Brooks: AHL’ers are getting screwed by the ‘return to play’

This is not good news from the New York Post’s Larry Brooks:

If you’re on a two-way contract, were cut by an NHL team and assigned to an NHL taxi squad, you hit the jackpot. Or at least you’re going to be paid 100 percent of your minor league salary. But if you’re on a two-way contract and were assigned to the AHL, well, you’re plumb out of luck.

Because not only won’t you receive so much as a penny leading up to the start of a severely truncated season set to begin on Feb. 5, once the AHL does get underway there is no telling what you will be paid on a prorated contract. There is no current agreement in force between the PHPA (Professional Hockey Players’ Association) and the league’s governing bodies.

Three teams have opted out of 2020-21, leaving 28 clubs to play the season. The schedule will differ by division. Some teams will play as few as 24 games. Others may play as many as 42. Most two-way contracts mandate salaries in the range of $70,000.

You do the math. If players’ pay is strictly prorated, a player on a 24-game team making $70,000 would earn the grand total of $20,487 — before taxes. Players on teams on 42-game schedules would then earn a pre-tax $35,853 that they’d shouldn’t spend in one place.

Come on, man.

And in addition, these players have not been paid since receiving their final 2019-20 paychecks in the middle of April. That’s nine months. It may be nobody’s fault, but there is a crisis consuming the bedrock of the NHL’s development and it is crushing a wave of prospects.


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.