One of the quirks of NHL lockouts is the fact minor league teams can wind up stacked — STACKED — with talent. That’s because players still on their entry-level contracts can still be assigned to the minors without having to clear waivers.
Here in Ottawa, some will remember that before Jason Spezza become the Senators’ star No. 1 centre, he won an MVP award in the AHL while the league and the players’ association sorted out their squabble last time. The big beneficiary this time: The Oklahoma City Barons. The Edmonton Oilers’ farm team currently boasts a roster including first overall picks Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and late first round gem Jordan Eberle.
But while that star trio will wind up making more money in half a year than you will in a lifetime, you may have the advantage right now. Here’s the maximum minor league salary for Group 1 free agents signed to National Hockey League contracts under the now-expired CBA:
Yep, $70,000. No Cristal, no Lamborghinis in the driveway, no extravagant trips to France. Just a premium cable package, reasonably-priced pants and some Panera Bread money jingling around the ol’ pockets.
Okay, so this is what those players have coming when the lockout ends…
Of course, even the Hallsies and RNHs of the world are outpacing established NHL players, who aren’t making a dime from their contracts right now.