The good sides of a pandemic are extremely rare, but the Canadian can hope to profit from the current tragedy.
Financially, Geoff Molson and his associates cash in significant loss of income, but in sport, the CH looks good.
For the first time in history, the players had real negotiating leverage with the owners, for whom a resumption of activities was essential this summer. The association headed by Donald Fehr has made significant gains for the future.
Stabilizing rather than lowering the salary cap is great news for players. But the most significant gain is certainly the decrease from the 2021-2022 season of the escrow clause. This wage grab has created an imbalance between owners and players for too long.
Without an agreement, the worst scenarios were mentioned as to the percentage that would have been retained from the salaries of players in the coming campaigns.
NHL revenues aren't likely to skyrocket for quite a while. Some observers even argue that the League could see them drop by more than a quarter over the next five seasons.
It's a safe bet that the number of owners who will authorize their general manager to spend all the allowable dollars is likely to decline significantly. Many more could be flirting with the floor rather than the salary cap, particularly in the United States.
Canadian teams certainly have a better hope than American teams of recovering a significant chunk of the amateur leisure dollar. In our neighbors to the south, what will remain in the pockets of the world and of the sponsors after football, baseball, basketball, and then the “chariot” races could be anecdotal.
Montreal, no thanks
Marc Bergevin is very aware of the situation. And when you add up the 11 picks from the 2020 Draft, including 4 in the top 57, the young players selected carrying the NHL guarantee tag, such as Ryan Poehling and the active players he could dispose of without too much trouble by the Through a transaction, think of Max Domi, we see the power of the game in the hands of the Canadiens hockey boss.
Montreal will remain an unpopular city for a long time to come with unrestricted free agents. But structuring transactions involving Category A players could serve the Canadian concessions over the next two seasons.
In other words, Marc Bergevin did not acquire Jake Allen and Joel Edmundson for nothing. He knows that if his club is competitive and exciting, the 21,287 seats at the Bell Center will find buyers once the miracle vaccine is administered.
If Geoff Molson gives Bergevin the means to achieve his ambitions, who knows if the CEO will not throw us all to the ground with acquisitions that will make the Canadian a power within 12 to 18 months?