This past Monday would’ve been payday in the NHL, it would’ve been the first paychecks the players receive during the season if they weren’t currently locked out. Some players have gone overseas or around North America to play hockey and collect paychecks much smaller than the ones they would’ve received Monday. Others have found other ways to make money while staying in shape and preparing for the start of the NHL season whenever that may be.
Other players have been more fortunate or I guess you should say smarter while some just got lucky because the lockout came after they recently signed new contracts. What do I mean by this? I mean that even though NHL owners don’t need to pay players their paychecks during a lockout, they still need to pay out signing bonuses and some players got big ones heading into the lockout.
Shea Weber, the captain of the Nashville Predators signed a huge deal with the Predators worth $110 million over the next 14 years. Weber won’t see a dime of it until the hockey season starts, however he will collect every penny of his massive $13 million signing bonus. So, if the entire NHL season is lost to the lockout, Weber will only be out a million dollars. Not bad and I think he could survive on that. I’m also sure it is one of if not the biggest reason why Weber has not left Nashville to go play hockey for a paycheck somewhere else.
After Weber we come to Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres, who like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild received a $10 million signing bonus. Now Myers is currently playing in Austria for a paycheck but Suter and Parise remain stateside because they can obviously afford it. Myers could too, why he would risk injury when he could just as easily stay in hockey shape at home I couldn’t tell you. I guess some guys just want to play the game no matter where it is being played.
Players like the 4th liners and grinders don’t have signing bonuses like those of Weber, Myers, Parise and Suter and most likely will never sniff that kind of money. Even some stars like Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins don’t have signing bonuses like that built into their contract. Its a business decision and some make it a big part of their contracts while others are perfectly content without them. Like Henrik Sedin, the captain of the Vancouver Canucks recently told the Vancouver Sun, “Its up to each and every player. We were happy at the time to sign a deal like we did and that’s all you can think of.”
With the next batch of paycheck due in two weeks, its easy to see some guys are in better financial shape than other players and will continue to be the longer this NHL lockout goes on.
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