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NBA: one player will earn 73% of the NHL salary cap on average per year

With the 2023-24 season now upon us, this will be the fifth consecutive season in which the NHL salary cap has been frozen. In fact, it has risen a little since then, but a $2 million increase over five years is so minimal that we can simply say it hasn’t moved.

The good news is that it should increase a little more in a year’s time, but even then, it’s only a $4 million increase. That’s nothing to sneeze at either.

Meanwhile, the other major sports leagues in North America don’t have exactly the same problem, while the waltz of millions is in vogue everywhere. For example, earlier today, Jaylen Brown (who plays for the Celtics in the NBA) signed a five-year, $304 million contract. A totally guaranteed deal, by the way.

So that means, on average, Brown will earn $60,746,979 per year starting with the 2024-25 season. And for those less knowledgeable, he’s not even his team’s best player: rather, it’s Jayson Tatum who’s generally perceived as the Celtics’ best player.

And when you look at this, you can draw an interesting parallel with the NHL: if Brown had signed such a contract in the Bettman circuit (assuming it was legal to do so), he would have earned no less than 73% of his team’s salary cap.

And since the floor is $61.7 million, his simple pact could almost have allowed a club to reach it. It just doesn’t make sense.

By way of comparison, the NHL player with the biggest cap hit heading into 2023-24 is Nathan MacKinnon, who occupies $12.6 million of the Avalanche’s payroll. That means Brown would earn roughly five times as much as the highest-paid player on the Bettman circuit.

Once again, let me remind you that he’s not even his team’s best player.

I realize that basketball is more popular than field hockey in the U.S., and the NBA brings in more revenue than the NHL, but it doesn’t make sense to see such a disparity between the top earners in the NBA and those in the NHL. At some point, it’s more than just a question of popularity: the NHL needs to do a better job of marketing itself and paying its stars.

Dana White obviouslyhad a good point.

The gap is so wide that we shouldn’t expect to see it shrink in the short term, or even the medium term. That said, things need to change to allow the best field hockey players in the world to have some catch-up against the best basketball players in the world.

Hopefully, the salary cap will continue to rise to help the players. That would be a good step forward, let’s say.

In bursts

– Touching.

– To view.

– Indeed.

– Too bad.

– The Mets may have to break out the checkbook to trade their two stars. My text on the subject.

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