Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Oilers considered a mid-market franchise

My old pal Kevin Greenstein over at Inside Hockey has a good breakdown of the NHL's revenue rankings of every team. And while his article highlights the respective problems with the teams at the low end, he also purports that Edmonton's placement in the middle tier is evidence against their small-market status. I suspect Kevin's been sharing one too many pints with Larry Brooks lately. Maybe it's just a Rangers lackey thing?

That the Oilers are a mid-market team in this league is as damning a figure as anything else I could possibly drudge up. Leave aside that the Oilers' revenues and attendance were inflated last year by the Heritage Classic game, there is no question that Edmonton has struggled monetarily. With a payroll of scantly more than $30-mil, the Oilers can't sign unrestricted free agents or bankroll any major stars. Their ownership group is a partnership of 38 individuals and is hardly representative of today's billionaire owners of professional sports franchises.

Edmonton Sun writer Terry Jones outlines the Oilers plight very well. Much better than, say, Larry Brooks.

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