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Maple Leafs cancel Easter Seal skate
The Toronto Maple Leafs say the cost of staging the Easter Seal skate was too high for the amount of money raised. So they decided to cancel the event and instead make a donation to the charity. As expected, the reaction in the Toronto area has been nothing short of disgust - "...spoiled millionaires dump charity, prefer to write check instead of skating with disabled kids...", seems to be a common reaction in letters to the editors, on talk radio, etc.
How much money are they losing, or making?
The Wall Street Journal published a report
highlighting the $300 million in operating losses suffered by the National Hockey League teams. Since the NHL teams are private entities, there isn't much transparency to confirm/deny this number, but there are a few things that seem clear. The NHL has increased its revenue streams, though it is still having problems with the US TV market. Player salaries accounted for 76% of league revenues, totalling $1.9 billion.
Gilmour hangs 'em up
Earlier this week in Toronto, Doug Gilmour announced his retirement. He ended his prolific 14 year NHL career in the city he loved, Toronto (he played one shift for the Leafs after the trade deadline last year, before hurting his knee). His stats are hall of fame material; 1474 games, 450 goals, 964 assists for 1414 points.
Who's the boss?
About a week ago the Toronto Maple Leafs announced the hiring of John Ferguson Jr as their general manager. He will be the youngest GM in the NHL, taking over from Pat Quinn, who will continue his term as coach of the team.
Not long after this decision, questions were already being asked about who holds the most clout within Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. There is the notorious "Board of Directors", who are in most likelyhood there to maximize return for the Ontario Teachers Pension fund, Ken Dryden, Richard Peddie, and Pat Quinn. John Ferguson Jr seems to have landed with a unique set of egos and personalities.