Revenue sharing crucial in CBA talks

Updated: May 31, 2012, 12:32 PM ET
By Craig Custance

During his annual state of the game address during the Stanley Cup finals, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman shared more numbers that indicated the continued growth of hockey.

Teams played to nearly 96 percent capacity during the regular season and drew 21.5 million people to games. That attendance number jumped to 102 percent capacity during the playoffs.

Bettman highlighted the new American television package, the record ad sales and growth into new technologies.

The big number?

"In the face of what remains a challenged economy, we estimate that we did $3.3 billion worth of business, which is another record for revenues for us," Bettman said. "I can't thank adequately our fans, business partners and broadcasters for all of their support."

The increase in revenues means another increase in the salary cap and the salary floor, as the collective bargaining agreement is set to expire Sept. 15. An NHL source told colleague Pierre LeBrun that the league has notified its teams that the new salary-cap number teams will operate under July 1 will be around $70 million. That's a hefty increase from the current salary cap of $64.3 million, but the bigger concern for many teams will be the increase in the salary-cap floor, which would be estimated at $54 million. According to CapGeek.com, only nine teams already have enough salary committed for next season to put them over that floor.