And The Pity Fest Continues
I know I’m probably losing readers by harping on this subject but it’s astounding to me that I see new stuff about this every day.
Came across this article today: Time For NHL to Treat All Players Like People, Regardless of Role
Let’s dissect a few juicy tidbits.
Zenon Konopka, a fighter for the Ottawa Senators, had an interesting take on the pressures of life in the NHL, focusing on when the game ends for a player: “The whole retirement thing has to be looked at as well…The transition from playing to retirement is obviously a tough one, especially when you’re in your mid-30s, compared to most people who retire in their 60s or 70s.”
Yeah, lord knows that it’s a bitch to retire at 35 than in your 70s.
I’m literally laughing out loud while writing this because it’s insanity!
The retirement issue is significant, because many players retire because they feel done with hockey, while others retire because they’re unable to find a job with another team.
And other people get their asses fired or lose their business or quit because their boss is an asshole. Then they move on to another job or another career.
But here’s the kicker.
According to some stats I found online (which we all know is the best source for stats) the median household income in the USA in 2003 was $45,000.
Minimum NHL salary is $500,000 or there about.
Let’s say that because of the higher tax bracket/agent fees an NHL player making minimum has a take home salary somewhere around $250,000. And let’s just bump that Average Joe’s medium household income up to $50,000 and call it their take home pay to make things easier.
For every year an NHL scrub/enforcer/whatever making $500,000 plays in the league, he’s making five times the amount of an Average Joe.
According to this, the average NHL career lasts 5.66 years.
5.66 years making the league minimum is equivalent to an Average Joe working for 28.3 years.
Poor professional athlete.
Has to retire young and then get a real world job. HOW CAN WE LET THEM LIVE LIKE THIS?
Back to the article in question:
The solution? Guaranteed jobs for enforcers might be nice, but it’s not very realistic. Instead, my hope is that GMs and coaches will look at the events of this summer and realize just how vulnerable players are. While one can’t expect GMs to hold onto players who can’t do what they’re needed to do, perhaps they can make more of an effort to retain players, even if there’s a slightly younger, slightly cheaper alternative in the pipeline. Instead of using players and discarding them when something better comes along, perhaps GMs can try and hold onto players who have served a team.
And perhaps even better, maybe they can work with those players, helping them to improve their skating and backchecking, giving them more of a skill-set than simply fighting.
I’m sorry but this comes off like some “Save The Children” informational except for F*UCKING GROWN MEN WHO EARN A CRAPLOAD OF MONEY FOR PLAYING A SPORT!
“For as little as $5.00 a day we can ensure that Jody Shelley can learn how to backcheck and not have to retire at 35 years of age. Look at his face, no man should suffer like this”
The insanity is that when Dan Ellis was talking about his problems everybody ridiculed him and made him come off silly. Now everybody (well many, anyway) are doing the same thing for enforcers.
It’s insanity, I tell ya!