Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bad enough they’re paid in American dollars, but now the NHL is withholding some of the player’s cash

One of the controversial agreements to end the lock out of a few years ago was a fund created to ensure that NHL owners did not give up more in player salaries than their allotted share of revenues.

The number crunching takes place on a quarterly basis and the first quarter finds the NHL players paying back some 9.5 per cent of the salaries into the fund, a percentage that they could regain by the end of the season if the numbers bounce back in their favor.

Last year when the pencils were put away and the final paycheques were issued the players collected 97.51 per cent of their salaries and bonuses.

It make at least for something that this years roster players have to look forward to.

Though taking almost a ten percent hit at the start of the season isn’t something they most likely are pleased about.

The Hamilton Spectator had a Canadian Press story on Wednesday that outlined the history of the fund and how it has worked out in the previous two seasons.

NHL to hold 9.5 per cent of players' salaries
October 10, 2007
The Canadian PressTORONTO (Oct 10, 2007)

Player paycheques will be 9.5 per cent smaller during the first quarter of the 2007-08 NHL season, but that money could find its way back later on depending on the league's bottom line.
The money withheld goes to a fund established under the new collective bargaining agreement to ensure owners don't give up more in player salaries than their allotted share of revenues.

The NHL and NHL Players' Association signed off on the 9.5 per cent number for the first quarter of the season yesterday, sources told The Canadian Press, and will monitor revenues throughout the season to see if it needs to be adjusted.

Last season players had 10 per cent of their paycheques held back but the final calculations saw players only pay out 2.76 per cent to the league with the rest reimbursed. In the end, once interest was factored in, the players earned 97.51 per cent of their 2006-07 salaries and bonuses.

In 2005-06, the first year of the agreement, the owners were the ones who got dinged -- having to pay players back 4.37 per cent.

The final tally for this season will be figured out next fall.

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