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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, and NHL revenues.

I do it for the money

View Poll Results: Scale of 1-10, How important is money to the average NHLer?
1 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 0 0%
4 0 0%
5 0 0%
6 1 9.09%
7 3 27.27%
8 3 27.27%
9 0 0%
10 4 36.36%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
10-25-2012, 08:52 PM
  #1
CanadienKid25
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I do it for the money

At what age do hockey players start playing for the money? Is it the day they turn pro?

I've reasoned myself into believing that most NHLers (90% + ) play for the $$. At some point in their life, they stopped playing for the love of the game and started playing for the money. Now if you ask any NHLer they will say money is secondary. If this were true, I don't think we would be this far into a lockout. I know there are a lot of factors involved in the lockout but I trying to focus this question to the individual player, not he big picture. My question is when does this happen; that a player starts caring about money? draft day? signing the pro contract? signing the second contract? first UFA contract?

I thought about putting up a poll but I'm not sure how to separate the answers. Once again, looking at it from an individual case-by-case scenario.

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10-25-2012, 08:57 PM
  #2
octopi
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When they are teens and start getting payed, and do nothing but train for hockey and play hockey. The more money, the more "friends", women, parties, adulation, toys, respect.Imagine if some of the jokers on here started getting millions for being board clowns, they'd do the same.

Most also don't have another source of income. It's how they make money.

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10-25-2012, 09:10 PM
  #3
Some Other Flame
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Probably about the time they realize they might actually have a shot at making the NHL.

But the much bigger question here is, are the posters here actually that naive to think that the main reason NHL players (and by extension, all sports athletes) do what they do is because of some mystical concept of 'love of the game' rather then the obvious, which is to make money from their skills and abilities which are highly valued in society.

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10-25-2012, 09:27 PM
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Legionnaire11
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I remember about 9-10 years ago an interview that Dan Patrick did with John Smoltz (former MLB Pitcher for Altanta Braves for any who really don't know).

He asked this same question and Smoltz was pretty honest, he said that it was probably 50/50 of the guys who still enjoy baseball and the guys who do it for a paycheck simply because they are good at it. He said by the time these guys make the major leagues they've probably been playing baseball for 15+ years and a lot of them are burnt out on it, or they realized at some point along the way that they didn't love the game but they kept doing it simply because they were very good and could make a living from it. He said that while none of those players would ever admit it publicly, the guys in the locker room certainly know who is there for the paycheck and who is there for the game, but neither side would hold it against the other because they each understand the other position.

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10-25-2012, 09:30 PM
  #5
gonzo11
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I played hockey till I was 18 and blew my knee out--I was never good enough to turn pro, but I played with and against many nhlers growing up and the guys that you knew were going to turn pro--they started changing at about 16 years old as they started to get groomed to be nhlers and pros. Some players play for the love of the game, but a lot of the fun leaves the game when you get to a certain level.

One of my buddies who turned pro is an example. Starting when he was about 16 he had that extra step that you knew he would get drafted fairly high and about that time in every visiting arena the fans took a piece of him. I was a healthy scratch or on the 4th line, so I got to see how he changed. Right after he got drafted and got a nice signing bonus he admitted that the last two years were all about getting drafted and money. He put up with a lot of crap and even when we were the home team and he had off days, the home crowd started riding him and he started to change. It become about the money when fans starting living vicariously through the players

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10-25-2012, 09:31 PM
  #6
CanadienKid25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
I remember about 9-10 years ago an interview that Dan Patrick did with John Smoltz (former MLB Pitcher for Altanta Braves for any who really don't know).

He asked this same question and Smoltz was pretty honest, he said that it was probably 50/50 of the guys who still enjoy baseball and the guys who do it for a paycheck simply because they are good at it. He said by the time these guys make the major leagues they've probably been playing baseball for 15+ years and a lot of them are burnt out on it, or they realized at some point along the way that they didn't love the game but they kept doing it simply because they were very good and could make a living from it. He said that while none of those players would ever admit it publicly, the guys in the locker room certainly know who is there for the paycheck and who is there for the game, but neither side would hold it against the other because they each understand the other position.
Interesting perspective from a well respected guy in Smoltz

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10-25-2012, 09:34 PM
  #7
CanadienKid25
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Originally Posted by jumptheshark View Post
I played hockey till I was 18 and blew my knee out--I was never good enough to turn pro, but I played with and against many nhlers growing up and the guys that you knew were going to turn pro--they started changing at about 16 years old as they started to get groomed to be nhlers and pros. Some players play for the love of the game, but a lot of the fun leaves the game when you get to a certain level.

