In the world of professional women’s hockey, it’s not just about the game; it’s also about securing a promising financial future. If you’ve ever wondered how much PWHL players make, we’ve got the insights you’ve been searching for.
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PWHL Salary Structure
For the upcoming 2024 season, the minimum salary for PWHL players stands at a respectable $35,000. What’s more, the league mandates that each team maintains an average annual salary of $55,000.
The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) is a beacon of hope for women’s hockey in North America, determined to elevate the sport to new heights.
A New Beginning
Scheduled to kick off in January 2024, the inaugural PWHL season will feature six dynamic teams, collectively participating in 24 regular-season games. This league emerges as the successor to the now-defunct Premier Hockey Federation, with core participation from members of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) and Canadian players.
The official announcement of this exciting league was made on August 29, 2023, following the sale of shares by the PHF to investors Mark Walter Group and BJK Enterprises.
PWHL Contracts Demystified
One striking difference between PWHL and the NHL is the absence of a salary cap. Here’s a breakdown of the contract and salary details for the inaugural PWHL season:
|Minimum Annual Base Salary
|Stipend for Reserve Players
|Average Mandatory Annual Salary for Each Team
|Salary for Top 6 Signed Players
|At least $80,000
|Minimum Base Salary Increase
|3% per year
|Monthly Housing Stipend
|$1,500 (increasing by $100 annually)
|Daily Meal Allowance During Travel
|Relocation Reimbursements for New Players
|Up to $2,500
Additionally, the collective bargaining agreement of the PWHL includes provisions for performance bonuses for both players and teams.
– Players selected for the All-Star Game will earn incentives, with winners receiving $1,500 each, and the runner-up team members getting $1,000 each.
– The Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the league will receive a substantial bonus of $5,000. Other awards, such as Rookie of the Year, Best Goalie, Best Defender, and Best Forward, come with a $4,000 bonus each.
The PWHL’s commitment to substantial compensation in its first season signals a promising future for female hockey players, with even more lucrative prospects on the horizon.
Top Earners in PWHL
The anticipation is palpable as the first-ever PWHL draft approaches on September 18, 2023, in Toronto. Player declarations for the draft must be made by September 3.
Similar to the NHL, the draft order will be determined by a lottery, spanning 15 rounds in a snake-draft format. Teams have the opportunity to sign Standard Player Agreements (SPA) with three players, while the free agency period will run from September 1 to 10.
Notably, Canadian forward Mikyla Grant-Mentis made history by becoming the highest-paid female player in the world with an $80,000 contract signing with the Buffalo Beauts of the Premier Hockey Federation in 2022.
As the PWHL continues to grow, some standout players are poised to secure substantial contracts. Among them are:
|Kendall Coyne Schofield
PWHL Ownership and Leadership
PWHL enjoys strong financial backing from the influential Mark Walter and Kimbra Walter. Mark Walter, CEO of Guggenheim Partners, has a track record of investments in sports, previously owning a stake in MLB team LA Dodgers and English soccer club Chelsea F.C.
The league’s board members include Billie Jean King, Stan Kasten, Ilana Kloss, and Royce Cohen. Jayna Hefford, a Hockey Hall of Famer, serves as the Senior VP of Hockey Operations.
With the PWHL operating as a single entity, the league will own all six teams, with general managers to be announced shortly.
Initially, the league will feature three Canadian and three U.S. teams, located in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, New York City, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Expect more details regarding team names, logos, arenas, and coaching staff to be unveiled soon. The inaugural women’s league is already making waves in the North American hockey market.
PWHL and Viewer Engagement
Anticipation is high for the PWHL’s debut season, with expectations of soaring viewership. The league is set to reach a vast audience through multiple networks, attracting prominent television networks and broadcast channels in the United States and Canada.
The prior experience and PR prowess of Mark Walter Group and Billie Jean King Enterprises will undoubtedly contribute to increased viewership. Notably, the gold medal match between Canada and the U.S. at the 2022 Olympics averaged 3.54 million viewers on NBC, highlighting the enduring interest in women’s hockey.
The spark of the PWHL promises to captivate hockey enthusiasts and usher in a new era of women’s hockey viewership.
In conclusion, the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) is not only redefining the game but also reshaping the financial landscape for female hockey players. With competitive salaries, performance bonuses, and the potential for historic contracts, the PWHL is offering players a compelling reason to pursue their dreams at the professional level.