Follow the Money—Sports

Why Guys Are Getting Paid Big

Hockey Salaries—High for Hockey, Low for Other Sports

 

These guys technically don't get paid a lot...

These guys technically don't get paid a lot...

Not everybody in America is down with hockey. That’s fine. Nobody’s judging. 

 

The 2000s have been tumultuous for the National Hockey League. In eight years, the sport has seemingly decreased in popularity, endured a lockout that canceled a full season, and then witnessed a rebirth that a lot of people failed to notice.

No matter your theories on whether professional hockey is entertaining or not, there is an odd trend at work in the financial area of NHL life. Compared to other professional sports, the NHL’s current salary cap of $56.7 million is way low. Compared to a lot of other professional athletes, hockey players’ salaries are way low. Yet, it seems that the NHL is overspending again. It’s like some sort of a bizarro world.

$56.7 million is a number that needs to be put into perspective to truly get the idea of how tiny a number it is. Perpetual doormat Major League Baseball teams like the Kansas City Royals have a larger payroll than the biggest players in the NHL do. While Detroit is spending $55 million this year to field the best team in the NHL this season, bottom feeders like the Charlotte Bobcats and the Washington Nationals are spending near or over that amount to be two of the worst teams in their respective sports. It’s an incredible trend.

Here’s a link to another blog that does a great job of giving insight into how NHL salary caps and payrolls have changed over the years. Notice that the author thinks NHL player salaries are skyrocketing. I can’t say I agree with this logic, seeing as how the current “skyrocketing” salary cap isn’t even close to what a lot of teams pay for a worse record.

For comparison’s sake, I have to include some other money guidelines in the other major sports.

NBA—The highest a team’s salary could go under the 2008-09 cap is $71.150 million. that is nearly $20 million more than the NHL. Put it into the perspective of full contracts, and LeBron James will make more over the duration of his current contract than some entire NHL teams.

NFL—The 2008 salary cap for teams is a staggering $116 million. That is by far the highest of the professional sports (that have salary caps).

MLB—Baseball doesn’t have a cap, which is why only a handful of teams are in the running for the top free agents every winter. Bottom line, the top pro baseball players are dwarfing NHL team salaries. Just compare Alex Rodriguez’ current deal to that of the top NHL team.

In conclusion,  while it may seem like NHL salaries are getting out of control, the reality is that they’re still, by leaps and bounds, the lowest of the four major professional sports.

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December 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment