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CHL Class Action Part 2.5

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Old
02-26-2016, 08:24 AM
  #51
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Originally Posted by CharlieGirl View Post
Not exactly. I think we can all agree that the current arrangements in place for CHL players are well outside the norm for any "employee" and especially a teenager.

If they are deemed to not be employees but student/athletes, then the current system (particularly in the OHL where improvements have been made over the past couple of years) works well for the vast majority of players.

If they are deemed to be employees, the CHL is going to have to develop strict guidelines about the perks that can and cannot continue to be given to players.

I personally believe they are not employees, but the law may very well find differently.

I further personally believe that there is some sucking and blowing going on, but it's from the legal community. The fact is that this was all started because one player had a disagreement about his education package with one team (and may very well have a legit claim against said team) and has now ballooned into potentially changing the face of junior hockey forever. That's the equivalent of one kid suing a high school because he flunked a class, and the entire education system being forced to change everything they do.
I would think the CHL/teams would have to be very careful what they do for risk of running afoul of antitrust legislation.

As far as your comment about a player having a "disagreement" about his education package and this ballooning into something else, couldn't you make a similar characterization of pretty much any class action lawsuit?

Your analogy about a student failing a class and a school board having to "change everything" is a poor one. The substantive basis of these lawsuits is the allegation that the leagues aren't complying with the law.

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02-26-2016, 08:25 AM
  #52
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I would think the CHL/teams would have to be very careful what they do for risk of running afoul of antitrust legislation.

As far as your comment about a player having a "disagreement" about his education package and this ballooning into something else, couldn't you make a similar characterization of pretty much any class action lawsuit?

Your analogy about a student failing a class and a school board having to "change everything" is a poor one. The substantive basis of these lawsuits is the allegation that the leagues aren't complying with the law.
In part your right but the other thing is these lawsuits are asking for something Canadians can't get back EI/CPP.

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02-26-2016, 09:27 AM
  #53
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In part your right but the other thing is these lawsuits are asking for something Canadians can't get back EI/CPP.
Please explain this, Jason.

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02-26-2016, 09:32 AM
  #54
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Please explain this, Jason.
From what i understand they want ei and cpp money paid back to them.

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02-26-2016, 09:47 AM
  #55
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Originally Posted by jason2020 View Post
From what i understand they want ei and cpp money paid back to them.
I do not see a request for this remedy in any of the 3 statements of claim.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but do you have a source for this? A link would be useful.

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02-26-2016, 11:24 AM
  #56
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Originally Posted by CharlieGirl View Post
Not exactly. I think we can all agree that the current arrangements in place for CHL players are well outside the norm for any "employee" and especially a teenager.

If they are deemed to not be employees but student/athletes, then the current system (particularly in the OHL where improvements have been made over the past couple of years) works well for the vast majority of players.

If they are deemed to be employees, the CHL is going to have to develop strict guidelines about the perks that can and cannot continue to be given to players.

I personally believe they are not employees, but the law may very well find differently.

I further personally believe that there is some sucking and blowing going on, but it's from the legal community. The fact is that this was all started because one player had a disagreement about his education package with one team (and may very well have a legit claim against said team) and has now ballooned into potentially changing the face of junior hockey forever. That's the equivalent of one kid suing a high school because he flunked a class, and the entire education system being forced to change everything they do.
If you read the McCrimmon (Brandon Wheat Kings) decision, there seems to be an avenue open to the CHL.

Justice Rowe, who heard the appeal by McCrimmon holdings, rejected the claim that the players were somehow "student-athletes" participating in a school-like developmental setting. But here's something interesting that he wrote:

"However, the requirement to play hockey is not inextricably bound to a condition of scholarship as may be the case with a university since attendance at a post-secondary educational institution was not mandatory for remaining on the roster.
https://www.charneylawyers.com/Charn..._v._Canada.pdf

So . . . why doesn't the CHL simply create a requirement that all players must attend school full-time? I'm not saying this position alone would carry the day, but it would be a good beginning if the league truly wishes to cast the players as "amateur student-athletes." We know the "athlete" part exists -- why not be equally insistent that the "student" part exists? The fundamental problem with the characterization at the moment is that players do not have to attend school to be on the roster.

