Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New TV deal means higher salary cap

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Approvals are still to come, but the new Canadian-television rights deal announced Tuesday between the NHL and Rogers has the potential to be a windfall in many ways.

The announced price for 12-year exclusivity across all platforms and languages for national broadcast rights is $5.2 billion.

The payments are reported to start next season at $300 million per year and escalate, by the end of the deal, to $500 million per.

So, while this is simple math and there may be some "carrying" or "management" charges in the many levels of the transactions, this roughly translates to a new bottom line Canadian-national-TV revenue of $10 million per NHL team next season.

And it goes up from there.

Now there is income in this category today from both TSN and CBC, but it's a fraction of what will begin with 2014-15.

Given the new labour agreement with players, this will translate into an instant salary cap increase of likely between $4- and $5-million for next season, or at the latest, the 2015-16 campaign because a year's cap is mostly based on revenues of the previous year.

And there could be a cap bump or bumps in addition to this, especially now the NHL has labour peace and its revenues, now almost a year after the lockout ended, were said to be heading strongly north even before this Rogers deal.

You can expect this year's $64.3-million salary cap to rise well above $70 million soon.

Tuesday, the Jets declined any comment on the finances, present and future but it's worth noting no one within the organization shot down the broad crystal-ball thinking of any of the above.

In terms of payroll management, there's a good chance the Jets will come out of all of this looking good.

They have 11 players locked into contracts through the 2015-16 season, among the most in the NHL with that many players under contract that long, and six key performers (Ondrej Pavelec, Zach Bogosian, Toby Enstrom, Bryan Little, Evander Kane, Blake Wheeler) on deals through at least 2016-17.


Jets out of basement

TODAY'S Game No. 2 of the Jets' eastern road trip takes them to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for a game against the Islanders.

New York has lost three straight and eight of the last 10 to fall into a tie for 14th in the Eastern Conference.

The Jets took Tuesday off after their trip-opening 3-1 win in New Jersey on Monday.

It was Winnipeg's sixth regulation win of the season, the lowest number by any team (also Calgary and Edmonton) in the Western Conference.

Still, the Jets have 26 points in the category that really counts, and that win moved them out of the basement of the Central Division and into a tie for 10th in the conference.


Slumping Isles

THE Islanders spent much of their Tuesday practice working on special teams.

"One for 21 on the power play the last five games, and give up (six goals) on the penalty kill, you're not going to win many hockey games, it's an area where we have to be better," head coach Jack Capuano said after the workout.

His team just can't seem to find a foothold after finishing strongly in the lockout season, making the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

"At the end of the day... it's about the will to compete," Capuano said about today's predicament. "I'm not going to fault the guys for the effort in (losses at) Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, I thought we played hard and had a lot of chances, a little bit of puck luck, but at the same time I felt we were going up against a couple of hot goaltenders.

"Tough to play against, that's what we were last year. That's what we were down the stretch. You can talk about a lot of different things and why we're in this rut, but it comes down to battle level."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 27, 2013 C3


Updated on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 9:30 AM CST: Corrects typo

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