This post was written by Davin Raiha at the Ivey Business School.
As the NHL playoffs inch closer to the Stanley Cup, it is an appropriate time to reflect on how economic conditions and forces have impacted competition within the NHL over the past few season. A few seasons ago – specifically during the 2015 Stanley Cup final series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning – I noticed how an interesting circumstance was emerging that might impact the competitive landscape of the league. The powerhouse Blackhawks appeared to be headed for an especially challenging off-season due to reasons that were macroeconomic in origin, and coming from across the globe from Saudi Arabia’s oil production policies and its resultant impact on oil prices. I thought the situation could make for an interesting teaching case.