Change this, and the student-athlete label begins to make a bit more sense.


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02-26-2016, 11:29 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by BadgerBruce View Post
I do not see a request for this remedy in any of the 3 statements of claim.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but do you have a source for this? A link would be useful.
I must of misread it.


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02-26-2016, 12:19 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by BadgerBruce View Post
So . . . why doesn't the CHL simply create a requirement that all players must attend school full-time? I'm not saying this position [B]alone[B] would carry the day, but it would be a good beginning if the league truly wishes to cast the players as "amateur student-athletes." We know the "athlete" part exists -- why not be equally insistent that the "student" part exists? The fundamental problem with the characterization at the moment is that players do not have to attend school student to be on the roster.

Change this, and the student-athlete label begins to make a bit more sense.
That makes a great deal of sense. I know that a lot of players either attend high school or do their schooling online (Kitchener has a couple of American kids who do this), and a few who take university courses while they're playing, but there isn't anything required. I would love to see this made mandatory.

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02-26-2016, 01:52 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by CharlieGirl View Post
That makes a great deal of sense. I know that a lot of players either attend high school or do their schooling online (Kitchener has a couple of American kids who do this), and a few who take university courses while they're playing, but there isn't anything required. I would love to see this made mandatory.
So would I. However, the CHL would need to modify its "Best of Both Worlds" recruitment pitch, since that typically translates into "play hockey now, go to university/college later." Obviously, the point would be for student-athletes to to get the "best of both worlds" while they are actually players, not later.

The Quebec league poses an interesting situation, since High School goes until grade 11 and then CEGEP covers the next two years prior to post-secondary.

I just took a quick look at two CHL websites -- Kitchener's and Brandon's -- to get an idea of the typical CHL age distribution.

Players born in 1997 or earlier (97, 96, 95) were, by age, expected to have completed High School and started post-secondary education in September 2015 (6 months ago), 2014 (18 months ago), or 2013 (30 months ago).

Out of the 48 players listed on the rosters for Kitchener and Brandon, 11 are 1997 born, 16 are born in 1996, and 6 are born in 1995 (the over-agers). That's a total of 33 out of the 48 players -- just shy of 70% -- who should be in their first, second, or third year of post-secondary study.

Of the other 15 players, 10 are now just finishing grade 12 and should be starting post-secondary this Fall, while the remaining 5 players are currently in grade 11 and still have 18 months before they are ready.

The math actually looks pretty good -- if the percentages more or less hold across the WHL and the OHL, in any given year approximately 70% of a team's roster will be true student-athletes pursuing post-secondary study, another 20% will be in their final year of high school, and a mere 10% will be in grade 11.

I'm pretty sure that the overwhelming majority -- likely 100% -- of last 2 groups (98 and 99 born kids) attend high school, if only because doing so is required by law.

The key to the student-athlete designation is the other 70%, all of whom would need to be attending a post-secondary institution to maintain their roster position if the CHL decided to go down the road of being a genuine student-athlete league.

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02-26-2016, 01:53 PM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerBruce View Post
If you read the McCrimmon (Brandon Wheat Kings) decision, there seems to be an avenue open to the CHL.

Justice Rowe, who heard the appeal by McCrimmon holdings, rejected the claim that the players were somehow "student-athletes" participating in a school-like developmental setting. But here's something interesting that he wrote:

"However, the requirement to play hockey is not inextricably bound to a condition of scholarship as may be the case with a university since attendance at a post-secondary educational institution was not mandatory for remaining on the roster.
https://www.charneylawyers.com/Charn..._v._Canada.pdf

So . . . why doesn't the CHL simply create a requirement that all players must attend school full-time? I'm not saying this position alone would carry the day, but it would be a good beginning if the league truly wishes to cast the players as "amateur student-athletes." We know the "athlete" part exists -- why not be equally insistent that the "student" part exists? The fundamental problem with the characterization at the moment is that players do not have to attend school to be on the roster.

