It's hard for an owner to stay motivated about a league that makes them 0 dollars. That's not a good investment no matter how you spin it.
$3.3B is far greater than 0. With adequate revenue sharing, they would all likely be profitable.
And if they're not motivated to stay in the NHL business, they can sell. Their motivation level isn't my concern any more than it is that of the players, and it certainly is not an excuse for owners to force players to pay for their mistakes.
Sure franchise values go up, but when a team is losing an average of 5 million a season, for 15 years like the coyotes did, the fact that their value went up 30 million really means nothing. Especially when you factor in inflation too.
You really don't get it. Owners do not pay any shortfalls
of their company's. An owner puts in what they pay for the business and nothing else. If the value of the team goes up and the owner sells, they keep the profits. Even if your team had to file bankruptcy, you would only ever lose your original investment and not a penny more. That's how it works.
So, let's say you get a franchise for $100M. It's a crap team in a crap market and loses $4M a year for all 3 years you own it. Even still, you do not have to pay that $4M. It's up to the business to figure out the finances and many of them get loans, public handouts, etc. to cover their shortfalls. You decide you can't "stay motivated" about your luxury purchase of a sports team so you decide to sell. During the 3 years you owned the team, thanks to TV deals and other factors, it increased in value by $20M. Better still, you actually find someone willing to overpay you what the team is worth, like so many other NHL owners have done, and you get paid $140M for it. You not only got your original investment returned in full, you also made $40M in profit in only 3 years. Even with inflation, you did well. That's not spin. That's the reality of most NHL franchises.
There are also alot of owners who's teams aren't increasing in value too. I would imagine the St.Louis Blues and Carolina Hurricanes aren't increasing in value, they may be even decreasing.
According to Forbes, there are only 3 teams (St. Louis, Carolina, and Columbus) that have dropped in value over the previous year and 2 (Tampa Bay and Phoenix) that have held their value. All other NHL teams increased in value over the previous year, and 11 of those teams saw a double digit increase in their value.
You're right about St. Louis being one of the few teams losing value, but what you don't seem to realize is that the team is currently valued at $130M even though it was just bought in 2012 for $120M, meaning the owners already have a potential $10M profit.
Likewise, Carolina is currently valued at $162M and was purchased for only $48M in 1994. Even with inflation, that's a huge profit for the owner if they decided to sell.
Even if they don't sell, owners can use teams as collateral to secure funding for other projects and in that way, even if they don't sell, owners get immediate benefit from value increases even as the teams themselves report losing money.
This lockout is more important than the owners just sucking as much money as they can out of the players. They need this lockout to get the league back on track, cause right now it is in pretty rough shape when you look at the low market teams. What's complicated this whole thing is Bettman trying to hit a home run for the owners, instead of just making a fair deal.
If you could prove that owners are trying to do that or making rules that will actually make that happen, I'd love to see it. But the reality is just lowering the salary cap will never fix the problems they have built into the system, especially if they aren't willing to do the type of revenue sharing that is clearly needed and is proven successful in other pro sports leagues.
Bettman's not trying to hit a home run, he's trying to make players pay for owners' greed and selfishness as they continue to refuse the only obvious and real solution to their ongoing problems. He said he hit a home run last time, remember? He swore that CBA would fix all of the problems. It didn't, and the owners just created more. Now, he's having to try to fix the problems the owners created and force to players to get even less despite revenue being higher than ever just to keep owners from having to behave like adults and take their medicine. Until he, or whoever comes after him, make the owners take their medicine this league will remain sick and we will be suffering these bouts of greeditis every time the CBA expires.