NHL players see third paychecks vanish

NHL players see third paychecks vanish
November 15, 2012, 4:30 pm
Share This Post

NHL players felt the sting of the lockout a little more deeply today when they did not receive their third paychecks of the season.

Players are paid on the 15th and the last day of every month, based on a 185-day season. In other words, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin missed out on a check worth $729,729.72, minus taxes and whatever deferred payments the NHL planned on taking out.

[For those curious about these things, Ovechkin grosses $48,648.65 per days during the season, which means he has sacrificed more than $1.7 million already this season.]

With no talks scheduled between the NHL and its players’ union, it’s a safe bet that fourth check of the season won’t be coming at the end of this month.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Canadian Press today he is “more discouraged now than I have been at any point in the process.”

The NHL has canceled all games through the end of November and the Sports Business Journal reported that if the parameters for a new CBA are not in place before Thanksgiving, the NHL will cancel games through Dec. 15.

If that occurs the next step would be wiping out the entire season.

While that may seem like a drastic measure for a league that brought in a record $3.3 billion in revenue, NHL owners are fighting hard to achieve a 50-50 split in revenue after seeing 18 of 30 teams report a loss of revenue for the 2010-11 season.

Those losses, which were reported by Forbes last year, showed the huge disparity between the “haves” and “have nots” of the NHL.

For instance, the Toronto Maple Leafs [$81.8 million], Montreal Canadiens [$47.7 million] and New York Rangers [$41.4 million] accounted for a combined $170.9 million in profits – that’s more than the league’s 27 other teams combined.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Coyotes [$24.4 million] and Columbus Blue Jackets [$13.7 million] combined for $38.1 million in losses.

Now you see why the NHL is so adamant about achieving an immediate 50-50 split in league revenue and why so many owners are resistant to honoring contracts without the aid of deferred payments.