First there were the Arizona Coyotes, now, it seems like they’re not the only team in the National Hockey League to have money issues.
Last week it was reported by ESPN’s Katie Strang that some of the players of the Coyotes did not receive their contractually-stipulated signing bonuses on time. This is not the first time the Coyotes struggled to pay employees, though it is believed to be the first time it involved players.
Back in May throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coyotes were caught in another financial dispute. They had said they had provided funds to the arena’s operator, ASM Global, this week to pay those employees but they have not yet been compensated. The Coyotes never said how much they contributed to paying the arena’s employees or why the contribution came nearly two months after the initial promise. Those affected were ticket takers, ushers and other employees who work on game days.
On Friday, Pierre McGuire revealed on the air of TSN that there were a few “teams that are having issues paying players their bonuses.” He even mentioned that fans should expect a few teams to be sold.
"I believe you will see some teams that will be sold...There are some teams that are having very difficult times getting to bonus payments, let alone keeping their staffs. I'm not trying to doom and gloom this, I'm just trying to speak realistically."
Some teams were struggling financially even before the COVID-19 pandemic and the NHL paused action only to get a Return to plan in place without any fans in the attendance for the postseason.
We suspect that the NHL will possibly want to delay the start of its 2020-21 season as much as possible to allow its teams to safely welcome fans during their local games, in order to earn significant additional income.
Will it be too late for some clubs already in the red?