Sources: Coyotes lose revenue sharing

Updated: January 12, 2009, 1:34 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

The Phoenix Coyotes were penalized 25 percent of their revenue-sharing money last season, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

That money, due to be $15 million but now less than that, is part of the NHL's revenue-sharing formula, where big-market clubs share resources with the smaller-market teams.

The formula, however, includes triggers that these clubs must hit in order to show improvement in a number of areas; since the Coyotes failed to hit revenue and attendance standards last season, they were penalized, according to sources.

One source put the final number at $10.5 million, and another said the number was slightly higher.

The Coyotes, seventh in the Western Conference entering the week, already have to consult with the NHL on a myriad of decisions, from staffing to player personnel moves as the league takes an active role in trying to find new investors or ownership for the financially strapped franchise, as ESPN.com reported on Dec. 23.

The league also is trying to help broker changes to the existing lease with the city of Glendale in the hopes of making the situation more attractive to new investors or owners.

The Coyotes are expected to lose $30 million or more this season, on top of the more than $60 million they are reported to have lost the past two years. This is despite ticket sales which are up by a reported 90,000 tickets from a year ago.

Last week, the team laid off 18 members of its staff, about 10 percent of the workforce.

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.