The NHL faces a differences in revenue unlike all major American sports except for the NBA.The disparity between the highest-grossing team -- the Maple Leafs -- and the lowest-grossing team -- the Islanders is more than 3-to-1, according to Forbes, helping the Maple Leafs post an operating income of more than 80 million while the Islanders lost 8.1 million in 2011.With a discrepancy as large as this, it comes as no surprise that with the NHL and the Players' Association continue to hash out a new collective bargaining agreement, the league has sought to expand revenue sharing.The NHL's current revenue-sharing system has faced criticism in the media for its convoluted format that makes it difficult for teams to predict whether they'll have to contribute to or receive from the revenue-sharing pool and if so, how much. The current system also excludes any team in a market of more than 2.5 million households from receiving funds in the revenue sharing. That prevents teams like the Islanders that generate little revenue despite playing in a large market from receiving any assistance to their bottom lines.For the Sharks, increased revenue sharing should make little difference. San Jose was precisely in the middle for revenue in 2011, the most recent year for which Forbes has data. The Sharks' revenue has steadily increased from 69 million in 2006 to a peak of 96 million last year.While expanded revenue sharing may minimally affect the Sharks, it could vastly change the finances of some of San Jose's Pacific Division foes. The Coyotes, Stars and Ducks all fall behind the Sharks in revenue, with Phoenix's 70 million in revenue the second-lowest figure in hockey. Increased revenue sharing could suck more out of the Kings, whose revenue of 101 million was 11th-most in 2011 and presumably will increase after Los Angeles' run to the Stanley Cup.The bigger impacts of the league's latest proposal for a new CBA on the Sharks would be from the altered distribution of hockey-related revenue. According to the Associated Press, the league's proposal to the players on July 13 called for lowering the share of hockey-related revenue given to the players from 57 percent to 46 percent.Despite the Sharks' 96 million in revenue, they still posted an operating loss of 7.8 million in 2011, their biggest loss since 2003. As San Jose's revenue has increased, so have its expenses, especially player expenses, which have nearly doubled since 2006. By lowering the percentage of hockey-related revenue given to the players, the league could limit the Sharks and other NHL franchises' player expenses and thereby help the 18 franchises that posted operating losses in 2011 float out of the red.
SAN JOSE — There was something familiar missing in San Jose when the Sharks opened training camp.
For the first time since 1996, the Sharks took the ice for their first training camp practice without Patrick Marleau on the team as the franchise's career leader in games and scoring left as a free agent for Toronto this summer.
"I've spent a lot of years with him. It is kind of strange," said Joe Thornton, who came to San Jose in 2005. "It's his birthday today too. It's a little weird, but he's going to do great up in Toronto."
Marleau had been with San Jose since being picked second overall in 1997 but left the Sharks to sign an $18.75 million, three-year deal with the Maple Leafs in July.
Marleau has 508 goals and 574 assists for 1,082 points. He had 46 points in playing all 82 games last season as he rebounded from a disappointing 2015-16 season by scoring 27 goals, including the 500th of his career. He ranks first in San Jose in career goals, games and points.
Only six players in NHL history have played more games with one team than Marleau's 1,493 in San Jose. The Sharks haven't played a game without him on the ice since April 7, 2009.
"Obviously Patty has meant so much to this organization and this group," captain Joe Pavelski said. "Everyone in this room has pretty much played with him and Patty has done something to help them out. He'll be missed. ... Just by committee somebody will step in and fill that kind of hole. That's what we'll need."
The Sharks made no major additions this offseason so will need to replace Marleau's 27 goals by getting development from younger players like Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Danny O'Regan, as well as bounce-back seasons from veterans like Thornton, Mikkel Boedker and Joonas Donskoi.
Only Pavelski, Logan Couture and Brent Burns are back after scoring more than 12 goals last season.
"When I look back at last year we had key people either have down years or miss significant time with injuries or coming off injuries," coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think if we can stay healthy I think we've got a large group of guys that can really take a step this year and I expect a step out of them."
While the Sharks lost Marleau in free agency, they did manage to keep Thornton by giving him a one-year, $8 million contract despite dwindling production last season and offseason knee surgery.
He scored just seven goals — his fewest in an 82-game season since his rookie year in 1997-98 — and was a key part of a power-play unit that uncharacteristically struggled last season. But he still managed 43 assists, teaming with captain Joe Pavelski on San Jose's top line.
Thornton missed the final week of the regular season and the first two playoff games with a left knee injury before returning for the final four games of a first-round loss to Edmonton. Thornton then underwent surgery to repair his MCL and ACL after the season but was back skating in August and started ramping it up for training camp two weeks ago. Thornton believes the lower-body work he did in rehab this offseason will pay dividends on the ice.
"They feel real strong," he said of his legs. "I feel a lot of pop out there. They're probably as strong as they've ever been just because I had to rehab that knee so much."
The boys were back together in San Jose on Thursday for Sharks Media Day, with plenty of smiles and moments of levity. Check out the highlights...
All 😄 at Media Day. pic.twitter.com/ZS2tfNfHty— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) September 14, 2017
😳 = the face we made when we saw Paul Martin's beard today. pic.twitter.com/uHZmSYDqpe— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) September 14, 2017
Us: "Hey Martin, you should photobomb someone."— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) September 14, 2017
Media Day: ☑️— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) September 14, 2017
Don't forget to watch our (slightly zany) coverage of it all on Snapchat & Instagram stories. pic.twitter.com/MU6w8ymn1U
Squad. pic.twitter.com/Hv9nXP3lk0— NBCS Sharks News (@NBCSSharks) September 14, 2017
*cup check* pic.twitter.com/C2rPR8k0dy— NBCS Sharks News (@NBCSSharks) September 14, 2017
Where the magic happens. 🎥 pic.twitter.com/F1cwlnXqZ8— NBCS Sharks News (@NBCSSharks) September 14, 2017
You're not, not gonna take a bite. 😂🤷🏼♂️ pic.twitter.com/Ty6KEw8Vwr— NBCS Sharks News (@NBCSSharks) September 14, 2017