However if you look at Phoenix with an operating loss equal to the annual subsidy in (Virtually perpetuity) the only people losing money in the desert are the poor ass tax payers...which is most likely why (FRED) that nobody in their right mind wants to touch that hornets nest. To me that says its nothing to do with the economic viability of NHL franchises that the players need to take a roll back or limitation on their money to resolve.
The players aren't being asked to take less because Phoenix is losing money, they are being asked to take less because most teams are losing money and the cumulative league earnings are not very good.
At the end of the day it really seems about profits after expenses over all. Throughout the league the owners figure they can squeeze more profit in every market by grinding down the players share of the pie. Therefore, in every CBA negotiation from the last two till the end of time, they are going to use the hammer of a lockout to extract more and more, unless the players can stand up and say a big fuck you and change the focus from players salaries to owners profits and their refusal to entertain real (REAL) profit sharing.
Increasing revenue sharing is difficult to do with out the massive TV contracts that the other sports have.
Further and perhaps more importantly, there really isn't enough league wide profit to share. As noted the ROE (return on equity) for the entire league is quite low (about 4% vs around 10% for average S&P returns) when compared to other industries and things seem to be trending down in that regard under the current CBA.
Right now the model isn't working that well, it isn't a train wreck like it was before the last lock out but there are big problems with both revenue disparity and over all profitability.
And it's actually getting worse on both fronts.
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It might be that the best way for the players to do this in my opinion is to pool their money , build a war chest to pay out as strike pay and find alternative employment for at minimum two years, long enough for the owners to start panicking about losing market share in an ultra competitive industry.
Unfortunately the money the players would lose while missing 2-years of their careers would never be made up by even the most favorable CBA.
If the league were very healthy and the owners were making money hand over fist the players would have some leverage. But in an environment where profits are low the owners don't have all that much to lose by sitting out.