Fill up the tank this weekend? Didn’t feel too good. Well, the sticker shock at the pump should have zapped a little more if you’re a hockey fan in Silicon Valley. The San Jose Sharks just happen to be flying more miles this season than any NHL team in the past three years, according to the Nashville Predators’ fan site On the Forecheck. The Sharks will fly 56,254 miles this season. The New Jersey Devils, by comparison, will travel a little more than 27,000 miles. Put simply, the Devils will fly their team plane around the world barely once, while the Sharks will do the equivalent of circling the globe more than twice. The Sharks will spend twice as much on gas as the Devils.
According to the International Air Transport Association, the price of jet fuel is nearly $2.84 per gallon, up 39 percent from a year ago. So let’s do some back-of-the-napkin math: A jumbo jet burns roughly five gallons of gas per mile, according to the Boeing website, so the Sharks will use 281,270 gallons of gas this season. At $2.84 per gallon, the Sharks’ plane will cost them $798,806.80 in gas this season. So San Jose would spend around $400,000 more in gas this season than the Devils.
Yes, the fuel spike just hit last week, and half the season is gone, but a return to the oil prices of just three years ago may push jet fuel prices much higher, as jet fuel is more oil-rich than car fuel. In baseball and football, $400,000 is pocket change. But in the NHL, every penny counts: The minimum salary for a player is only $500,000.
So if you’re a Sharks fan and your team loses in the Stanley Cup Finals because of an overtime goal by a fourth-liner, don’t blame the coaching staff.