TSN hockey insider Frank Seravalli has done a remarkable job of reporting on all of the changes to the NHL and NHLPA’s proposed collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and the NHL’s proposed Return to Play plan this week. If you’re not fully up to date on everything, be sure to check out Seravalli’s reporting on Twitter.
One of the small features of the new agreement between the NHL and NHLPA that has gone under the radar so far though is the fact that grinders, fourth liners and marginal NHLers will receive a pay bump if and when the agreement is ratified tomorrow.
Minimum NHL salaries will rise from $700,000 to $750,000 and then $775,000 over the course of the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
Check it out:
Changes to NHL minimum salaries:
2020-21: $700,0002021-22: $750,000
2022-23: $750,0002023-24: $775,000
2024-25: $775,0002025-26: $775,000
That’s a 10% raise spread out over six years which doesn’t sound great but it wasn’t too long ago that the NHL had a $450,000 minimum salary. Go back even further and some marginal NHL players were barely making six figures, despite the fact that they were absolutely demolishing themselves to get ahead. However you want to spin the news, more money to the grinders is always good news to me.
We've heard far too many stories of retired NHLers who are broke financially and broken physically. Some of the biggest heroes from the 1980s and 1990s were the enforcers and tough guys... a lot of those guys are now destitute and rely on the NHLPA for financial help, as well as medical help and substance abuse help. These guys put themselves through Hell to entertain hockey fans and it's a damn shame that they don't have a financial net to fall back on. Here's hoping that the proposed changes to the new CBA can help some of the modern day grinders, fourth liners, 7th defensemen and back up goaltenders get some financial stability for their post playing days.
For a sad example of what can happen to players who have fallen on tough times, do yourself a favour and Google Joe Murphy, Matt Johnson or Landon Byers.