One of my buddies who turned pro is an example. Starting when he was about 16 he had that extra step that you knew he would get drafted fairly high and about that time in every visiting arena the fans took a piece of him. I was a healthy scratch or on the 4th line, so I got to see how he changed. Right after he got drafted and got a nice signing bonus he admitted that the last two years were all about getting drafted and money. He put up with a lot of crap and even when we were the home team and he had off days, the home crowd started riding him and he started to change. It become about the money when fans starting living vicariously through the players
Another great perspective, thanks. I wonder how your friend felt about it, if he thought it was going to be different or feel different.

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10-25-2012, 09:34 PM
  #8
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I imagine when it becomes a job. You have to change how you eat, you have to work-out a lot, spend time away from friends, family etc.

It's not a game anymore then.

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10-25-2012, 09:38 PM
  #9
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This is also not necessarily a black and white issue. Just like other professions, you can love what you do, to the point where it is something that you'd be doing as a hobby either way, but still have some of the joy sucked out of it due to it also being your livelihood. There is a whole greyscale in between only being there for love of the game, and only being there to build your bank account. As with anything, the overwhelming majority of players likely fall in that grey area, and likely float around between the two extremes over time.

I worked for years in an industry I loved, doing something I still do on my own time for my own enjoyment. That doesn't mean that there weren't days/months/weeks where I hated getting up in the morning and going to work, and other days/weeks/months where I couldn't wait to get at it.

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10-25-2012, 09:47 PM
  #10
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90% seems a bit high. The Smoltz number seems fairly accurate. Now once you are pro, I think even those that still love it are obviously concerned about the business side of it.

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10-25-2012, 09:49 PM
  #11
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Originally Posted by RedWings19405 View Post
90% seems a bit high. The Smoltz number seems fairly accurate. Now once you are pro, I think even those that still love it are obviously concerned about the business side of it.
What I don't understand is the attitude that some fans have that this a bad thing. We're talking about these guys' livelihoods. They have an earning potential window of 20 years on the high end to stepping off the curb wrong and blowing out their knee this afternoon, and work in an unbelievably competitive field. Why shouldn't they be concerned about the business side?

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10-25-2012, 10:00 PM
  #12
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This is the one thing I never understood about professional sports, why these guys won't admit they are in it for the money. It isn't a bad thing. It just is a thing.

Everyone works because they need the money, but they guys work is playing a game. I don't understand why some of them put up this faux persona that they are in for the love of the game, I'm sure they are some that are, but the ones that aren't still insist that is true.

I don't think anyone would blame anyone else for being it in "for the money." I think people who have more respect for someone who admits that than the "loyal" one who leaves to the highest bidder at their first chance.

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10-25-2012, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MW View Post
What I don't understand is the attitude that some fans have that this a bad thing. We're talking about these guys' livelihoods. They have an earning potential window of 20 years on the high end to stepping off the curb wrong and blowing out their knee this afternoon, and work in an unbelievably competitive field. Why shouldn't they be concerned about the business side?
I didn't say they shouldn't be. I think once you're doing this for a living even if while they are playing and will dive in front of a 90+ mph slap shot and love the game, they should still care about the business side.

But I do think there are those and probably a bigger number than most fans would like that care about the business side first all the time. By in large those guys have a ton of talent and can get away with it night to night. But all of them should care a little about it if not a lot. There is nothing wrong with that especially once they get to as high a level as the NHL.

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10-25-2012, 10:30 PM
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I don't think anyone would blame anyone else for being it in "for the money." I think people who have more respect for someone who admits that than the "loyal" one who leaves to the highest bidder at their first chance.
Sorry unfortunately that guy would get killed. The free agency thing is fine, but if a player stated that is by in large how they felt all the time a large majority of people even if you and I were fine with it would be very angry.

