I was poking around the web, and found this infographic pertaining to the average salaries and career lengths for athletes in the major North American sports.
According to the stats they used, the average NHL player will make $13.2M in his career. That total ranks below the NBA ($24.7M) and the MLB ($17.9M) and above the NFL ($6.7M) and MLS ($0.5M).
While the numbers are debatable, if you extrapolate it a little further, it means that the lower end players in the NHL don’t make a ton of money comparable to their ball-playing brethren.
When you factor in the rookie salary cap, where players make under $1M for up to their first 3 years, and the average career is under 6 years, then for the most part players will not earn close to the average.
Contrast that with the guaranteed signing bonuses in the NFL and MLB and the front-loaded deals that rookies in those leagues, especially high draft picks can sign. It also shows that even if you make it to the pros, the chances of being one of the big-time earners is next to 0.
And when you complain about the overpaid players, realize that the ones who are paid king’s ransoms are the ones that have stood out and earned it, and the vast majority of the players out there will earn well below the average. Even though they defy the odds, and you would without a doubt trade places with them in an instant, it is a grind that they are going through, because for most of them the ride will not be nearly as long as they would like.
Its easy to sit on your couch and criticize guys who have made it through hard work and you can say they don’t belong or are sub-par, but rest assured, they have worked their tail off to get there and had to beat out thousands of other players to get that spot.