Every year at this time there are 1000’s of internet searches asking “How much do minor league hockey players make” that reach this blog. I’ve written about this topic in the past and here’s the short answer:
And the long answer is “Not enough, but that is the nature of the Minors.”
Below I have listed the salary comparisons for the AHL and the ECHL, and there are several key issues that divide the two leagues:
1) The AHL only has a minimum salary for AHL SPCs — there is no maximum cap, nor any weekly Salary Cap on teams.
2) The AHL does not provide housing for their players, and that cost must come out of player’s pockets. The ECHL provides housing for their players, along with basic utilities.
(See the AHL & ECHL PHPA CBAs for more details, and see also the Professional Hockey Players Association for CBA details for each league.)
The American Hockey League:
For players in the AHL on an AHL Standard Player’s Contract the minimum season compensation is as follows:
- 2014-15 – $42,375 U.S. Clubs/ or $43,905 Cdn. Clubs
Players on loan to the AHL from Lesser Leagues receive a minimum compensation (pro-rated daily over the AHL season) as follows:
- 2014-15 – $33,185 U.S. Clubs/ or $34,460 Cdn. Clubs
There is no maximum salary amount set in the American Hockey League.
Weekly Salary Cap: the ECHL has a weekly Salary Cap to be shared amongst all of the players on the Active Roster, made up of 20 players. See also Salary Floor below.
First 30 Days of Season (due to one extra roster slot):
- 2014/15- $12,615 US
- 2015/16- $12,830 US
- 2016/17- $13,045 US
- 2017/18- $13,260 US
Balance of Season (20 players):
- 2014/15- $12,200 US
- 2015/16- $12,400 US
- 2016/17- $12,600 US
- 2017/18- $12,800 US
Salary Floor: The salary floor is the minimum total salary to be paid by a Member Club to Players on the Active Roster. The amounts are as follows:
- 2014/15- $9,100 US
- 2015/16- $9,300 US
- 2016/17- $9,500 US
- 2017/18- $9,700 US
Weekly Minimum Salary
For a Player who has played in fewer than 25 regular season professional hockey games at the beginning of the Season who has signed a Standard Player Contract and who was not on an ECHL team’s End of Season roster:
- 2014/15- $415 US
- 2015/16- $430 US
- 2016/17- $445 US
- 2017/18- $460 US
For all other Players:
- 2014/15- $460 US
- 2015/16- $480 US
- 2016/17- $500 US
- 2017/18- $500 US
Rookies: there is a maximum weekly allowable salary for Rookies who have played fewer than 25 regular season professional games. The amounts are as follows:
- 2014/15- $510 US
- 2015/16- $520 US
- 2016/17- $530 US
- 2017/18- $540 US
Keep in Mind: For the ECHL, while the salaries are lower in general compared to the AHL, the ECHL also provides housing for their players which can add up over an entire season.
For additional details on AHL Salary issues see The Life of a Minor League Hockey Player — Dollars & Sense, and link to The Life of a Minor League Hockey Player series.