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Blog: The Blackhawks still have serious financial difficulties


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#1 Crymson

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 09:08 PM

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Interesting read. All I have to say is lol. So much for the boasting about attendance numbers and a large fanbase; they still can't even break even without help from their parent corporation.

It's been a good time to be a Chicago Blackhawks fan. The renaissance of the franchise culminated in a Stanley Cup championship in June and despite being cap-strapped and having to say goodbye to some beloved players, there's still a good core on the roster for fans to expect Chicago to compete over the next several years.

Even with all the success on the ice and in the community, the business side of the Blackhawks is still slowly, make that very slowly, rebounding from the disastrous days of "Dollar" Bill Wirtz.

Melissa Harris of the Chicago Tribune has a fascinating read Friday about the business side of the Blackhawks. In the article, she details how ticket prices will jump 20 percent next season and move Chicago from second-cheapest in the NHL to top 10 most expensive. She also points out how a Stanley Cup, a sold out United Center and a fan base eating up as much Blackhawks merchandise as possible still hasn't stopped the franchise from losing money.
In fact, the Blackhawks ran out of cash last season. Several times.

"In a follow-up interview this week, Wirtz said that the Blackhawks ran out of cash several times last season. Each time, he received a memo, known as an internal capital call, in which the team requested money from Wirtz Corp., the Blackhawks' parent company, to cover operating expenses. And at the end of the season, Wirtz said he double-checked that the playoffs did not cover those losses; the franchise remained in the red, the team's accountant told him.
"We have multiple businesses and obviously we want every one to stand on its own," Wirtz said. "And what you don't want to do is manage one business from the profit of the other one."

But Wirtz pledged he would never revert to the penny-pinching ways of his father."

There's definitely no penny-pinching going on. Among those set to receive Stanley Cup rings next season include the team's interns. Expect to see some on eBay to help pay off college loans this fall.

The hole that Chicago was in before Bill Wirtz passed away in 2007 was deep. Wirtz told the Toronto Star that between 1997 and 2007 he lost $191 million, and $31 million during the 2006-07 season. Guess that idea of "not putting games on television" plan wasn't such a good one after all.

Even with two straight playoff runs, the revenue generated still wasn't enough and the Blackhawks continued losing money, but according to Rocky Wirtz, it's getting less and less. A Stanley Cup championship and the monstrous revenue that it brings in certainly helps put a small dent in their losses.

Revenue sharing is something that's hurt the Blackhawks. As Harris notes, regular season ticket revenue is Chicago's to keep, but for playoff games, the team has to give the NHL at least 50 percent of what a regular-season sellout would bring in, thus the need to raise prices come April.

Because the Blackhawks are privately owned, financial records cannot be accessed so it's unknown exactly how much the losses were, but Wirtz told Harris with the success of the team now, getting out of the red and into the black is a goal that can be reached and the franchise is closer to getting it's head above water.



#2 thedisappearer

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 09:13 PM

Enjoy the Cup, f***ers.
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#3 Hockeytown0001

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 09:16 PM

"B-b-but teh papers said our chemistry is teh same n Deetroit sucks!!!1!!"

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#4 cjm502

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 09:19 PM

But they have the same core! And it is younger and will stomp all over Detroits core! And and and the Red Wings are old and stuff!
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#5 GMRwings1983

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 09:50 PM

Actually, I think the Hawks will still have a good team, because their core and stars are together.

You obviously need good role players in order to win in the playoffs, but good teams have shown that role players can be plugged into a good system and still succeed. I think they'll be able to do that, so lets not get too excited about them being f***ed or anything.
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#6 Hockeytown0001

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 10:01 PM

Actually, I think the Hawks will still have a good team, because their core and stars are together.

You obviously need good role players in order to win in the playoffs, but good teams have shown that role players can be plugged into a good system and still succeed. I think they'll be able to do that, so lets not get too excited about them being f***ed or anything.


Aside from Khabibulin, Tampa's core remained largely intact as well. As did Carolina's. And Anaheim's.

Edited by Hockeytown0001, 30 July 2010 - 10:01 PM.

"All done? Five bucks." - Pavel Datsyuk after an interview
"Very few cities in the NHL have the history or the following of the Detroit Red Wings." - Steve Yzerman

 

 


#7 GMRwings1983

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 10:13 PM

Aside from Khabibulin, Tampa's core remained largely intact as well. As did Carolina's. And Anaheim's.


Oh I'm not saying they'll repeat, but I think they'll fare better than those others teams in the next few years.

I may be wrong, but I think they'll be a good team, although not as good as last year.
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#8 13dangledangle

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 10:50 PM

[quote name='GMRwings1983' date='30 July 2010 - 11:13 PM' timestamp='1280546000' post='2020946']<br />Oh I'm not saying they'll repeat, but I think they'll fare better than those others teams in the next few years.  <br /><br />I may be wrong, but I think they'll be a good team, although not as good as last year.


