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Show me the loonies!

While the salary cap has done much to provide financial balance to the NHL's playing field, one factor that seems to get overlooked is the currency fluctuation which has made Canadian teams far more profitable than they have been in the past. Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), all player contracts are to be paid in US dollars. But when you look at the 5-year trend in the Canadian dollar, one sees that Canadian revenues (tickets, concessions, local TV rights, etc.) have risen by almost 50% since January 2002 just through the currency shift alone.

That may not mean much for teams like Toronto and Montreal which play close to the cap maximum regularly, but for smaller-market teams like Edmonton and Calgary, this means a significant difference in the type of team they can put on the ice. Should smaller US teams like Nashville, Columbus, and Buffalo come crying for handouts like the Canadian teams did a few years back?