By Stu Hackel
What is this lockout about? That is something that the NHL’s team owners have never clearly articulated, but one thing we’ve been led to believe is that while a group of established clubs are generating huge revenues, many more are not and some are losing boatloads of money. One franchise that is frequently cited as drowning in red ink is the Florida Panthers, which Forbes Magazine pegged as having lost $7 million last year. During the last nine years, Florida supposedly took a $68 million bath, about $7.5 million annually.
But in a new post, Johnathan Willis of The Edmonton Journal’s Cult of Hockey blog writes about how he hunted down and examined publicly available documents of the Panthers’ parent company’s finances and they show a much different and more complicated picture. Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which owns the team and controls its arena, actually showed a profit of $117.4 million between 1998 and 2012, including a stretch in which the Panthers missed the playoffs for 10 consecutive seasons.