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Thread: Salary levels in European top leagues and in NA

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Salary levels in European top leagues and in NA

    I had a hard time placing this thread but decided to put it here.

    In the new edition of The Hockey News there is much focus on Europe. Among other things, THN estimate the average salaries in the European top leagues.

    Although it is a very difficult topic, I thought we could have a discussion on this.

    For openers, the first thing I don't get is the estimated figures in THN.

    Here they are: measured in US$

    1. Russia: $400,000
    2. Sweden: $200,000
    3. Switzerland: $170,000
    4. Germany (DEL): $150,000
    5. Czech Republic: $100,000
    6. Slovakia: $75,000
    7. Finland: $67,000

    The figure for Finland is surely to low. Did they miss a 1-digit before the 67? I also think the Czech number is too high? What do you think?
    Last edited by Karsten; 19-12-2007 at 01:56.

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    THN mentions top earners in Russia and Sweden:

    Russia: Aleksei Morozov -- $4.5 mio. per season (fairly accurate I think)

    Sweden: Jan Hrdina -- $350,000 per season (have to check up on this).

    ---

    Edit: Checked: Hrdina reportedly earned €300,000 last season in SEL. With a $/€-rate of 1.44 (18.12.2007) that's US$430,000. I.e. THN is $80,000 below the mark on Hrdina.
    Last edited by Karsten; 19-12-2007 at 01:54.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I was actually going to email you to see if you had gotten this month's THN.

    Besides discussing salaries, it mentioned the give-and-take impact that the NHL and the various European leagues have had on each other for the past 30 years or so.

    VERY interesting issue on a number of levels.

    Insofar as the salaries, THN did not cite any sources, so who knows if those figures are at all accurate?????

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    I was actually going to email you to see if you had gotten this month's THN.

    Besides discussing salaries, it mentioned the give-and-take impact that the NHL and the various European leagues have had on each other for the past 30 years or so.

    VERY interesting issue on a number of levels.

    Insofar as the salaries, THN did not cite any sources, so who knows if those figures are at all accurate?????
    Thanks Marc, I receive it electronically - I even have the next one from 25 December.

    Yes, very interesting issue. I have already added a few summaries. Next one will be on the NHL's influence on European hockey.

    I'm not sure the figures are accurate. Especially Finland seems to be way below the mark, and CZE/SVK way above the mark. Thats why I created this thread.

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    IHF Member kedr's Avatar
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    In his online interview for "Sovetsky Sport" Alexandr Medvedev said that in the new Open Russian Hockey League there will be a strict limit for salaries: $22.5 mln per club ($15 mln base + $7.5 mln for 3 star players). Also all contracts and budgets will be clear and public.
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    It's hard to know for sure but the figure for Sweden looks accurate. Still, most players probably earn less than that and the average is raised by a few high earners. I have heard that average players at Brynäs(SEL and my home town team) earn about 150,000 a season. There is some evidence to back this up but rarely anything official.

    Another thing to remember is the depreciating dollar rate which means that European salaries look higher than a couple of years ago just because of that.

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    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    7. Finland: $67,000

    The figure for Finland is surely to low. Did they miss a 1-digit before the 67? I also think the Czech number is too high? What do you think?
    They have the correct number for Finland, the only problem is that the currency is wrong...

    In season 2006-07 SM-Liiga's average salary was reportedly 67,852 € and with an exchange rate of 1.44 that is $97,707. This still seems low when compared to the other leagues in the THN survey.
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    Couldn't that be a major reason why so many Finnish players leave for Sweden?

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    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrik View Post
    Couldn't that be a major reason why so many Finnish players leave for Sweden?
    The better pay across the pond is definitely the main reason why so many Finns play in Sweden. I have no trouble in believing that the average salary is bigger in Sweden than in Finland but I don't think the gap is that big. I think the Finnish average salaries are somewhere in the neighborhood of DEL and NLA, definitely should be bigger than in Czech Extra League.
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    Iam suprised to see Slovkia so hig.

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    Does it mean before or after taxes? Finnish taxes... ;)

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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Another thing that racks Finland "unfairly" low on these digits is the relatively small amount of foreign players in the Finnish Elite. There limit of foreign players (meaning players without a Finnish passport) is four per team, meaning that often the clubs are forced to find the best domestic substitute available instead of the best available overall. And of course they're not viewed as much worth paying to as a high-profile foreign player.