I agree with that for sure, I can not see them flopping like that. I can see them having to work a lot harder as individuals and will feel a lot more pressure to produce (sorry Hoss) but unless Bowman is more of an idiot then I'm already starting to believe, they will be in contention for a shot at keeping the cup....Won't imo, but will be in contention.
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#9 jeff48109

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 11:30 PM

if they have those financial issues will they still want to park Huet's ass in the AHL? pay $5 million to stash a goalie there?
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#10 Hockeytown0001

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 11:36 PM

Oh I'm not saying they'll repeat, but I think they'll fare better than those others teams in the next few years.

I may be wrong, but I think they'll be a good team, although not as good as last year.


They'll be a competitive team and will make the playoffs, but that's about it IMO.

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#11 thedisappearer

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 11:49 PM

Enjoy the Cup, f***ers.

Because we're bring it back here before youf****** touch the Cup again.
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#12 Drake_Marcus

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 12:36 AM

Enjoy the Cuap, f***ers.


Fixed it for you.
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#13 Jersey Wing

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 01:25 AM

I would expect to see quite a few retreads and never will be's on the 3rd and 4th line and 3rd defense pairing. Training camp will welcome back a few familiar faces in Dirk Graham, Eric Daze, Mike Peluso and camp invitee Clarence 'Screaming Buffalo' Swamptown

Detroit would like to welcome the Eastern Conference

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#14 Heaten

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 01:26 AM

Oh I'm not saying they'll repeat, but I think they'll fare better than those others teams in the next few years.

I may be wrong, but I think they'll be a good team, although not as good as last year.


I haven't seen anything in their management to suggests to me that they can sustain success. I rate them as one of the top worst managed franchises in league. Not saying they are bottom feeders, but they could have rivaled Detroit in terms of winning success for the next 10+ years. But seeing how poorly managed they are and so freely giving out big contracts, and then giving away excellent players/depth that made them good and helped them win the cup for okay players... then trading the okay players straight up for 30 yo old career AHL players.

Yeah, I don't think Chicago has the management or ownership to build a sustainable successful team. They just won the cup with all their top picks they accumulated from sucking for 75+ years.... and still can't even turn a profit.

Edited by Heaten, 31 July 2010 - 01:31 AM.


#15 Casey

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:19 AM

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All I can say to that blogger:

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#16 Hockeytown0001

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:21 AM

Fixed it for you.


+1

"All done? Five bucks." - Pavel Datsyuk after an interview
"Very few cities in the NHL have the history or the following of the Detroit Red Wings." - Steve Yzerman

 

 


#17 Sarava

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:37 AM

I haven't seen anything in their management to suggests to me that they can sustain success. I rate them as one of the top worst managed franchises in league. Not saying they are bottom feeders, but they could have rivaled Detroit in terms of winning success for the next 10+ years. But seeing how poorly managed they are and so freely giving out big contracts, and then giving away excellent players/depth that made them good and helped them win the cup for okay players... then trading the okay players straight up for 30 yo old career AHL players.

Yeah, I don't think Chicago has the management or ownership to build a sustainable successful team. They just won the cup with all their top picks they accumulated from sucking for 75+ years.... and still can't even turn a profit.


You do realize Scotty Bowman is pulling the strings, right? Just about all of the contract mistakes were handled by Dale Tallon, who is the Florida GM now.

if they have those financial issues will they still want to park Huet's ass in the AHL? pay $5 million to stash a goalie there?


Obviously they decided they are willing to eat Huet's salary. There wouldn't be enough cap room to have Huet on the roster and field an NHL legal team. If they weren't willing to bury Huet in Europe or the AHL, then another salary would have been traded.

As for the rest...you guys understand what cooking the books or creative accounting is I assume? Wirtz owns 50% of the United Center, but it's not the Blackhawks that officially own the UC. So the Blackhawks pay rent to their owner to use the UC. Understand? This shows as a loss for the Hawks, but it's not. It's just Wirtz giving his own money back to himself via a seperate company.

#18 Gordon Bombay

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:48 AM

Aside from Khabibulin, Tampa's core remained largely intact as well. As did Carolina's. And Anaheim's.


I can't believe people are STILL making these comparisons.

What second line did those teams have that was as good as Sharp/Hossa/Brouwer

What second defensive pairings did they have that were better than Hjalmarsson/Campbell. s***, what first pairings did they have that were even close to Keith/Seabrook.

At worst, the Blackhawks will have 2 very good lines and 2 very good defensive pairings. That alone (barring significant injury) will get them into the postseason.

The problem will be in the playoffs, but w have no idea what will happen before then and who will improve or get worse. Don't forget how young Toews and Kane are.

#19 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:50 AM

I'm sure Mr. Wirtz is on the radar of these people.

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#20 thedisappearer

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:54 AM

Fixed it for you.

Thanks! :D

I would expect to see quite a few retreads and never will be's on the 3rd and 4th line and 3rd defense pairing. Training camp will welcome back a few familiar faces in Dirk Graham, Eric Daze, Mike Peluso and camp invitee Clarence 'Screaming Buffalo' Swamptown

OK… this is funny.

You do realize Scotty Bowman is pulling the strings, right?

Don't misunderstand me, I adore Bowman as the hockey god he is… but he's renowned as a coach from the pre-cap era, not a GM during the cap era. It's a key distinction. He may still piss excellence, but it's not for sure.
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