Change this, and the student-athlete label begins to make a bit more sense.
Somewhat iffy given mandatory schooling requirements definded by the province or state, usually 16 years old balanced against the "students" right to opt out of school once reaching the mandatory age.

Defining student is tricky. In a recognized educational institution the link between student responsibilities and the privilege of representing the school in athletic competition is firmly linked.

Conversely the link of a "student" with a CHL team is shaky. Do schools draft students like CHL teams? Can players be viewed as part of an apprenticeship program offered by each CHL team? Do apprentices get traded? Is playing CHL hockey similar to an "internship"? And so forth. Each option raises greater questions and issues than it answers.

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02-26-2016, 02:08 PM
  #61
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A problem you would have is not all of the cities with a junior hockey team have a university in them. I could also see issues in the Quebec league with players potentially having linguistic difficulty if the language of the post secondary institution in their city is not one they are fluent in.

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02-27-2016, 08:02 AM
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A problem you would have is not all of the cities with a junior hockey team have a university in them. I could also see issues in the Quebec league with players potentially having linguistic difficulty if the language of the post secondary institution in their city is not one they are fluent in.

If 20 CHL teams went the way of the dodo bird in this country, I don't see that as a bad thing. Time has come for major changes in the way the CHL is structured.

A streamlined, more competitive league would be a good thing. Perhaps greater cooperation with the USHL and an agreement with the NCAA on player eligibility.

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02-27-2016, 08:14 AM
  #63
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Tried

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If 20 CHL teams went the way of the dodo bird in this country, I don't see that as a bad thing. Time has come for major changes in the way the CHL is structured.

A streamlined, more competitive league would be a good thing. Perhaps greater cooperation with the USHL and an agreement with the NCAA on player eligibility.
Tried at various times in the 1950s and 1960s.Simply does not work because such a model denies opportunity while relying on compliance/submissiveness from the players.

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02-29-2016, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Writer View Post
If 20 CHL teams went the way of the dodo bird in this country, I don't see that as a bad thing. Time has come for major changes in the way the CHL is structured.

A streamlined, more competitive league would be a good thing. Perhaps greater cooperation with the USHL and an agreement with the NCAA on player eligibility.
How does a system where there are far fewer chances for (mostly) Canadian players to receive superior coaching (and all the other opportunities/perks) unless said players head to the US benefit anyone? There would be about 450 players looking for somewhere to play.

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03-02-2016, 11:55 PM
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A problem you would have is not all of the cities with a junior hockey team have a university in them. I could also see issues in the Quebec league with players potentially having linguistic difficulty if the language of the post secondary institution in their city is not one they are fluent in.
You don't have to physically attend classes to be enrolled in college/university. In fact, I'd argue that it would benefit these players much more if they weren't in classrooms.

The way the CHL HAS been....focus on hockey now, if you don't make a career out of it then we'll pay for you to attend post-secondary education.

The way the NCAA is....act like you're doing both....but really just play sports, we'll push you along and ultimately if we have to give you your piece of paper. It's worthless to you, but you get it anyway.


IF the CHL is forced to adopt some mandatory student status, correspondence/online would be the best for everybody. When the Greyhounds are sitting in a hotel room in Erie, PA.....they can be watching their material online and completing their studies. Otherwise....they'd just be missing piles of classes.

I personally still don't understand why the 'student' aspect has to be, or ever was, mentioned. Amateur development league is good enough. No different than Junior B or C or D. It's not paid....the purpose is to make you better at something you aspire to be.

If your drama club hosts events where tickets are sold.....do you as a casual actor looking for experience need to be paid or schooled in order for tickets to be sold? Maybe you're not into the theatre and are dabbling in singing. The local Karaoke Bar charges a $5 cover...you sing for free, shouldn't you be paid or sent to University?


