Up to six NHL teams, reports the Globe and Mail, may have already received an advance on tv money and revenue sharing that is not normally distributed until September or October.
Word is the needy half-dozen are the Dallas Stars, Atlanta Thrashers, Phoenix Coyotes, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders and (maybe) the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Stars are not normally found in this group but the team’s on-ice woes combined with the financial problems of owner Tom Hicks mean there are no checks coming from him to cover any losses.
It's hardly surprising, if true, given what we know about Hicks Sports Group's busy, busy 2010. The troublesome part is that it's starting to conjure memories of last summer when the Texas Rangers were supposedly unable to properly tend to the grass in their outfield because the budget for that kind of work had run out... (Though as Ludwig's Mullet pointed out in the comments, this may have just been a seed/weather issue and those stories were exaggerations. Still...)
Then came word in July that Major League Baseball had loaned as much as $15 million to the Rangers to help, and later it was found out that was possibly the first of many such payments until a buyer could be found for the team.
Things with the Stars have certainly not deteriorated that far. Yet. The important thing to remember about this supposed "advance"...
Is that it's just that: An advance.
An advance on money they were going to eventually get anyway, and it's a common occurrence in the NHL for at least one or two teams to want that money sooner rather than later. They still haven't reached Texas Rangers proportions of the league just loaning money willy-nilly to help cover losses; A place the New York Islanders may soon find themselves if that Globe and Mail column is to be believed.
Still, it's troublesome to see the Stars on that list with those kinds of franchises. 9 out of 10 times in life, if you see someone asking for an advance on their paycheck, it's not going to end well.
Pretty soon they'll be asking us to clean up our own trash on the way out of the AAC, and calling the visiting teams to ask "Hey, can you guys bring the game pucks? and any spare rolls of tape you might have lying around?"