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How will World Cup of Hockey players be compensated?

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Today is October 2nd.

College football and the NFL are early in their respective regular seasons, with much to learn in the upcoming weeks.

MLB is rounding out its regular season schedule with the final games being played today and the postseason starting on Tuesday.

The World Cup of Hockey concluded last Thursday when Team Canada defeated Team Europe, 2-1.

The NHL preseason began two days earlier and those that played in the World Cup are rejoining their respective teams slowly.

Somehow, those that played in the World Cup don’t know if they will receive any compensation for their time on the ice or not.

According to TSN’s Rick Westhead, the NHL Player’s Association (NHLPA) has not decided how players will distribute the money garnered from the exhibition in Toronto.

Profits from the tournament are an expected $65 million. The NHL and the NHLPA will split the total 50-50 so each side will roughly earn $32.5 million.

Not bad, but consider this: each team has 23 players on its roster, which means that 184 players are in the tournament. 173 of those players are employed in the NHL.

Suddenly, that $32.5 million doesn’t look as big.

If that revenue is divided up evenly among the 184 players, each one will make just over $176.6 thousand.

That’s not bad for a three-week tournament.

However, there are still tough questions to answer.

Do NHL players make more than non-NHL players?

Absolutely. There are more NHL players in the World Cup of Hockey, the tournament has been played in the country that the NHL first began and in an NHL arena.

There is more for NHL players to lose if they get hurt in the World Cup of Hockey because their league is the most successful professional hockey league in the world.

The NHL made a huge effort to bring the World Cup of Hockey back, so its players should be rewarded the most.

That said, what about players like Pavel Datsyuk who played in the NHL in the 2015-16 season, but is headed to the KHL in Russia for the 2016-17 season?

Good riddance. Though he was in the NHL at the time that the league did the work to bring back the World Cup, he is now employed by SKA Saint Petersburg, not the Detroit Red Wings.

Should teams that go farther in the tournament make more than those who lose early?

Canadian players should make more than American players, but should Fins make more than Americans even though both teams went 0-3?

There is no easy way to answer that. Deciding which team with the same record gets more money could be decided by who scored more goals, but even that is not a fair judge of which team was better.

Should teams be given a certain amount of money to distribute among their players rather than rewarding all players from best to worst?

This is the toughest one to answer. Yes, Sidney Crosby should be making more than Claude Giroux, and that is because Crosby won MVP of the tournament and is the captain of Team Canada, while Giroux was a healthy scratch for four World Cup of Hockey games.

From there, it gets tricky. Does a player like Marc-Edouard Vlasic, whose only scoring was four assists, deserve more than Corey Perry, whose only points were two goals? Sure, Vlasic has more points, but consider that the NHL does award players with secondary assists.

If the NHLPA did split up the money for each team, they leave the issue of dividing up the money to players to those teams. It helps the NHLPA, but would teams be fair in rewarding their own teams?

No matter which way the NHLPA goes, it’s got tough decisions to make. Now that the tournament is over, there is no excuse to for a decision not be made before the start of the NHL regular season on October 12th. 

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