Thursday, December 25, 2008

The 5 most wasteful NHL moves for 2008

5. Tampa Bay's free agent spending spree

Rookie Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie decide to run their own team and sign 16 free agents committing the organization to about $100 million in salaries without any thought to team chemistry or needs. Most signings were a bust and 2 players (Chris Gratton and Radim Vrbata) have already been waived through the league. Then they sign Barry Melsrose as coach for 3 years and $2.25 million despite being out of hockey for 13 years. He last 16 games and then dumps on the team and owners. What a circus.

4. Dallas spends $15.5 million for 23 games of Sean Avery

For some reason Brett Hull felt that what the Stars were missing was a side show like Sean Avery. Hull signs him for 4 years and $15.5 million which is about what Niklas Hagman signed for with the Leafs. Avery embarrassed the league and himself one too many times and is now been sidelined. Oh and Hagman is one of the Leafs best players this season.

3. NHL allows 'Boots" Del Baggio to purchase Nashville but he has no money

The NHL spurns a perfectly good and generous offer from Jim Balsillie to purchase the Nashville franchise because he planned on moving the team to Hamilton. So instead the team went to Del Baggio who it turns out had no money. He turns out to be a crook and headed to jail. The NHL claims to have done due diligence but did they really.

2. Rangers spend $52.5 million on 2 defensemen then can't afford Sundin

This summer the Rangers spent $32.5 million over five years for Wade Redden and $20 million over four years for Michal Rozsival. Both have been mediocre and have a combined +/- of -15. When Mats Sundin finally decided he wanted to come back to the NHL he decided on the Rangers. Only the Rangers had no cap space and no one would take either Redden or Rozsival off their hands. So Sundin signed with the Canucks (supposedly his first choice). Finally the salary cap working to take away the financial clout of the rich teams.

1. NHL continues to allow Phoenix to lose $30 million per season

Team owner Jerry Moyes has been ensuring the Coyotes cover their losses, which are expected to be more than $30-million (all currency U.S.) this season, and as much as $200-million since he and former partner Steve Ellman bought the team in 2001. But Moyes's chief business, Swift Transportation, is in severe financial difficulty. It was hit by the economic downturn that crippled many trucking companies, which calls into question his ability to fund any hockey losses. The Coyotes have a 30-year lease at Arena with the city of Glendale. While the lease does give the team most of the revenue from the arena operations, there are items such as parking in which the city takes money from the Coyotes. The only way the team can break its lease and relocate is by declaring bankruptcy.