On the surface, the Calgary Flames look like the most attractive hockey team to spend money on, but a look at the team’s financials reveals some glaring holes.
The Flames’ operating profit, according to Forbes, is $1.9 million, and their net income is $967,500.
Their salary cap is $18.9M.
Their net debt is $10.6M.
They have the second-lowest revenue-to-revenue ratio of any NHL team, behind the Pittsburgh Penguins at 3.5:1.
And their net debt ballooned to $25.2M from $8.7M in 2015.
That’s more than double the $3.8M net debt of the New York Islanders, and it’s still up from the $1M the Flames paid to buy out the contract of defenseman Matt Niskanen in 2016.
Even worse, the Flames have an operating loss of $1,811,000, and they have a $3,848,000 debt-to-$revenue imbalance, according a Forbes report from last year.
Despite the team not having any significant financial struggles, the team has a big hole on its balance sheet.
According to Forbes’ estimates, the debt-for-revenues ratio of the Flames is 6.9:1, and the operating deficit is $5.9m.
In other words, the only team in the NHL that is worse off financially than the Flames are the two teams that make the playoffs, the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues.
“The Flames are a financial disaster,” said Bob Murray, former NHL general manager and the author of The Next Five Years.
“The team was bought for $1 billion.
The new owners made a lot of money on the money they were buying, but then the debt load keeps rising.
So, the franchise is a financial nightmare.”
According the Forbes report, the salary cap for the Flames will be $20.9 Million next season, and Murray said that the Flames’ current cap number could rise by as much as $7.2 million if they’re able to trade away players like Erik Johnson and Alex Tuch.
Murray said that he would be willing to give the Flames the opportunity to move players such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Brad Marchand, if they want to do so.
“The biggest thing that would be nice for them to do is sign guys like Ryan Nugen-Hopkinson and Alex Ovechkin, and maybe trade them,” Murray said.
“They’ve got to take the next step.
They need to move someone in the middle, like Justin Abdelkader, who’s a great defenseman, or a top-four defenseman.
It’s a question that they need to make a decision.” “
But it’s not a question of them trading a lot.
It’s a question that they need to make a decision.”
Murray, who is also the former CEO of the Calgary Herald, believes that the NHL could be in for a financial crisis if the Flames keep spending money on players like Nugent.
“If they don’t have to spend, they’re going to keep spending, and I’m pretty sure that the league is going to have a financial mess in the next couple of years,” Murray added.
“So, they need somebody to do something about it.
And the easiest way to do it would be to move a player like Justin Abdulkader.”