With NHL revenues tied closely to Canadian dollar, Bettman keeps eye on it

Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press 0

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Gary Bettman knows the value of the Canadian dollar affects the NHL a lot, so he keeps a close eye on it.

“I watch it every day,” the commissioner said. “It pops up on my computer screen.”

Bettman listed the Canadian dollar as one factor that affects next year’s salary-cap estimate of roughly US$71 million that he delivered to the league’s board of governors.

As of Monday, the exchange rate was about 94 cents. Bettman said he saw reports recently about it going down to 93 cents on the U.S. dollar and was not surprised by that.

“It’s something we monitor, obviously, and sometimes we do some hedging,” Bettman said. “We’re not just sitting there saying, ‘Oh, isn’t that interesting?’ We try to deal with it.”

There’s some speculation that the Canadian dollar will dip even further, perhaps below 90 cents. That’s nowhere near the historic low of almost 62 cents in 2002, but that could negatively affect the NHL’s long-term TV deal with Rogers and other business aspects.

Bettman said the league is prepared for the fluctuations.

“The system takes that into account because we convert to U.S. dollars to give us some consistency,” he said.

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Follow Stephen Whyno on Twitter at @SWhyno.

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