    Of course, even if looked through this viewport, SM-liiga still doesn't get to compete with SEL or NLA in salaries. I believe the player with best salary on season 06-07 was Michal Bros of Kärpät, €250,000, making it roughly $300,000 with the exchange rate back then.
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    IHF Member pihinalle's Avatar
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    Here's an update for the Finnish leagues.

    This season the average salary in SM-iiga is 66 400 €. The average salary of Finnish players is 61 000 € and foreign players 128 000 €.

    In Mestis the average salary is 6500 €.
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    IHF Member twelve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laho View Post
    Another thing that racks Finland "unfairly" low on these digits is the relatively small amount of foreign players in the Finnish Elite. There limit of foreign players (meaning players without a Finnish passport) is four per team, meaning that often the clubs are forced to find the best domestic substitute available instead of the best available overall. And of course they're not viewed as much worth paying to as a high-profile foreign player.

    Of course, even if looked through this viewport, SM-liiga still doesn't get to compete with SEL or NLA in salaries. I believe the player with best salary on season 06-07 was Michal Bros of Kärpät, €250,000, making it roughly $300,000 with the exchange rate back then.

    It would seem that this restriction can't be the only reason for the different salaries, after all there is the same kind of restriction in Switzerland. There can only be four foreign players on the roster for each game.

    Also, I'm not a great fan of statistics like that, as they can be very misleading. Take for instance the difference between the SC Berne and HC Ambri-Piotta or the SCL Tigers in Switzerland. Player salaries diverge significantly depending on how much a club can afford.

    It would be interesting to look at the ticket prices, the attendance prices, the influence of sponsoring and public interest to evaluate what factors effect salaries most.
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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twelve View Post
    It would seem that this restriction can't be the only reason for the different salaries, after all there is the same kind of restriction in Switzerland. There can only be four foreign players on the roster for each game.
    Well yes, the Swiss do have more money.

    It's a really curious thing to note how small-time operation the Finnish Elite actually is in a country that practically eats, drinks and breathes hockey (second only to Canada I think) and yet it succeeds in being in quite high esteems if we think the levels of quality of play and entertainment.
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    IHF Member twelve's Avatar
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    ^ lol

    Yes, the Swiss have all the money in the world..

    Seriously, read all of my post. Not many of the top clubs have a big budget, it's maybe a third of the league's clubs that raise the average salary of players.

    Add to that the refusal of Swiss national television to show hockey games (rumours are, it's because the director of the tv station has a personal grudge against some hockey people), and it can get quite difficult for the smaller clubs to find sponsors and keep the gap between the individual player quality in their team and that of the rich clubs from growing.
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    "L'année de trop? Je l'ai faite quand j'avais 13 ans." = "If I played a year too much, it was the year when I was 13." -Gil Montandon, when asked if he wasn't a year too old to sign a contract as a hockey-pro at the age of 40. (That was in 2006. He went on playing professionally till the end of the 2008/09 season.)

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    IHF Member leftofcenter's Avatar
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    Germany

    Does anyone know how much DEL goalie Jamie Storr of the DEG MetroStars makes?

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    I know what Nick Angell who played for Brynäs in the Elitserien made. He was paid SEK 343,137/month. His monthly salary was higher than others because he got paid during six months only but his yearly salary was more than SEK 2 Million($ 340,000/€ 210,000). I don't doubt there are others who earn more.

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    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    There is a debate in British hockey just now about how expensive British players are. Shouldn't really come as a surprise, though. When you only have 3 imports per team, they can over-charge you since they are the scarce resource. When you have 10 imports per team in a league that rarely plays a 4th line, your Brits become the scarce resource and so the import-quality ones can charge what they like.

    Anyway, it is being widely circulated that Stevie Lyle was being paid £850/week by Basingstoke at the start of the season before they hit money problems. Then again, I've heard Basingstoke fans admit that their early season budget would have blown the wage cap had they kept that team all season long.

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    IHF Member selanne's Avatar
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    Hmm, the finnish stats lies, cause they have taken the avarage of a small number of the players and calculating their taxes, finaland should be over tha checks at least in dollars. And Färjestad wanted Pesonen but his salery per month was about 45 000 euros(60 000 dollars) so they could not afford him???

