NHL Team Values Rise, But So Do Player Costs, Heightening Labor Dispute Fears

The value of NHL teams has risen over the last calendar year, but rising player costs are still a concern that could lead to contentious labor negotiations between the league and the NHL Players Association. The current collective bargaining agreement between the groups expires after the current season, and new talks are expected to begin early in 2012. 

According to Forbes' Magazine, the average NHL team is now worth $240 million, up 5 percent from a year ago. That's thanks in part to the NHL's new American television deal with NBC, which helped along a 5 percent increase in average revenue per team. 

Since the NHL lockout in 2005, according to Forbes, the average NHL team has seen a 47 percent rise in their value, which signals that the changes made during that lockout are certainly working. It's evident that things are not quite perfect though, with the few huge market teams in the league still controlling the pie, and with player salaries still out of whack in comparison to other professional leagues in North America.

Via the Forbes report:

The league's salary cap, set at 57% of revenue, is too high for some teams to be profitable. As a result, expect the National Hockey League to undergo a cantankerous labor negotiations when the owners and players union begin to hammer our a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the current six-year deal that expires in September.

During their lockout prior to the current season, NFL players agreed to 48 percent of revenue. In the NBA deal reached the other day, owners and players agreed to a 50-50 split.

NHL players aren't likely to back down from the 57 percent that they're currently receiving for obvious reasons, but it is evident that many NHL teams can't compete under the current model. This is the foundation of NHL labor negotiations that will take place in the coming year, and the hope is that no games are missed because of this. 

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