We know there is a different level, look at how guys play the post-season in each sport. Late in games when points are on the line you see a ramp up as well. But to outright state it, is a dangerous thing to do. What would be interesting to see is a guy that people consider a guts player come right out and say it. I know I would have been stunned if Draper said it, Fedorov not so much. Love both guys but you invite all sorts of unwanted problems if you admit it.

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10-25-2012, 10:38 PM
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Of the guys I grew up with who went onto the NHL or other pro leagues, most started to play for the money due to how much crap was involved in the game. Only one guy i played with walked away after being drafted high in the NHL draft because he did not enjoy the game any more. I saw him a couple of years ago, he got into finance and is very happy and this is something I can not say about the guys I played with who made it to the NHL. Most do not even live in cities that have NHL teams.

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10-25-2012, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
I remember about 9-10 years ago an interview that Dan Patrick did with John Smoltz (former MLB Pitcher for Altanta Braves for any who really don't know).

He asked this same question and Smoltz was pretty honest, he said that it was probably 50/50 of the guys who still enjoy baseball and the guys who do it for a paycheck simply because they are good at it. He said by the time these guys make the major leagues they've probably been playing baseball for 15+ years and a lot of them are burnt out on it, or they realized at some point along the way that they didn't love the game but they kept doing it simply because they were very good and could make a living from it. He said that while none of those players would ever admit it publicly, the guys in the locker room certainly know who is there for the paycheck and who is there for the game, but neither side would hold it against the other because they each understand the other position.
I wondered about this myself for a while. I've looked at my nephews who are 8, 10 and 12 and the three of them play hockey and it's so much work, so much travelling, so much training and they are young. I started to think that sure passion will be there when they'll be older but they will be so sick and exausted out of their minds of hockey when they reach even Junior that just to continue will have a lot to do with money. I think hockey players will plateau much younger in this day and age(and I wonder if this isn't what has been happening with AO).

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10-25-2012, 10:48 PM
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I think another thing to consider here is most of us have our good days and our bad days. Days where we don't really want to work. Nobody shoves a mike in our face or follows us around and asks for things for the most part during these. Nobody is watching it or calling us out on it if we just aren't completely on it on those days. NHL players don't really have this luxury. Now they are compensated for it and it is a part of the gig. Doesn't mean you have to like it especially after it happens over a long period of time.

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10-25-2012, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RedWings19405 View Post
I didn't say they shouldn't be. I think once you're doing this for a living even if while they are playing and will dive in front of a 90+ mph slap shot and love the game, they should still care about the business side.

But I do think there are those and probably a bigger number than most fans would like that care about the business side first all the time. By in large those guys have a ton of talent and can get away with it night to night. But all of them should care a little about it if not a lot. There is nothing wrong with that especially once they get to as high a level as the NHL.
I wasn't suggesting that you were saying that. I was just commenting on the large number of fans that do seem to get their backs up at the mere thought that some players might have considerations beyond childlike wonder at playing hockey.

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10-25-2012, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RedWings19405 View Post
Sorry unfortunately that guy would get killed. The free agency thing is fine, but if a player stated that is by in large how they felt all the time a large majority of people even if you and I were fine with it would be very angry.

We know there is a different level, look at how guys play the post-season in each sport. Late in games when points are on the line you see a ramp up as well. But to outright state it, is a dangerous thing to do. What would be interesting to see is a guy that people consider a guts player come right out and say it. I know I would have been stunned if Draper said it, Fedorov not so much. Love both guys but you invite all sorts of unwanted problems if you admit it.
Just because they are "in it for the money" doesn't mean they won't play hard or practice. It just means they are working hard/playing hard in order to make that more and possibly more in the future. Not that they don't try.

