NHL Coach: How Much Does An NHL Coach Make?

NHL Coaches: How Much Does An NHL Coach Make?

Most hockey fans are generally familiar with the overall subject of NHL player salaries. The average person, however, is unaware of the NHL coaches’ salaries. How much money do these coaches make, and how does it stack up against what other sports leagues pay?

How Much Do NHL Coaches Make?

How Much Do NHL Coaches Make

The position they have within a team affects the NHL coaches’ pay. The assistant coaches are the next level down from the head coach, who holds the highest coaching position in the NHL. Head coaches are given priority because they are the foundation of every squad.

Ice hockey coaches are in charge of reviewing a team’s games and previous matches. Also, they construct the game plans, strategies, drills, and skill-building training that a team will require for each phase of a game.

Coaches are essential to the development of any NHL team, both on and off the rink. Every NHL team will typically have a head coach and four to five assistant coaches who help manage player placement on the ice.

The compensation of coaches is not made public, in contrast to that of NHL players. This means local reporters have to conduct investigations and make statements to learn about and reveal their yearly salaries.

NHL Head Coach Salary

NHL Head Coach Salary

An NHL head coach’s yearly pay ranges from $1 million to $5 million at the moment. NHL coaches sign guaranteed contracts with NHL teams, just like NHL players do. The length of time a coach would lead a team as well as his or her annual compensation are specified in the contract.

Luke Richardson is the NHL head coach who receives the lowest pay, according to the limited information on the salaries of NHL coaches. He signed a $6 million, 4-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on June 29, 2022, where he still oversees as the head coach.

The total annual value of Richardson’s contract rounds out to $1.5 million per annum.

However, Todd McLellan of the Dallas Stars, on the other hand, is the NHL head coach with the highest salary. McLellan and the Dallas Stars agreed to a five-year, $25 million contract on April 6. Now, McLellan’s contract has a $5 million yearly breakdown value.

Highest-Paid Head Coach In NHL History

Mike Babcock is the NHL’s all-time highest-paid head coach. Babcock agreed to the richest head coaching contract in NHL history, worth $50 million over eight years, on May 15, 2015.

In the end, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ contract calls for a $6.25 million yearly pay. Babcock spent around half of his contract term with the Maple Leafs until being fired in 2019.

NHL Assist Coach Salary 

NHL Assistant Coach salary

The NHL pays head coaches significantly more than assistant coaches. NHL assistant coaches can expect to make between $200,000 and $400,000 per year. However, factors including experience, player and team success, bargaining strength, and a host of other things affect an assistant coach’s pay.

A coaching assistant will have more control over his contract salary if he has contributed to the team’s success in the playoffs or stands out for being proactive.

Also, promotion to the position of head coach is another viable reward mechanism that can be presented to assistant coaches.

In the event that the head coach is let go, an assistant coach is used as the interim coach. He is given a chance to lead the club in this situation as the team’s head coach. A new head coach is hired if he is unsuccessful at this task; however, if he is successful, he may be offered a contract.

List And Salary Of All NHL Coaches 

Since a team can have only one head coach, the number of coaches in the NHL is 32. The table below shows a list of all the head coaches in the NHL, their total contract value, and their annual salary. 

NHL TeamHead CoachAnnual SalaryTotal Contract Value
Anaheim Ducks Dallas Eakins$$
Arizona CoyotesAndre Tourigny$$
Boston BruinsJim Montgomery$2,000,000$6,000,000
Buffalo SabresDon Granato$$
Calgary FlamesDarryl Sutter$$
Carolina Hurricanes Rod Brind’Amour$$
Chicago BlackhawksLuke Richardson$1,500,000$6,000,000
Colorado AvalancheJared Bednar$2,250,000$15,000,000
Columbus Blue JacketsBrad Larsen$$
Dallas StarsPeter DeBoer$4,250,000$17,000,000
Detroit RedwingsDerek Lalonde$$
Edmonton OilersJay Woodcroft$2,000,000$6,000,000
Florida PanthersPaul Maurice$3,900,000$11,700,000
Los Angeles KingsTodd McLellan$5,000,000$25,000,000
Minnesota WildDean Evason$$
Montreal CanadiensMartin St. Louis$3,000,000$9,000,000
Nashville PredatorsJohn Hynes $$
New Jersey DevilsLindy Ruff$$
New York IslandersLane Lambert$$
New York RangersGerard Gallant$3,500,000$14,000,000
Ottawa SenatorsD.J. Smith$$
Philadelphia FlyersJohn Tortorella$4,000,000$16,000,000
Pittsburgh PenguinsMike Sullivan$$
San Jose SharksDavid Quinn$$
Seattle KrakenDave Hakstol$$
St Louis BluesCraig Berube$3,500,000$10,500,000
Tampa Bay LightningJon  Cooper$$
Toronto Maple LeafSheldon Keefe$$
Vancouver CancunksRick Tocchet2,750,000$5,500,000
Vegas Golden KnightsBruce Cassidy$4,500,000$22,500,000
Washington CapitalsPeter Laviolette$4,900,000$14,700,000
Winnipeg JetsRick Bowness$2,500,00$7,500,000

Contract Guarantee Of NHL Coaches

Since the contract of NHL coaches is guaranteed, they are sure to receive the full value of their contract. This means that once they have signed a contract, they will be paid the full stipulation, even if they are fired before the contract expires. 

However, coaches do not spend very long on a team and usually do not last until their contract expires, especially for long-term contracts. This is why the saying goes that

Coaches Are Hired To Be Fired”

Coaches stay with an NHL team for two to three years on average. NHL coaches (head coaches) rarely have a franchise under their control for five years.

In addition, a coach is entitled to collect the full value of the prior team’s contract if he is sacked before the contract ends, even though he is hired by another team. We are unsure, nevertheless, if a fired coach’s previous team can negotiate their way into paying him or her to pay a portion of their contract value after termination.

NHL Coach Salary Compared To Other Sports Leagues

Comparing Salary Of NHL Coach To Other Sports Leagues

Compared to other sports leagues, such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Football League (NFL), the salary of NHL coaches is relatively tiny. 

Average Head Coach Salary (NHL, NBA, NFL)

According to the data gathered, an NHL head coach typically earns around $3,300,000 per season on average(taking the average of all the data that are accessible). A coach in the NBA earns an average of $3.5 million annually. In light of the average NFL head coach compensation of $6.692 million, if you still believe the pay discrepancy isn’t significant, think again.

Lowest Paid Head Coach (NHL, NBA, NFL)

Based on the scant statistics on NHL coach salaries, Luke Richardson is the head coach with the lowest compensation, earning $1.5 million per year. A head coach’s starting compensation in the NBA is $2 million. Yet, in the NFL, the lowest wage for a head coach is $3.5 million, which is earned by Gus Bradley (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Mike Pettine (Cleveland Browns).

Highest-Paid Head Coach (NHL, NBA, NFL)

Annual compensation for the NHL’s highest-paid coach is $5 million (Todd McLallen). In the meantime, Greg Popovich earns $11.5 million a year as the NBA’s highest-paid head coach. Even still, Bill Belichick’s NFL head coaching pay is far higher than even that.

As the highest-paid head coach in the NFL at the moment, Belichick earns a staggering $20 million a year.


Finally, that brings us to the end of this topic on the salary of NHL head and assistant coaches. Although coaches do not release their contract value as players do, we have gotten an insight into how much they make based on the data that we have. 

Thanks for reading. 

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