Sports Bulls & Bears: Canada well-represented in NHL playoffs

 

Last time five made the cut was 2004

 
 
 
 
Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

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VANCOUVER — Sorting out the major winners and losers of this week — with a bottom-line twist — in the world of sports:

BULLS OF THE WEEK

For the second consecutive week and the fourth time this 2014-15 season, Canada’s National Hockey League franchises have been in the spotlight as soaring sport business stocks. Tuesday and Thursday stood out as almost perfect game days, with 17 of 20 possible points won on those nights by Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton.

It’s been another bearish season for the Oilers, but their win over the defending Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings Tuesday set the tone for the week, clinching the playoffs for the Canucks and helping both the Flames and Jets punch their post-season tickets Thursday.

There’s plenty of blue chip stock to go around in five of Canada’s seven NHL markets this season, but none more surprising than the results of Andrew Hammond and the Senators. They’re just one point away from becoming the fifth Canadian-based team to qualify for this spring’s Stanley Cup tournament.

As noted here last week, that would mark the first time in 11 years that five teams from north of the 49th have reached the post-season and only the second time since 1993, when six qualified and the Canadiens became the last to win the Cup.

The bullish on-ice performances set up a bull market of opportunity off the ice for the playoff qualifiers, with the Jets, for example, putting their first-round ducats on sale for up to $340 per ticket. Gross ticket revenues per Canadian home game will average $2.67 million and that doesn’t include post-season sponsorship plays nor royalties on concessions, parking and merchandising.

After seeing only one Canadian team in the playoffs last year, it’s a bull week for Rogers as Canada’s NHL national TV rights holder, for Bell, the local radio rights holder in four of the qualifying five markets, and for sports bars and restaurants across the country.

The bull market for Canadian pro sports teams extended this past week to Major League Baseball, where the Toronto Blue Jays opened their 2015 season with a series win against the New York Yankees — after drawing 96,000 to Olympic Stadium in Montreal for a two-game pre-season set against Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds — and Major League Soccer, where the Montreal Impact qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League final by eliminating Alajuelense of Costa Rica on Tuesday.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

The NFL lost one of its marquee stars to retirement Thursday as Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers called it a career. His leadership on and off the field became the gold standard — Head & Shoulders above much of the rest, you could say — and he’ll be missed within and outside of Steeler Nation.

Tom Mayenknecht is host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and TSN Radio, where he regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of sports business. He reviews the major winners and losers of the past week every Saturday in The Vancouver Sun.

 
 
 
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Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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