By now you've probably seen this article by Melissa Harris. For the uninitiated, Rocky Wirtz admits that the Hawks lost money last season, and in fact ran out of cash a few times.
It's hard to know where to start. Call it a scarred upbringing, but when a Wirtz talks about money I'm always hesitant to believe him. However, I don't know why Rocky would go public with this if it wasn't true. I'm not sure what he would be angling for. And it's not that hard to believe. The Hawks were so backward and have had to add so much that they didn't quite have income for, so it's not hard to fathom they might be in the red. In addition, though we bitched about the ticket price raise, it's kind of silly that the the team that plays in the fourth biggest market in the league (and how much of a hockey market is LA anyway?) had prices in the bottom third. Ask Leafs fans how they feel about their prices. They are what they can get, and the Hawks won't have an unsold ticket next year.
Secondly, I wonder where this puts Rocky and McDonough on the upcoming CBA negotiations. Revenue sharing must be driving them up a wall, but the NHL will never go without it. So will they be pushing to bring the cap down significantly even though it'll gut their own team? Will they push for a luxury tax to take some revenue sharing burden off of them? I have no idea.
As Chris Block pointed out, there's a quote from McDonough in the article about making the Hawks a prime place for free agents, and top flight organization . I had been thinking about this before this article came out. But currently, the Chicago Cubs are carrying a lot of ridiculous contracts that have hamstrung their ability to build a team. These contracts were handed out in a time when the club was trying to make itself more attractive for a sale. The Chicago Blackhawks find themselves with a few to many heavy metal contracts that have hamstrung their ability to keep their team together, contracts that were handed out when the Hawks were trying to establish themselves as an organization that was back with the times again. What's the connection between these two? If you think that McDonough hasn't had his fingerprints in both, then I think life will continue to be hard for you.
-Hey, Comcast Sportsnet will be televising the opening ceremonies of the Blackhawks Convention tonight. So if you want to completely nullify your usefulness to society, then go ahead and watch ON TELEVISION a bunch of rich kids from Winnetka chasing around Patrick Kane and some sweaty, fat men in Toews jerseys.
-I'm going to take a bit of a break from the blog, but the Matt's and GMH will have you covered. We'll talk again in September.