But things are never that simple, which brings us to Phoenix.
The league has owned the troubled club since 2009 and has received $50 million in subsidies from the city of Glendale to underwrite the cost of keeping the club there. Meanwhile the incoming owner -- in theory Greg Jamison -- is supposed be getting $324 million in subsidies over the next 20 years from the city to operate Jobing.com Arena.
So quick -- are the subsidies the NHL has received and that the new owner (and we say 'in theory' because, yanno, this is the Coyotes, so we'll believe it when we see it) will be getting hockey-related revenue, or not?
Is the money supposed to be used to fund the operating expenses of the hockey team? Or is it to cover the losses incurred by the arena?
And before you answer that, keep in mind that NHLPA views having a team in Phoenix at all as a significant drag on the revenues their members get to share in. If the Coyotes were moved to a stronger hockey market -- let's just fantasize and say Southern Ontario -- it might bump up HRR by $150 million overnight or $750 million over a five-year CBA.
But they have no say in that, which irks them to no end. And after helping prop up the sadsack Coyotes they wouldn't get a sniff of the massive relocation fee that league owners would likely get if and when the team were ever moved. It's the kind of thing that drives the players nuts.
For obvious reasons the NHL thinks those subsidies shouldn't be part of HRR going forward. Meanwhile the NHLPA figures that the only reason the citizens of Glendale have forked over millions of dollars of their tax money and more to come is because there's an NHL team there, so yes, count the subsidies as part of HRR