It's all ridiculous. It's become more big-money than it was in the past.....so I'd get it if they looked at the books and determined 'We could remove the expiration date on tuition.' . If you play X number of games in the CHL.....you get post-secondary education paid for.....whenever in your life you decide to do that. When Crosby retires....he can go to University and have it paid for by the CHL.
If the books are still good you could adjust the per diem/allowance to be more helpful to players.

So many reasonable options are available.....seems to me like people just want to get paid for something that nobody has ever been paid for before. Playing in the CHL, to me, is no different than playing Junior C. Same purpose....it just happens to be of more interest to ticket buyers.

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03-03-2016, 09:31 AM
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When I played junior hockey (seems like 1000 years ago), school was actively discouraged by team staff. "You're a student or you're a hockey player" was the standard line. And in those days one could quit school at age 16, so the choice was easy for most of us. What teenage boy wants to spend the day in class when the rink and weight room are available? And I know some people won't want to believe this, but if all of my teammates had been told "we'll pay for your university studies after you finish playing," we'd have looked at them like they were nuts. Didn't want it, didn't need it, likely wouldn't even be eligible for admission anyway -- couldn't I just have a dozen or so new Sherwood PMPs instead? Wouldn't mind trying out a few Kohos, too.

But lots has changed. Most of the guys I played with had dads who worked on the line at the plant and moms who either stayed at home or worked as filing clerks. Blue collar folks. My own dad was a high school dropout who worked a blue collar job his whole life. Mom worked at a canning factory. Today, go to even a midget AAA hockey game and the parking lot is filled with expensive SUVs. Dads are accountants and lawyers, moms are real estate agents and doctors. They're educated people with money. Totally different class of people compared to years ago. What happened to all the farmers kids?

These new folks see options for their kids and junior hockey is just one. In a lot of ways the whole "CHL education package" is just bribing parents to nudge their kids in the direction of junior hockey. The part about it that makes me shake my head is that a single season of elite Novice AAA hockey in Canada costs more money than a single year of undergraduate tuition at a typical Canadian university. Families that have already spent more than $100K on their kids' youth hockey development and would find 3-4 years of university tuition far less onerous are really caving pretty cheaply.

One thing is for sure. Junior hockey is intended to produce hockey players, not scholars. The NHL doesn't drop $10 million dollars per year on the CHL because the players have high Grade Point Averages. A coach or general manager of a losing team doesn't get to keep his job because a high percentage of former players are using their education packages. One could argue that he'd be more likely to keep his job if a LOW percentage of former players are drawing on this money. After all, what business rewards employees who cost them money?

Junior hockey isn't about "student athletes" or post-secondary education or anything like that. Never has been, and lots of teams are in places that don't even have a university. No, the CHL is a 60-franchise factory farm operation in two countries designed to generate profits and grow hockey players. If the CHL sent 99% of its aged-out players to university and 1% to professional hockey, the entire enterprise would be a failure.

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03-03-2016, 05:11 PM
  #67
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Montreal Experience

^^^ Excellent post.

The Montreal experience post WWII was somewhat different. More careful and cynical about jr. hockey locally, more in tune with the value of an individual's time and labour, more aware about educational opportunities and how to get an education via sport while maintaining post education athletic options.

Pre WWII McGill University, a solid world known educational institution had produced a number of NHL quality players. Nelson Crutchfield, career cut short due to a car accident was the best. Post WWII the hockey pipeline continued producing future NHLers Jack Gelineau and Reggie Sinclair(high school teammate of Doug Harvey). Both quickly left the NHL for their ultimate career:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reg_Sinclair

McGill continues to produce hockey talent - Mathieu Darche, Mike Babcock, Guy Boucher.

When McGill's program sagged in the sixties, Loyola, Sir George Williams, later merged into Concordia University stepped up. Led by a young coach, Paul Arsenault
Sir George Williams produced a number of future NHL players who had come to the program disenchanted with junior hockey - Bob Berry, Jim Corsi(very interesting back story), Bernie Wolfe, future NHL coach Ron Lapointe. Loyola produced Larry Carriere.

