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 – First, there was a delay in the Sharks-Blue Jackets game when the lights suddenly went out late in the second period. Another interruption occurred in the third, when the referees decided to spend more time on an offside challenge that overturned a Brenden Dillon goal than the Warren Commission did on the Zapruder film.
In a few months, those occurrences may end up being more notable to many in the SAP Center crowd than the actual game result, a 3-1 Sharks win on Thursday night. Inside the home dressing room, though, it was a pair of goals by the second power play unit and a strong performance by goalie Martin Jones that will be how they remember this one.
Joonas Donskoi’s first period goal with Markus Nutivaara in the box staked the Sharks a 1-0 lead, while Tomas Hertl’s marker in the third period with Jack Johnson serving a tripping minor increased it to 2-0. Hertl added a late empty netter to seal it, after Scott Hartnell brought the Blue Jackets to within one with less then three minutes to go.
It was the second straight game the Sharks didn’t get an even strength goal in regulation (other than the empty-netter), yet found a way. They beat Anaheim in three-on-three overtime on Tuesday, 2-1.
“Right now the five-on-five goals are hard to come by,” Pete DeBoer said. “We're creating chances, but the power play won us the game tonight."
Hertl said: “Exciting night for us, the second [power play unit], because we scored two goals.”
The newest addition to that unit, defenseman David Schlemko, assisted on each of the first two goals. He spotted Donskoi wide open in the circle on the first, and got a secondary helper on Hertl’s first goal.
Although they were his first two points of the season, Schlemko is quickly proving to be the second-most talented offensive defenseman on the team. He’s managed 20 shots on goal through eight games – exactly half of Burns’ 40, but nearly double Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s 11.
“It's nice to get [the points] of the way,” he said. “I feel like I've been getting lots of pucks to the net, so it's nice to see a couple go in finally."
Donskoi figured Schlemko would spot him all alone standing on the faceoff dot.
“He's pretty good with the puck, so I think he just saw me,” Donskoi said. “It's good to have a guy like that."
It’s also good to have a guy like Jones, who made some key saves early on the penalty kill and preserved the lead while Sergei Bobrovsky was making some potentially game-changing stops on the other end. Jones’ 24 saves lowered his goals-against average to 2.32, and upped his save percentage to .908.
“We had quite a few grade-A chances, [Bobrovsky] kept them in it pretty good,” said Joel Ward, who was stopped on an early second period breakaway. “Obviously Jonesy has been there for us since day one. It’s good that he’s feeling the groove, we’ve just got to put some pucks in.”
Neither Jones nor his teammates let the odd circumstances, including Dillon’s apparent goal that was nullified after a seven-minute delay in the third period of a 1-0 game, get to them.
“There was a couple things there out of our control, but I thought considering that, we stuck with it and found a way,” DeBoer said.
Ward said: “We’ve got a good group and a mature group, and we know how to handle situations.”
The Sharks are also gaining momentum at home with their third win in as many tries, even if their own building doesn’t want to cooperate all the time with pesky details like keeping the ice surface brightened.
“With [the lights going off] and the disallowed goal it felt like a triple overtime type of game,” Ward said. “Haven’t seen that before, but hopefully since we won, maybe it happens again and we can capitalize.”
Schlemko wasn’t here last season, but he heard all about the team’s struggles at SAP Center when it was the only playoff team that didn’t win at least half of its home games (18-20-3).
“I think we wanted to clean up the home record and have teams know it's going to be a tough night coming in here,” he said. “It's been a pretty good start."
SAN JOSE – Three combined goals from Joonas Donskoi and Tomas Hertl, coupled with 24 saves from Martin Jones, pushed the Sharks to a 3-1 win over Columbus on Thursday at SAP Center.
Both of the Sharks’ goals before a late empty netter came from the second power play unit.
In the first period, David Schlemko found Joonas Donskoi wide open in the circle with a cross-ice pass, and Donskoi squeezed a wrist shot through Sergei Bobrovsky at 12:59. The goal was Donskoi’s first of the season.
Hertl increased it to 2-0 with 7:55 to go in regulation, with Jack Johnson in the box for tripping Patrick Marleau. A Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot hit Hertl in front of the net, and Hertl spun around and swept the loose puck through for what stood as the game-winner.
Schlemko assisted on both goals for his first two points in a Sharks sweater.
Scott Hartnell brought the Blue Jackets back to within 2-1 with 2:50 to go, when he redirected a Lukas Sedlak rebound over the line, but that was as close as the Blue Jackets would get. Hertl’s empty net goal with one second left capped the scoring.
The Sharks (5-3-0) improved to a perfect 3-0 at home, and swept the two-game season series with Columbus, including a 3-2 win at Nationwide Arena on Oct. 15.
Bobrovsky kept it 1-0 deficit for his club in the second period. He denied Joel Ward on a breakaway in the first minute of the middle frame after Justin Braun found him wide open at the blue line, and later robbed Brent Burns cutting towards the net when Chris Tierney’s pass through the slot gave the Sharks defenseman a glorious scoring chance with 12:16 to go.
Columbus’ best chance to tie it came with about six minutes left, when Hartnell missed a tap in after Burns gave it away to Sam Gagner in the defensive zone.
The Sharks seemingly increased their lead to 2-0 a little more than six minutes into the third period when Brenden Dillon’s heavy blast from high in the zone found its way in through traffic. A lengthy review showed that Chris Tierney was offside just before Marleau brought the puck over the blue line, however.
With the Sharks up 1-0, the teams went to their dressing rooms with 2:42 remaining in the second period after the lights illuminating the ice surface went dark. Power was restored, and they played the end of the second and the third period after the early intermission.
San Jose is 21-4-2 all-time against the Blue Jackets in San Jose.
For the second straight game, the Sharks failed to score an even strength goal into a manned net in regulation, but won anyway. They were a perfect 2-for-2 on the power play.
Columbus was 0-for-3 on the power play. San Jose is 18-for-19 on the PK over its last five games.
Jones was making his fourth straight start, and has played in seven of the first eight games. He is 4-3 on the season, and 2-2 in his career against Columbus.
Bobrovsky dropped to 5-4-2 in his career against San Jose. The former Vezina Trophy winner has played every game for the Blue Jackets.
Micheal Haley skated in his second straight game in place of Matt Nieto, who was again a healthy scratch.
The Sharks close out their homestand with Nashville on Saturday. It will be the first meeting since San Jose eliminated the Predators in seven games in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last May.