Originally Posted by Vulcan
I don't think operating costs equal a loss, paid attendance and other revenue would subtract from that, no.
Yes, but you still need in invest operatingg capital into the team with it losing money every year. Based on Adirondack's attendance numbers last year, I estimate at best half the operating cost is being covered.
I think there is a very good reason that the richest teams in the NHL (e.g. Toronto, NY Rangers, Detroit) don't own their ECHL affiliates, even if in the grand scheme of their hockey operations budget it is a drop in the bucket. They feel they are better off spending the money elsewhere
Before this season only 3 NHL teams owned ECHL teams. LA, Calgary, and Edmonton. Calgary and Edmonton needed the teams for the leases to move their AHL teams to California. LA's ownership is in the business of owning and managing arenas and can justify the cost of running the team.
The number of players sent there could also be expanded. The Heat have 9 defencemen, 16 forwards and 3 goalies, leaving no room to call up anyone from the Thunder.
It isn't as easy as you suggest. The ECHL has a salary cap of ~$12 600 per week per team. While NHL/AHL players assigned there cost $525 per week towards the cap regardless of their actual salaries, good ECHL players with experience can cost as much $1000 per week towards the cap. There is no way to know what the Adirondack cap situation as ECHL salary information isn't public.
The ECHL also has a hard roster limit of 20 players (18 skaters + 2 goalies) plus an additional 2 players that can be put on reserve. If you constantly release players so you can fit a prospect on the roster as he goes up and down, ECHL players will prefer to sign with other teams.
You might say screw those ECHL players, we have prospects to develop! That might be a fair point. But you also have to balance icing a competitive team that can draw fans and win.