An interesting twist in Montreal was the link between football and hockey. Post WWII junior football in Montréal was producing a number of future CFL players. The local Alouettes did not pay Canadian players well so starting in the early fifties a pipeline to the western teams was established. Also in the late 1950s/early 1960s NCAA schools started recruiting junior football players offering scholarships. Larry Fairholm, Pierre Desjardins were amongst the first NCAA Football scholarship players, returning to a solid CFL career then an exit to a successful business career. Athletic departments talk and a pipeline for hockey scholarships to the NCAA schools soon followed.

More to follow.

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03-03-2016, 05:22 PM
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Back many years ago when the avg pay of Cfl players was $30,000 people said this is not right so there has been and is still a fight to increase wages now the avg salary is $72,000 and it will be over $100,000 with in the next 5 years.

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03-03-2016, 05:27 PM
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I think it's obvious the point of Jr. Hockey is not to educate people...in fact, as has been pointed out, in many cities the post secondary opportunities are very limited. But this just shows how ridiculous the claims these kids are 'student athletes' are.


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Back many years ago when the avg pay of Cfl players was $30,000 people said this is not right so there has been and is still a fight to increase wages now the avg salary is $72,000 and it will be over $100,000 with in the next 5 years.
Okay...?

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03-03-2016, 05:30 PM
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I think it's obvious the point of Jr. Hockey is not to educate people...in fact, as has been pointed out, in many cities the post secondary opportunities are very limited. But this just shows how ridiculous the claims these kids are 'student athletes' are.




Okay...?
No my point is people saying its just $9100 a year sure it might start out at that but it will be more around $100,000 with in 20 years.

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03-03-2016, 05:31 PM
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No my point is people saying its just $9100 a year sure it might start out at that but it will be more around $100,000 with in 20 years.
I think you are reaching.

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03-03-2016, 05:50 PM
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CFL Salaries

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Back many years ago when the avg pay of Cfl players was $30,000 people said this is not right so there has been and is still a fight to increase wages now the avg salary is $72,000 and it will be over $100,000 with in the next 5 years.
Always the case. 1980 McGill grad offered a salary of $16,500 by a CFL team opted for a Bank of Montreal job with a starting salary of $26,000 plus moving expenses.

Historically a pro contract - NHL, NFL, CFL, NBA was not necessarily the best career choice for a university graduate with a degree beyond the baseline Arts, Phys ED levels.

Average salaries are misleading, CFL minimum salaries tend to be below entry level salaries for in demand graduate degrees and simply do not compare with many engineering or post grad degrees like MBAs, etc. Likewise for two - way pro hockey salaries.

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03-03-2016, 09:54 PM
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^^^ Excellent post.

The Montreal experience post WWII was somewhat different. More careful and cynical about jr. hockey locally, more in tune with the value of an individual's time and labour, more aware about educational opportunities and how to get an education via sport while maintaining post education athletic options.

Pre WWII McGill University, a solid world known educational institution had produced a number of NHL quality players. Nelson Crutchfield, career cut short due to a car accident was the best. Post WWII the hockey pipeline continued producing future NHLers Jack Gelineau and Reggie Sinclair(high school teammate of Doug Harvey). Both quickly left the NHL for their ultimate career:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reg_Sinclair

McGill continues to produce hockey talent - Mathieu Darche, Mike Babcock, Guy Boucher.

When McGill's program sagged in the sixties, Loyola, Sir George Williams, later merged into Concordia University stepped up. Led by a young coach, Paul Arsenault
Sir George Williams produced a number of future NHL players who had come to the program disenchanted with junior hockey - Bob Berry, Jim Corsi(very interesting back story), Bernie Wolfe, future NHL coach Ron Lapointe. Loyola produced Larry Carriere.

An interesting twist in Montreal was the link between football and hockey. Post WWII junior football in Montréal was producing a number of future CFL players. The local Alouettes did not pay Canadian players well so starting in the early fifties a pipeline to the western teams was established. Also in the late 1950s/early 1960s NCAA schools started recruiting junior football players offering scholarships. Larry Fairholm, Pierre Desjardins were amongst the first NCAA Football scholarship players, returning to a solid CFL career then an exit to a successful business career. Athletic departments talk and a pipeline for hockey scholarships to the NCAA schools soon followed.

