SAN JOSE -- The Sharks are now worth $405 million, according to a Forbes magazine report earlier this week, but the team's top business executive Wednesday questioned how anybody can come up with a number when a team isn't for sale.
The annual calculations done by Forbes said the Sharks had the second-highest annual increase in value of any NHL team, an 82 percent jump from its $223 million figure in 2012.
"There's nothing that's been materially different," said John Tortora, the team's chief operating officer. "I think it's generally accepted that franchise values increase over time. But the value of a franchise at the end of the day is really what somebody is willing to pay for it. Our franchise value may be more than $405 million or it may be less than $405 million because we're not in the market selling our team right now."
Tortora noted that Forbes did not have access to the Sharks financial records, "so we're not really confirming or denying their numbers at all."
He added that the team's "overall message remains the same: we continue to lose money as an enterprise because we're committed to putting a top-flight hockey team on the ice. Hasso Plattner is committed to doing that and that costs money. That's not a complaint, that's simply a fact of doing business here."
All NHL teams will benefit from the new $5.2 billion, 12-year deal the league signed with Rogers Sportsnet for exclusive TV broadcast rights in Canada, but Tortora noted the increased revenue will be at least partly offset by a higher salary cap.
The Sharks are also talking with Comcast SportsNet about local TV rights. The team is locked into a long-term contract that it does not feel reflects current market value.
"The value of TV deals in a local market throughout the league have risen considerably over time," Tortora said. "Comcast is aware of our concerns, but the fact is we're in the middle of a long-term deal with Comcast so the Sharks and Comcast have to be creative in trying to find a solution that adds value for both parties."
That, he added, is likely to be "a matter of months to figure out, not days."