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What Challenges do NHL Teams face in 2022

What Challenges do NHL Teams face in 2022

It has indeed been a challenging period for the world of sport. Events have transpired that have made things difficult in recent times even for the most prosperous and successful sports teams.

Liam Evans
Sports
Mar 21, 2022

Table of Contents

It has indeed been a challenging period for the world of sport. Events have transpired that have made things difficult in recent times even for the most prosperous and successful sports teams. Events have been postponed or canceled, locations possibly changed to allow them to go ahead if at all feasible. It's hard to think of a sport that hasn't been touched and the NHL is no different.

Fans were left devastated, as the majority of people in North America enjoy playing or watching some of their most famous sports. Many join a casino online so they can take part in betting on the games. While this year has seen a bit of a return to normality, the NHL will continue to have a difficult life for a while. Let's have a look at a few of the issues that they will have to deal with over the coming season and beyond.

Covid-19 still a Threat

The U.S. still is not out of the woods as far as Covid is concerned. So many different states with different rules and ways of dealing with things have possibly slowed down the recovery of this great nation. With travel restrictions and some areas or even cities imposing lockdowns or curfews, the sport was hit hard.

The border between Canada and the USA remains closed at the time of writing for non-essential travel so that hinders some of the teams in the NHL and has the potential to disrupt the season. It will be reviewed towards the end of June and seeing as seven of 31 teams are based in Canada, people will be hoping the outcome is positive so next season can get underway later in the year as planned.

Revenue for the Teams

As opposed to the other more popular sports across North America, ice hockey does not actually receive big income from TV broadcasts or contracts from TV companies. Funds are usually generated by crowds attending the games, paying for tickets, food, and merchandise. Because there were no fans allowed to watch the games, or in some cases no games at all, figures are down for all clubs.

The figures mentioned have been astronomical but thankfully no teams have gone bankrupt over this, although it seems that many may have gone into debt. Scaling down the season and allowing limited numbers of fans in to watch under severe guidelines may have softened the blow. Statements from the NHL made it clear it would be cheaper to shut down but they decided not to.

The Winter Olympics

winter olympics

NHL players did not compete in 2018 because the clubs decided not to interrupt their season to facilitate some of their players' participation at the tournament. However, NHL players will return and be involved in the upcoming games to be held in Beijing, China, beginning in February of 2022. It has been noticed over the years that teams who send players off to represent their country could perform poorly in the playoffs.

This upsets fans and teams to a great degree after a long season and a tough battle to even get that far. If players perform well at the Olympics but manage to get injured along the way, that could rule them out of contention for the beginning of the NHL season, or potentially even longer. In times where people are generally very patriotic, hoping their national team does well, sometimes the love of their favorite team taking part in a regular national league can even surpass that.

Salary Caps

Salary caps have been around for a while and basically are the figures that each team is allowed to pay their players. It's a number that fluctuates from year to year depending on how much income the league made as a whole in the previous season. An interesting way of ensuring that teams cannot recruit all the best players and unfairly use their riches to pull away from smaller teams. It makes for more of a level playing field.

Yet, teams will try their best to circumvent this if possible using all sorts of tricks and loopholes. It can also prove to be a problem for teams wishing to hold on to their players. The more successful teams seem to struggle to keep hold of players if they want to become free agents or demand a raise for example. However, most seem in favor of retaining the cap as it reduces rash decisions on splashing the cash.

Competition from other Sports

While one of the favorite sports of the American public, it falls well behind the famous trinity of basketball, baseball, and football. NHL stars are not very well known, although it is believed the game is growing in popularity rapidly, with even spin-off games available to play too. American Football is still out there in front with television audiences double the number of numbers that watch the NBA.

The grand finale, the Super Bowl is one of the most famous sporting events of the year. Millions tune in from around the world to watch the last fixture of the football season. Betting on this game reaches astronomical figures throughout America and across the globe. Superstar musicians perform at halftime and you can be guaranteed a few famous faces in the crowd. The whole spectacle goes on for hours. It's fair to say that the Stanley Cup finals have never and probably will never, garner as much attention as this yearly showcase event.

Summary

The NHL has been plagued by problems recently, but then again so have most sports. The issues they face are very real ones and have the potential to cause headaches for fans, teams, and owners alike. No one wants to see any more disruptions in the coming months. Everyone hopes it’s smooth sailing from here on in and they can make a return to the money-making days of pre-Covid.

While it's hard for them to compete with other sports, Ice Hockey is well established in the minds and hearts of the people. Events like the Olympics should be embraced a bit more as they don't come around that often but it's not seen that way. People like to cheer on the team they support and have watched constantly, possibly since childhood, which is completely understandable.

With the possibility of the games providing a source of extra cash, their love of the sport could take on even greater significance. Any more disruptions to the sporting world may see people explore other avenues of fun and possible income.

Liam Evans | Liam Evans is a freelance writer and social media manager who specializes in assisting finance professionals and Fintech entrepreneurs in growing their online audience and attracting more paying customers. Liam worked as a bank teller and virtual assistant for financial firms in the United States and the United Kingdom for six years before beginning her writing career.

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