More to follow.
Please do...I'm interested to hear.

And thanks for your post. In an abstract sense, I was aware of some of the athletes who had played for McGill, but really didn't know much about the specifics, particularly re hockey - which is my main sport of interest.

I'm mentioned to Badger Bruce before, but would also express to you - I really appreciate the time and trouble you put into your substantive posts. I find them extremely interesting, frequently learn new things, and likely wouldn't have learned them on my own. I know posts on HF don't always get the most gratifying responses, but just so you know, I read and really enjoy/appreciate what you write.

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03-04-2016, 10:44 AM
  #74
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No my point is people saying its just $9100 a year sure it might start out at that but it will be more around $100,000 with in 20 years.
We have legitimate comparator groups that suggest the likelihood of an 11x salary increase in 20 years is highly unlikely.

One such comparator group is the East Coast Hockey League, where there exists a collective bargaining agreement with the PHPA (professional hockey players association). The agreement currently in place is a 5-year deal (2013-18).

The highlights can be viewed here:
http://www.phpa.com/site/agreements#Salary Cap

Over the 5 year period, the weekly salary cap moves from $12,000 to 12,800 in even $200/year increments. At this rate of growth the league would reach a $100,000 per week salary cap in 440 years.

If we deal with the ECHL's weekly salary floor, we see it is $8900 per week and grows by the same $200 per year. For this weekly salary floor to reach $100,000 will take 455.5 years.

In both cases, keep in mind that the weekly caps and floors are for 20 players, not 1.

In terms of funding for education, the ECHL/PHPA Collective Agreement provides the following:

"Through the PHPA’s Career Enhancement Program, Players may enroll in up to two (2) courses per year, and will be reimbursed up to $400 per course (maximum of 2 courses per year), provided a B (3.0 GPA) average is maintained. All courses must begin no later than February 1 of that playing season."


There are similarities and differences between the CHL and the ECHL, but since the ECHL is the lowest level of North American professional hockey covered by a collective agreement, average league attendance is virtually identical (including the disparity from top to bottom), and average ticket prices are just slightly lower in the ECHL, it seems like a reasonable place to start and an appropriate comparator group.

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03-04-2016, 10:56 AM
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Canadiens1958
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Weekly Cap

Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerBruce View Post
We have legitimate comparator groups that suggest the likelihood of an 11x salary increase in 20 years is highly unlikely.

One such comparator group is the East Coast Hockey League, where there exists a collective bargaining agreement with the PHPA (professional hockey players association). The agreement currently in place is a 5-year deal (2013-18).

The highlights can be viewed here:
http://www.phpa.com/site/agreements#Salary Cap

Over the 5 year period, the weekly salary cap moves from $12,000 to 12,800 in even $200/year increments. At this rate of growth the league would reach a $100,000 per week salary cap in 440 years.

If we deal with the ECHL's weekly salary floor, we see it is $8900 per week and grows by the same $200 per year. For this weekly salary floor to reach $100,000 will take 455.5 years.

In both cases, keep in mind that the weekly caps and floors are for 20 players, not 1.

In terms of funding for education, the ECHL/PHPA Collective Agreement provides the following:

"Through the PHPA’s Career Enhancement Program, Players may enroll in up to two (2) courses per year, and will be reimbursed up to $400 per course (maximum of 2 courses per year), provided a B (3.0 GPA) average is maintained. All courses must begin no later than February 1 of that playing season."


There are similarities and differences between the CHL and the ECHL, but since the ECHL is the lowest level of North American professional hockey covered by a collective agreement, average league attendance is virtually identical (including the disparity from top to bottom), and average ticket prices are just slightly lower in the ECHL, it seems like a reasonable place to start and an appropriate comparator group.
ECHL can afford such a weekly cap and education package without the benefit of TV revenues especially from International events or a cash generator like the Memorial Cup, Subway series, Team Orr vs Team Cherry, etc. NHL developmental monies(Entry Draft, etc)

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