What Is the Minimum Salary in the AHL?

by Wendel Clark; Updated September 26, 2017

The American Hockey League is sometimes described as a semiprofessional hockey league. The reality is that all players in the AHL are professionals and they are guaranteed a minimum annual salary. Whether you are aspiring to make it to the AHL as a player or simply an interested fan, it is useful to know what these minimum salaries are.

About the AHL

The AHL is a 30-team professional hockey league based in Springfield, Massachusetts. It began in 1936 as the International-American Hockey League with eight teams. It has since grown to include 26 teams in the United States and four in Canada. The AHL is the second-highest level of hockey in North America after the National Hockey League. The AHL is considered a developmental league, because many players go on to play in the NHL and all of the teams are associated with an NHL franchise.

Players on a Standard Contract

Players who have a standard AHL contract have a guaranteed minimum annual salary. For the 2010-11 season, this salary is $37,500 for U.S. teams and $40,000 Canadian for teams in Canada. For the 2011-12 season, this salary will rise to $39,000 for U.S. teams and $41,000 for Canadian teams. In the 2012-13 season, this minimum salary will climb to $40,500 for players on U.S. teams and $42,000 for players with Canadian teams. For the 2013-14 season, the salary for U.S. clubs is set to reach $41,500 while players with Canadian clubs will receive a minimum of $43,000.

Players on Loan

A different minimum salary applies to players on loan to an AHL team from a lesser league. The salary for players on loan in 2010-11 is $31,500 for American teams and $32,700 Canadian for Canadian teams. This rate will remain the same for the 2011-12 season but will rise in the 2012-13 season to $32,500 for U.S. clubs and $33,750 for Canadian clubs. In 2013-14, the salary for players on loan will remain at the same levels.

Per Diem

In addition to a minimum annual salary, AHL players are guaranteed a minimum per diem for any days spent away from the player's home city to play regular- or postseason game. This per diem is $65 for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons and $67 for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. If the travel to the game takes less than 3.5 hours and the team returns promptly following the game, then the per diem is only $20.

About the Author

Wendel Clark began writing in 2006, with work published in academic journals such as "Babel" and "The Podium." He has worked in the field of management and is completing his master's degree in strategic management.

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