According to Tripp Mickle from Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal ($$$), Gary Bettman and the owners have reason to smile (no, they're not letting the Penguins back into the playoffs) - the numbers are in and revenue is up.
NHL regular-season and preseason revenue grew 5 percent to 7 percent this year, putting total revenue on track to grow to between $2.2 billion and $2.25 billion for the entire season.[snip]
Such growth would deliver a $100 million to $150 million increase on last year’s revenue of $2.1 billion, which was equal to pre-lockout levels. It also would push the salary cap from $44 million to between $47 million and $49 million this offseason and entitle players to between 55 and 56 percent of revenue in 2007-08.
"The percentage increases were across the board across all lines of our business," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said.
The revenue growth is largely attributable to increased ticket prices. Ticket revenue rose 5.7 percent this season largely due to a 5.9 percent increase in ticket prices. Paid attendance rose only 0.2 percent across the league.
The league was led in ticket revenue growth by Carolina (32.7 percent), Nashville (24.1 percent) and Edmonton (21.8 percent), all of which saw major increases in paid attendance from 2005-06. Carolina’s average paid attendance grew from 13,258 to 15,315, while Nashville’s grew from 12,629 to 13,589.