year. We can add and subtract all day, but these are the numbers we have to work with, so let’s spin the wheel and see what we can buy!
Pending UFAs: Milan Michalek ($4.333 mil), Chris Phillips ($3.083mil), Matt Kassian ($575,000), Joe Corvo ($900,000)
Pending RFAs: Robin Lehner ($870,000), Eric Gryba ($562,500), Cory Conacher ($871,250), Da Costa ($825,000)
Let’s take a look at the players we know:
- Michalek will either be back or replaced with a similar $4-5mil winger.
- Phillips re-signs cheaper or is traded/released with plenty of in-house replacements already here or available in Binghamton. A $2-2.5 million estimate is safe here, with the later option coming in even cheaper.
- Corvo, gone. Thanks for coming back and having a better note to end on though. Glad we could all make up!
- Kassian is not the most significant piece and should come in near the same salary or be replaced by a slightly more expensive prospect. Let’s say $800,000-$1million.
- Gryba, Conacher and Da Costa should all easily double their current salary assuming they return, but one of them would not be counted as they are Stone’s injury replacement for now and his salary is on the books next year already. So $2.5-3 million.
- Lehner is the killer. His salary could jump anywhere from $2 million to upwards of four or five on a longer term (7-8yr) deal. Let’s say it averages out to about $2.5-3 million between all the scenarios.
Add that all up and we have anywhere from $9-14 million to re-sign what currently costs $8.2 million. Leaving us with $9-13 million new revenue money to spend for our good pal Eugene on 2 top end players, whether top 6 forwards or a top 4 defenceman. With that much money the hockey world is our oyster!
Who are you spending it on Sens fans? Free agent frenzy or quantity for quality trades!