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The NHL is making so much money

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OK, here’s what you need to know right now from the world of sports:

The NHL is making more money than ever

A lot more, according to Forbes. The business-focused media company did its annual audit of the league’s finances and found that the average team’s operating income (its profit, roughly) for the most recent season was $25 million US. That’s up from $18 million the year before — an increase of 39 per cent.

So how do they do it? The turning point, Forbes says, was the 2012-13 lockout. It wiped out half the season, but the owners persuaded the players to give them 50 per cent of hockey-related revenue (their cut had been 43 per cent). The average team immediately almost doubled its profit from the last full season and they haven’t looked back.

But last season was especially good to the owners for a few reasons. The biggest, Forbes says, was the expansion team in Las Vegas. The Golden Knights made it all the way to the Stanley Cup final and turned a profit of $53 million — fifth-highest in the league. Vegas’ ownership raised eyebrows when it paid a $500-million expansion fee, but the team is already worth $575 million, according to Forbes. Another big factor: Washington and Buffalo both doubled their local TV rights deals, to an average of $35 million and $25 million a year, respectively. The league could be looking for its own two-fold bump when its U.S. national TV deal expires in a few years. NBC currently pays an average of $187 million a year.

As a result, the average team’s value rose six per cent, to a record $630 million. The Rangers ($1.55 billion), Leafs ($1.45B) and Canadiens ($1.3B) are still the three most valuable teams. Winnipeg, despite an 11 per cent jump, is still the least-valuable Canadian franchise ($415M). But the Jets still rank ahead of four American teams — including Arizona ($290M), which is at the bottom. The Coyotes and Florida Panthers were the only franchises to lose value, according to Forbes.

And there’s more money — but also trouble — on the horizon. The NHL announced this week it’s expanding to Seattle for the 2021-22 season. Thanks to Vegas, the expansion fee (which owners don’t share with the players) went up to $650 million. The owners will soon get a chance to gobble an even bigger slice of the revenue pie as both they and the players have the option to end their collective bargaining agreement before the start of the 2020-21 season. Commissioner Gary Bettman always seems to come out ahead when negotiating a new CBA — by any means necessary. He’s presided over three lockouts, including one that wiped out an entire season. That ruthlessness bodes well for the owners’ bank accounts — but it’s not so great for the rest of us who just want to watch some NHL hockey.

More labour negotiations? Exxxxcellent. (Martti Kainulainen/Lehtikuva via Associated Press)

Quickly…

William Nylander will finally play for the Leafs tonight. The newly signed forward is expected to make his season debut when Toronto hosts Detroit. After a long standoff, Nylander and the Leafs agreed to a six-year deal worth about $42 million US just before Saturday’s deadline for him to be eligible to play this season (he thinks they had only seven minutes to spare). And it looks like there are no hard feelings from coach Mike Babcock — he’s putting Nylander on a line with superstar Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau.

A big figure skating event starts tonight in Vancouver. The Grand Prix Final is the top international meet of the season outside of the world championships in March. And it’s more exclusive — only the top six in each competition are invited. The action begins with the men’s short skate at 10:45 p.m. ET (you can stream it live, with play-by-play from Canadian analyst Pj Kwong, on CBCSports.ca). Two-time Olympic champ Yuzuru Hanyu is sidelined with an injury, but his withdrawal opened up a spot for alternate Keegan Messing, who’s the only Canadian competing in any of the Final events. The women’s short skate goes at midnight ET. Olympic champ Alina Zagitova is the one to beat, but look out for Japan’s Rika Kihira. She’s only 16 but can already land a triple Axel in combination with another triple — a rarity among women. The pairs and dance competitions start tomorrow night. Pj wrote a preview if you want to go more in depth.

Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., will host the 2021 world junior hockey tournament. That’s the one two years from now (the event always starts on Boxing Day and stretches into the new year, so they name them by the year in which they end). Canada has hosted the tournament every other year since 2015. This year’s is in Vancouver and Victoria, and it shifts to the Czech Republic next year. It’s no secret why organizers want it in Canada so often — the tournament is a big deal here… and pretty much nowhere else. Games in Canada can sell out NHL arenas and draw bigger, primetime TV audiences.

There was a pretty important baseball trade. Arizona sent Paul Goldschmidt, who’s one of the best first basemen in the game, to St. Louis for three youngsters/prospects. Over the last seven years, Canadian Joey Votto is the only National League hitter with a higher OPS (that’s one of the better stats for measuring a batter’s overall impact). Goldschmidt, who has also won three Gold Gloves for his defensive ability, has one year left on his contract before he becomes a free agent.

A dog-sledding champ was cleared of doping his dogs. Officials with the Iditarod, which is the world’s biggest dog-sled race, absolved four-time winner Dallas Seavey of any wrongdoing after four of his pooches tested positive for an opioid painkiller right after he finished second in March 2017. Neither the musher (that’s what they call the people who pilot the dog sleds) nor the Iditarod president would say exactly what they think happened, but the latter seemed to suggest that someone else drugged the dogs.


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Real Estate

Couple from Toronto buys dream home in Mushaboom

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MUSHABOOM – A couple who lived and raised a family in downtown Toronto developed a five-year plan in 2015 to purchase their dream home.

In September they moved into the home – located on Malagash Island in Mushaboom on Nova Scotia’s stunning Eastern Shore – that met and exceeded their best dreams for their retirement.

The Camerons, Bruce and Tanya, decided in 2019 they would explore the Maritimes to see what real estate was available to become their potential retirement home. In the spring of 2020, during a global pandemic, the real estate boom hit their city, and they were hearing the same for Nova Scotia. Our province was their first-choice for attaining their desire for an entirely different lifestyle – away from the busyness of the city.

“We had $300,000 to $350,000 as a home value in mind to buy. Our semi-detached located off Danforth in Toronto was priced at $850,000. We wanted to come out ahead, so we would be secure in retirement,” Tanya said.

Their century-old home had prime location near the subway and GO Transit Line for a great 13-minute commute downtown.

“We enjoyed our community,” explains Bruce “… we had great neighbours, young children around and street parties – lots of social activity.”

Bruce says, “Our agent suggested a starting quote of $899,000. We did not do any renovations and only some staging. Fifty couples went through and we received four significant offers. Six days later we sold – with zero conditions – and a price of over a million dollars. We just requested a closing of September 2020 to get the kids off to school – which we got.”

The couple got more than they had anticipated.

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Real Estate

Rabobank Announces Leadership Changes in U.S., Canadian Offices

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NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Rabobank, the leading global food and agribusiness bank, has appointed two of its top executives, Tamira Treffers-Herrera and Robert Sinescu, to become Co-Heads of North American Client Coverage, positioning the Bank for future growth in the region.

Treffers-Herrera has also assumed the role of Vice Chairperson and Head of the Atlanta office, where she additionally oversees Rabobank Mexico, which is led by Eduardo Palacios. Sinescu is the Head of the Chicago office, and also oversees Rabobank Canada, led by Marc Drouin, who was recently appointed as Canada’s General Manager.

Treffers-Herrera and Sinescu report to David Bassett, Head of Wholesale Banking North America, the Bank’s corporate and investment banking business for the region based in New York.

“Both Tamira and Robert have a demonstrated history of strong leadership, operational excellence and passion for our clients,” Bassett said. “Their broad experience and deep sector expertise will be invaluable in delivering dynamic results for clients while accelerating our growth trajectory in North America.”

Each office will have an even greater focus on key Food & Agribusiness sectors and clients: The Chicago office will drive growth in sectors including Dairy, Farm Inputs and Grains & Oilseeds, which are also key areas of focus for the Canada office. The Atlanta office will focus heavily on sectors such as Animal Protein, Beverages, Sugar, and Supply Chains, which are important sectors in Mexico as well.