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10-25-2012, 11:26 PM
  #20
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I have played at a better than average level of hockey and played against many players who are in the NHL or AHL and still working on that jump. To me most guys play because they do love the game, and if they weren’t getting paid they would still be playing with their hometown senior teams. However there are lots of guys who do play for the highest bidder.
I know for a fact that after you turn 18ish you start to get burnt out. In the WHL or even in AAA as a 15 year old kid you’re almost playing year round from club teams to summer AAA teams to skating camps. Add to that the daily practices after school followed by team workouts. Long bus trips from Regina to Vancouver and all over western north America. You miss out on alot of other sports and opportunites that “regular” kids get but it’s all part of the sacrifice.
I like to look at Mike Sillinger who played AAA hockey in Balgonie Saskatchewan this year, you can’t tell me he was doing it for the paycheck but it’s probably the only time he got to play a high(ish) caliber of hockey with contact since he retired. IMO lots of guys would end up playing somewhere if the nhl and khl imploded and salaries took a huge dive, But then again who would want to travel for 9 months of the year and train the other 3 if they weren’t making better than average money?

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10-25-2012, 11:40 PM
  #21
gonzo11
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Originally Posted by Brent Frumpel View Post
I have played at a better than average level of hockey and played against many players who are in the NHL or AHL and still working on that jump. To me most guys play because they do love the game, and if they werenít getting paid they would still be playing with their hometown senior teams. However there are lots of guys who do play for the highest bidder.
I know for a fact that after you turn 18ish you start to get burnt out. In the WHL or even in AAA as a 15 year old kid youíre almost playing year round from club teams to summer AAA teams to skating camps. Add to that the daily practices after school followed by team workouts. Long bus trips from Regina to Vancouver and all over western north America. You miss out on alot of other sports and opportunites that ďregularĒ kids get but itís all part of the sacrifice.
I like to look at Mike Sillinger who played AAA hockey in Balgonie Saskatchewan this year, you canít tell me he was doing it for the paycheck but itís probably the only time he got to play a high(ish) caliber of hockey with contact since he retired. IMO lots of guys would end up playing somewhere if the nhl and khl imploded and salaries took a huge dive, But then again who would want to travel for 9 months of the year and train the other 3 if they werenít making better than average money?
Sillenger works for the oilers as their strength coach I think

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10-25-2012, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Brent Frumpel View Post
I know for a fact that after you turn 18ish you start to get burnt out.....
... ya, "burn-out". Stopped being fun & enjoyable for me past AAA (AA as it was called back in my day) and into Junior. Time commitments, interminable travel, the game becoming deadly serious, winning absolutely everything. A means to an end be it a scholarship or pro career & financial reward. When your young like that, a lot of distractions, things outside of the game that you want to experience, a wider World.

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10-26-2012, 12:03 AM
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There is one way to tell for some players. You earn your money in the regular season and you earn your reputation in the playoffs.

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10-26-2012, 12:41 AM
  #24
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There is one way to tell for some players. You earn your money in the regular season and you earn your reputation in the playoffs.
You don't think that reputation impacts the money they earn? They earn their money all year.

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10-26-2012, 12:47 AM
  #25
Kimota
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Originally Posted by Brent Frumpel View Post
I have played at a better than average level of hockey and played against many players who are in the NHL or AHL and still working on that jump. To me most guys play because they do love the game, and if they werenít getting paid they would still be playing with their hometown senior teams. However there are lots of guys who do play for the highest bidder.
I know for a fact that after you turn 18ish you start to get burnt out. In the WHL or even in AAA as a 15 year old kid youíre almost playing year round from club teams to summer AAA teams to skating camps. Add to that the daily practices after school followed by team workouts. Long bus trips from Regina to Vancouver and all over western north America. You miss out on alot of other sports and opportunites that ďregularĒ kids get but itís all part of the sacrifice.
I like to look at Mike Sillinger who played AAA hockey in Balgonie Saskatchewan this year, you canít tell me he was doing it for the paycheck but itís probably the only time he got to play a high(ish) caliber of hockey with contact since he retired. IMO lots of guys would end up playing somewhere if the nhl and khl imploded and salaries took a huge dive, But then again who would want to travel for 9 months of the year and train the other 3 if they werenít making better than average money?
That's what I figured. When guys start to get a certain age, they've done so much, it must be hard to keep the motivation to continue, esp. when the body can't follow.

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