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Forbes Puts Lower Value On Hurricanes, Are Sabres Sold?

Forbes magazine recently released their annual NHL franchise financial report and they claim that the value of the Carolina Hurricanes dropped $15 million over the past year, from $177 million in 2009 to $162 presently. (It's important to note that the Hurricanes do not participate in these articles and Forbes does not make it known where they get their information from, or how they calculate it).

According to Forbes, the Canes will lose $7 million for the year in operating profit(loss), even though they had revenue of $75 million. That revenue is $7 million lower than last year's estimated $82 million. It is difficult to make much sense of these numbers though because they use the current year player salary expense number of $46 million, even though the season just started two months ago and those expenses will carry forward into the Spring of 2011. Yet they base 2010 profit and loss on that number?

The report also indicates that strong, traditional markets like Ottawa, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota are currently operating in the red.

According to the author, the Canes' value ranks 24th in the league, ahead of Columbus, Nashville, Tampa Bay, the New York Islanders, Atlanta, and Phoenix, while they lag behind a money powerhouse like the Florida Panthers. Does that sound credible? The report has Florida gaining 6% in value, even though their estimated losses are higher than what they indicate for Carolina.

It's been widely reported that Carolina owner Peter Karmanos is actively trying to sell up to 49% of the team. While this has been ongoing for some time now, there has been nothing new to report on this from the organization. It would seem like a tough proposition, getting a millionaire/billionaire, who is used to having complete control, to invest millions in something where they don't have control. But it's impossible to tell how much interest there has been out there or what the hold ups have been regarding any potential deal.

In a related topic, while it's not yet official, there are reports out that the Buffalo Sabres are in the process of being sold. Ken Campbell, from THN has his take here. The potential sale price listed by THN is $150 million, $19 million lower than the Forbes number.