“Rabobank is fully committed to our clients throughout North America, and we believe our new sector-focused coverage will improve our ability to provide knowledge-based, value-added solutions that benefit our clients,” Bassett said.

Treffers-Herrera was most recently based in London as CEO of Rabobank’s European Region from 2016-2020, where she took the organization through Brexit. Prior to that, she worked in the Atlanta office from 2002-2016. During her tenure in Atlanta, Treffers-Herrera served as Global Sector Head – Consumer Food & Beverages, and prior to that she was a senior banker for a portfolio of large beverage and consumer foods clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Arts from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and has studied at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Harvard Business School.

Sinescu has been with Rabobank for over 21 years and was previously General Manager of Rabobank Canada, where he oversaw all operations, business development, commercial strategy and relationships with regulators. In addition, he continues to serve as CEO of Rabo Securities Canada Inc. Prior to Canada, he was a senior banker, Head of Corporate Banking, European Sector Head for Sugar, and a member of the Management Team for Rabobank France. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the Bucharest School of Business, a Master of Business Administration & Management and a Master of Science in Banking and Corporate Finance from Sorbonne University in Paris, and has studied at Brown University.

Drouin has worked with Rabobank’s Canadian team for more than nine years and most recently served as a senior banker, Head of Rabobank Canada’s AgVendor Program and a member of Rabobank Canada’s Management Team. He brings extensive wholesale banking experience within the Dairy, G&O, CPG and Supply Chain sectors. Drouin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration in International Finance, Marketing and Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

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Real Estate

Greybrook Realty Partners & Marlin Spring Brand Jointly Owned Asset Manager – Greyspring Apartments

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TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Greybrook Realty Partners and Marlin Spring are pleased to announce the new branding of their jointly owned investment and asset management firm, Greyspring Apartments. With a portfolio of more than 2,000 units and CAD$375 million in assets under management, Greyspring Apartments is focused on the acquisition and repositioning of multi-family assets throughout Canada.

The new name and branding is an important step in Greyspring’s evolution as an independent operating business. Formed in 2018 by long standing-partners Marlin Spring and Greybrook Realty Partners, Greyspring Apartments was established with the goal of building a leading asset management firm with a robust portfolio of residential rental real estate assets in primary and secondary markets across Canada.

Greyspring’s talented team of real estate, asset management and finance professionals is overseen and guided by the Management Board, whose members include Benjamin Bakst, CEO, Marlin Spring; Elliot Kazarnovksy, CFO, Marlin Spring; Sasha Cucuz, CEO, Greybrook Securities Inc.; Peter Politis, CEO, Greybrook Realty Partners; Chris Salapoutis, President & COO, Greybrook Realty Partners; Ashi Mathur, President, Marlin Spring; and Karl Brady. In addition to his role on the Management Board, Karl Brady leads Greyspring Apartments as its President. 

“We are pleased to announce the official name and branding of a business we formed with our partners at Marlin Spring a few years ago,” said Peter Politis, CEO, Greybrook Realty Partners. “Greyspring has been diligently focused on the execution of strategic value-add programs across its portfolio that are improving the quality of housing for tenants and overall asset values. For Greybrook investors, expanding from our core business in real estate development to the value-add space through Greyspring, has allowed us to provide our clients with investment opportunities that diversify their real estate investment portfolios.”

“Marlin Spring and Greybrook have partnered on many residential real estate projects in recent years,” said Benjamin Bakst, CEO and Cofounder, Marlin Spring. “To a great extent, Greyspring illustrates our approach to partnerships. We believe in, and strive for, responsible growth through deepening our relationships with our trusted partners. With Greyspring, we’ve formalized our focus on providing better and more affordable living experiences for Canadians. This vision aligns with our mission to deliver exceptional real estate value to all our stakeholders with an uncompromising adherence to our core values.”

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