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October 21st, 2008 · No Comments

by Ron Spence

There’s no MLB salary cap, or maximum salary that a player can receive. The NHL, however, has both a Salary Cap and a maximum player salary.

Both leagues have minimum salaries. writes about minimum salaries: “The minimum NHL player salary is $475,000 in 2008-09; $500,000 in 2009-10 and 2010-11, and $525,000 in 2011-12.”

MLB’s minimum salary is $390,000.

Both leagues have Rookie Salaries – but to different degrees. writes: “Entry Level players [rookies] will be subject to a maximum annual salary (plus signing and games played bonuses) of $875,000 for 2008 draftees; $900,000 for 2009 and 2010; and $925,000 for 2011 draftees.

Players who sign their first contract at age 18-21 are required to sign three-year Entry Level contracts; players age 22-23 will be required to sign two-year deals; and players age 24 will be required to sign a one-year Entry Level contract.”

Daniel Tolensky – from – has written an excellent blog on:

Tolensky has “obtained a copy of Evgeni Malkin’s current Standard Player’s Contract (SPC) [and making the assumption of a] similar bonus structure,” has calculated what the top NHL rookies should have been making over the past three seasons.

He concludes his projections and calculations with the following:


"The difference between three Ovechkian seasons and three Kanelike years? $8,197,600."

MLB’s rookies have theoretical restrictions, but with no penalties to enforce them, they are a bit of a joke.

The Sporting News wrote:

Ron Blum, for Associated Press, provides examples of rookie salaries.

Austen Maloney, from, refers to a wealthy rookie, who will start his season in the Gulf Coast League.

Both MLB and the NHL have minimum salaries.

The two leagues have different types of rookie salaries. The NHL has regulated salaries and bonuses – the latter depending on performance. MLB has a supposed rookie salary scale, but it’s not enforced. Also, they have signing bonuses which aren’t dependent on future performances.


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