AAV In Ice Hockey

What Is AAV In Ice Hockey?

When understanding the financial nitty-gritty of any sport, a lot of us face difficulties. And Ice Hockey is the same. There are many factors, terms, and systems involved that govern the monetary ongoing of it as a sport. AAV in Ice Hockey is one such aspect, that needs to be dragged into the light, and we’re up for that mission!

To know how AAV impacts the salary cap, players’ contracts and NHL as a league, keep on reading till the very end!

AAV In Ice Hockey- What Is It? 

In principle, AAV stands for Average Annual Value and it’s not particularly a sporting term. But it’s commonly used in the sporting leagues around the world. It’s a figure calculated when the total contract value, including the bonuses of a player, is divided by the number of years of the contract in question.

AAV In Ice Hockey

It should be known here, that AAV in Ice Hockey isn’t always the amount the player takes home actually. More conveniently, it can be referred to as just an average when divided by the number of years. The real amount can be subjective to the year in question, and how the contracts are structured. Which we will be discussing later in this article.

The annual average value is also a measure that is used to measure how valuable a player is to their team. This statistic takes into account how much money the player makes, and how often they play.

This statistic can be helpful in determining how much a team should offer a player in order to keep them on the team, or how much a team should offer to acquire a player from another team.

Moreover, AAV also has a lot to deal with the salary cap. Here’s how.

Salary Cap & AAV In Ice Hockey: 

The Salary Cap is the given amount bracket by the NHL, that is re-adjusted and determined every season. It determines how much the teams are allowed to spend on the salaries of the players in the given season.

The Average Annual Value of a player in the NHL and the league’s salary cap has a very close and direct relation. The contracts of the players are adjusted in a way that the team can comply with the league’s salary cap as a collective.

The Salary Cap ceiling, given by NHL for the 22/23 season is $82.5M, with a floor of 61 Million. Now, the AAV of all the players on the NHL roster in one team should fall under the given bracket.

The Contract Structures & AAV In Ice Hockey:

Since we have mentioned that there is a difference between the amount that is stated in the salary cap and what is actually being paid to the player. Let’s understand this contradictory statement.

In the salary cap, the AAV is stated, and contracts are structured accordingly. But in fact, players might take different amounts of money home each year from the figure agreed in their contract.

Quick Example:

If an NHL player has a contract of $30 Million worth, which runs for 6 years. Their AAV is $5 Million per year. But it’s a possibility that the money being paid every year has unequal chunks of the total amount.

This way, teams are able to comply with both; the player and the NHL.

The Average Salary Of An NHL Player: 

In the NHL, salaries are determined through a collective bargaining agreement between the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) owners. The current agreement was ratified in January 2013 and was to expire in September 2022. It is now extended till September 2026.

The average annual salary is a figure which is subject to variations every year. For instance, in 2020, the figure was around $2.7 Million. However, for the coming season (22/23), let’s calculate the expected average Salary of an NHL Player.

AAV In Ice Hockey

Estimate Average Salary For 22/23 Season:

The league has given the salary cap ceiling of $82.5 Million. If each team is to have 23 players on its roster. We get a number around $3.58 Million. In fact, this figure will be subject to variation. It actually might end up being a lot less than that.

The Highest Paid Player In NHL?

Connor McDavid is the highest-paid player in the NHL. He makes an annual salary of $16.5 million as of the 21/22 season. This makes him the highest-paid player in the NHL. McDavid is also one of the best players in the NHL. He has won the Hart Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the most valuable player in the NHL, twice. McDavid is a very talented player and he deserves to be paid more than any other player in the NHL.

Connor McDavid; A Quick Intro:

Come on, you know him already! But in case not; Connor McDavid is the captain of the Edmonton Oilers. He was drafted first overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s best rookie. McDavid is considered one of the best players in the world and a future Hall of Famer.

The Edmonton Oilers’ 24-year-old captain reclaims the top spot on Forbes’ list of the NHL’s highest-paid players for the 2021-22 season.


Lowest Salary In NHL & Who Makes It?

Not all players are like Connor McDavid, are they? While the 24 years old is the highest earner in the league, there is a flip side to it too.

According to CBA between NHL and NHLPA, the lowest salary for the 21/22 season was $750,000. Also, there isn’t just one name who made this sum, there are quite a lot of players at the so-called “minimum wage” of NHL. Here are three such players:

  1. Steven Santini Of The St. Louis Blues
  2. Logan Brown Of The St. Lous Blues
  3. Jayson Megna Of The Colorado Avalanche

That’s a very concise form of it, if you want to read a detailed guide to the Lowest Salary in NHL, read our blog here.

Why NHL Players Are Paid Less Than NFL, NBA, And MLB? 

While we talk about all this, there’s a parallel topic that emerges here. You might be wondering yourself, that given the lucrative scenario of the sporting world, the Monetary figures in NHL are far less than the other sports around.

That’s true! NHL players are indeed one of the lowest-paid players in the world. There are other games like Basketball, American Football, Soccer, and Baseball where the average salaries are far higher than what we have discussed today.

AAV In Ice Hockey


For instance, in 2020. The average NHL salary was $2.7 Million, while the average salary in NBA was $8.3 Million. That’s a contrast worth talking about.

One of the obvious reasons might be this; Ice Hockey is a sport that has a very limited audience in demographic terms. It’s not that fondly followed in other parts of the world except America. While Basketball, Football and Soccer are the games of global stature.

Hence they attract audiences and attention from all over the world. Consequently, there is more money flowing in because of TV agreements and licensing. The sponsorships are also something that depends on the visibility of the sports.

Closing Sentences:

See? That’s how easy it was! Everything you need to know to understand the basics of AAV in Ice Hockey is there! Is there any aspect of it which you still have questions? You can always ask us!

Visit our Ice Hockey blog here. There is a lot going on there which you shouldn’t miss on! See you there!

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