As the lockout continues to bite, some NHL owners are contemplating leaving the salary cap on hold.
According to The Associated Press, the league’s board of governors is expected to discuss its financial future in September.
If the board does not act before then, the owners could have to pay back some of their $3 billion in debt.
That could mean more money for players, though it also could mean less money for teams.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the ways that the NHL’s debt could affect the league and its teams.
The NHL’s $3.9 billion debt is the largest of any professional sports league.
That number includes the $3 million each team owes the NHLPA and the league itself.
The NHLPA has agreed to pay the rest of the league back.
The NHLPA, which includes the New York Rangers, is responsible for $2.5 billion in league-wide debt.
Those funds are owed to the league through two separate, separate agreements: one that was signed with the league in 2011, and one that expired in 2016.
Both the teams and the NHL have signed agreements to repay those debts.
According to a league source, there is no way that the $2 billion owed by the Rangers could be paid by the team alone without the help of the NHL Players Association.
“I’m not going to say that we’re not going be able to, because there is money to pay those bonds,” the source said.
“But we’ll have to work on the issue with our players.”
As for the debt owed by other NHL teams and other leagues, that amount is still the largest debt owed to an organization by any sport in the United States.
While the league will have to make some tough decisions in the coming months about its future, one thing is certain: it is going to have to find a way to balance its books.
“There’s no question the league is going through a tough time financially,” the NHL source said, adding that the league has “not been able to make any significant decisions” in recent months.
So while the NHL may be facing its biggest financial crisis since the 1930s, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.