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    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by selanne View Post
    Hmm, the finnish stats lies, cause they have taken the avarage of a small number of the players and calculating their taxes, finaland should be over tha checks at least in dollars. And Färjestad wanted Pesonen but his salery per month was about 45 000 euros(60 000 dollars) so they could not afford him???
    The stats might lie but that is not the reason. In 2007 82% of the players sent in the survey about their salaries. You can't call that "a small number of the players".
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    Slovakia

    In Slovakia, the top stars can earn 200 000$ per year, but those are just top 5 players in the league mainly from Slovan Bratislava (Robert Dome, Richard Kapus, Sasu Hovi, Marek Uram). Ziggy Palffy is an exception he earns around 350 000$ per year. There is a huge difference between teams, top teams can pay 50 000$ (for scoring line players). I would say 30-35k is average.
    It is pretty hard because nobody really talks about players' salaries in Slovakia and there is a huge difference for the 3rd and 4th liners comparing to team leaders.


    Do you guys know how much is it in Austria?


    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    I had a hard time placing this thread but decided to put it here.

    In the new edition of The Hockey News there is much focus on Europe. Among other things, THN estimate the average salaries in the European top leagues.

    Although it is a very difficult topic, I thought we could have a discussion on this.

    For openers, the first thing I don't get is the estimated figures in THN.

    Here they are: measured in US$

    1. Russia: $400,000
    2. Sweden: $200,000
    3. Switzerland: $170,000
    4. Germany (DEL): $150,000
    5. Czech Republic: $100,000
    6. Slovakia: $75,000
    7. Finland: $67,000

    The figure for Finland is surely to low. Did they miss a 1-digit before the 67? I also think the Czech number is too high? What do you think?

  23. #23
    IHF Member Haxo's Avatar
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    @ Austria:

    There were some rumors about Dieter Kalt getting 200.000€ in Salzburg, but that would be an outlier for sure, although that amout could be accurate for some top players in the league.

    I heard something about Chris Brandner getting 360.000€ for 3 years in Klagenfurt, but also no secure numbers here in Austria, atleast afaik...

    I would estimate the average numbers to be at about 40-60k (in €) perhaps, but maybe someone has more reliable numbers.

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    IHF Member Gazzw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robolsen View Post
    Would anyone know what the average and/or top salaries are in other lower European leagues, such as the Netherlands Eredivisie, the French Ligue Magnus or the UK's EIHL?
    This is just from what info I have gathered researching over time.. Im sure if Graham reads this thread he might have a better estimate but anyway here goes..

    In the UK EIHL a top import would earn around $50,000 per year along with some perks like a car, housing paid for too.

    Teams find way's around the 'salary cap' though such as paying players as 'coaches' aswell to boost their salaries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by robolsen View Post
    I see this thread is quite old but I would like to contribute a little.

    Goaltender Patrick DesRochers in the Norwegian Elitserien had a salary of $150,000 and forward Martin Strandfeldt had a salary of $120,000 in 2009.
    (source:skatteetaten)

    Those two would probably be among the top in the salary list.

    And according to EP the average salary in the Norwegian Elitserien was $50,000 and $120,000 in the Swedish Elitserien, season 2009/10.
    (source:eliteprospects)


    Would anyone know what the average and/or top salaries are in other lower European leagues, such as the Netherlands Eredivisie, the French Ligue Magnus or the UK's EIHL?

    50 000$ a year is the average salary in the Norwegian GET-Liga ?

    To me that sounds too high. It certainly was not like that a few years ago.

    About half the players in the league are not even full-time players. Probably some guys like DesRochers, Strandfeldt, Malmstrøm, Corbet and Delmore who is driving the average numbers up but still.

    Most Norwegian guys and also a lot of the young Swedes in the league have part-time jobs or school in addition to hockey.

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    Strandfeldt is actually working part-time now as well.

  27. #27
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Top imports in the EIHL make more than U.S. $50,000 per season.

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    IHF Member WHawks's Avatar
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    I assume those averages for GET-Ligaen are for imports only. Surely the average can't be that high if it included local youngsters and norwegian part-timers.

  29. #29

    Netherlands

    Quote Originally Posted by robolsen View Post
    Would anyone know what the average and/or top salaries are in other lower European leagues, such as the Netherlands Eredivisie, the French Ligue Magnus or the UK's EIHL?
    In the Dutch Eredivisie, teams spend roughly about € 5000 to € 8500 per week on net salaries.
    This year's top scorer received about €850 net per week (for 29 weeks). Then again, there are players who get nothing but expenses paid, or absolutely nothing at all (like youngsters still living with their parents, for instance).
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