It’s hard to fathom now, but there was once a major professional sport in North America called, if memory serves us right, “iced-hockey.” This sport had its games broadcast on real actual networks like FOX and ESPN, and expanded its reach all over the nation with teams in exotic non-icy locales like Tampa, Florida and Phoenix, Arizona. New arenas were built, new revenue streams were found, and the sky was the limit. “Move over basketball, football, and baseball”, said the “iced-hockey” executives, “we’re here to stay.” Yeah, well, they weren’t.
(How metaphorical of you, ‘Yotes.)
In 2004, the entire damn sport collapsed into a pile of rubble, never to be heard from again as a major threat to the existing players in the North American sports market. Obviously, the NHL came back, but it had been reduced to a niche sport, mostly ignored by the general populace and major networks. The bubble on hockey had burst, and both salaries and revenue reflected this sad fact. So why, then, is the NHL claiming that the purchase price of the moribund, bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes could reach the astronomical figure of $400 million freaking dollars? Because if there’s one thing commissioner Gary Bettman knows nothing about, it’s proper accounting.