With the Blackhawks’ season on the brink, it’s impossible (and inappropriate) for fans to become concerned about next year’s team.
But there is major news coming out of the NHL on Tuesday morning that will impact the Blackhawks’ future.
The NHL will reportedly host a conference call with NBC/Versus on Tuesday morning to announce an extension of their television deal. There was a strong play towards the end of the negotiating process from Disney (ABC, ESPN), but in the end the NH will stay where it has been for the past few years.
What is shocking is the cost to NBC/Versus. The NHL will receive an increase in compensation from their television partner, bumping the dollar amount from $80M to over $200M per season!
Apparently major market teams winning the Cup is good for ratings?
How this impacts the Blackhawks is simple: the more money the league has, the more the salary cap can be increased moving forward. The Hawks have a handful of players that are free agents this summer – most notably Corey Crawford and Troy Brouwer – that will require the organization’s attention soon. Obviously fans don’t want to see the same exodus they did last summer, and would love to see the team have the flexibility to go out and get a decent free agent as well.
This deal should guarantee that the NHL’s salary cap – and the Blackhawks ability to spend – should increase for the coming few years. Estimates are that the television contract alone could increase the cap over $2M by itself (if the players vote for it). Reports are that the new paper is a 10-year deal between the NHL and NBC/Versus.