Way back when the Predators traded for Peter Forsberg, i made the argument that the trade made sense, if for no other reason, than from a financial point of view. Regardless of how much his contract cost, Forsberg paid for himself in extra jersey (sweaters for all you old-school hockey fans) and ticket sales.
I was made fun of.
I was ridiculed.
I was right.
Check out this press release from NHL.com today.
The important parts: The Predators experienced 425% year-over-year growth in merchandise sales (a growth rate second only to Buffalo's gaudy 746%). And Peter Forsberg's jersey was the 6th most popular sold, behind only Sidney Crosby and collection of Buffalo Sabres.
Two snide remarks to make here:
- I think the Predators had an unfair advantage in these numbers. Everyone had to buy their Forsberg jerseys from NHL.com because there are only like 4 places in Nashville that carry Predators jerseys. The support is there...when are the Predators going to get a licensing deal with Academy or Wal-Mart in the area? Where is "the official retailer for the Nashville Predators"?
- I don't think it is fair for Buffalo to mandate a Sabres jersey as part of their standard school attire, which is clearly what happened last year.