Agreements

“CBA” = Collective Bargaining Agreement

The AHL and ECHL Collective Bargaining Agreements are the result of negotiations between the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, representing the Players, and each respective League, representing their Member Clubs.

The resulting documents represent obligations between Players and Clubs, in addition to a process by which disputes and conflicts (that arise from time to time regarding the interpretation of the agreement) can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

The CBA covers areas such as minimum salary, per diem, training camp, travel in and out reimbursement, lodging, fines, health and welfare benefits, and playoff shares to name a few. The PHPA strongly recommends that all players read and fully understand their benefits as outlined in their respective CBA.

The following CBA 101 section is designed to help players better understand their respective League’s CBA. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the PHPA office for clarification at 289-296-5561.

The following are frequently asked questions regarding key elements within the current AHL - PHPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Please note, this is merely a summary of the clauses within the agreement and does not constitute the official language of the agreement.

What is the length of the current AHL-PHPA CBA?

Is there a Minimum Salary for AHL Players?

What is the Per Diem Allowance for AHL Players?

Do Players receive Per Diem during an AHL Training Camp?

How is the Playoff Pool structured?

Are Players responsible for Pre and Post-Season Travel Expenses?

What is the Veteran Rule?

What is the Insurance Coverage Period?

What is the Dispute Resolution Process?

Is a Player entitled to his own medical records?

Is a Membership Assistance Program available to AHL Players?

Is a Career Counseling program available for AHL Players?

How does this CBA apply to NHL contracted Players in the AHL?

Will a Strike of Lockout occur during the term of this CBA?

What is a Standard Player Contract?

How long is the AHL Regular Season Schedule?

How long is the AHL All-Star Break? What do players receive if they are selected to play?

Does the CBA address the use of Performance Enhancing Substances?

Does the current CBA address the licensing of player likenesses?

What type of commitment do AHL Players make to Promotional Activities?

Does the AHL adhere to the same on-ice rules as the NHL?

Is there a maximum amount a player can earn?

Can AHL players be traded or moved from one AHL team to another?

Who qualifies as an AHL rookie?


What is the length of the current AHL-PHPA CBA?

The CBA is four (4) years in duration, beginning September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2019.

Is there a Minimum Salary for AHL Players?

Players playing in the AHL on an AHL Standard Player’s Contract shall receive minimum compensation as follows:

  • 2015-16 - $44,000 U.S. Clubs/ or $55,000 Cdn. Clubs
  • 2016-17 - $45,000 U.S. Clubs/ or $58,500 Cdn. Clubs
  • 2017-18 - $46,000 U.S. Clubs (all AHL SPC salaries paid in U.S. currency beginning 2017-18)
  • 2018-19 - $47,500 U.S.

Players on loan to the AHL from lesser leagues shall receive minimum compensation as follows:

  • 2015-16 - $34,500 U.S. Clubs/ or $44,000 Cdn. Clubs
  • 2016-17 - $35,500 U.S. Clubs/ or $45,440 Cdn. Clubs
  • 2017-18 - $36,500 U.S. Clubs/ or $46,720 Cdn. Clubs
  • 2018-19 - $37,500 U.S. Clubs/ or $48,000 Cdn. Clubs

The above amounts shall be pro-rated daily over the AHL regular season.

What is the Per Diem Allowance for AHL Players?

The per diem allowance for each Player accompanying his team while he is away from his home city for the purpose of playing a regular season or post-season game is as follows:

  • 2015-16 - $71
  • 2016-17 - $72
  • 2017-18 - $74
  • 2018-19 - $75

In the event any Club’s travel time to an away game is less than 3.5 hours, and return travel taking place promptly following the game is less than 3.5 hours, the Club shall make a single per diem payment to each Player in the amount of $25.00

Do Players receive Per Diem during an AHL Training Camp?

AHL Clubs conducting their training camp in conjunction with an NHL Club shall reimburse the Players at the same rate as paid to the NHL Players per day for meals. This amount shall be paid until the termination of the joint training camp. After said termination, or when an AHL Club is conducting its own training camp, the team shall pay to the Player who attends training camp under a signed professional contract an amount equal to the previous season's regular daily per diem for meals until the conclusion of the training camp.

How is the Playoff Pool structured?

The distribution of the playoff pool shall be made on the basis of 22 shares for 22 players listed on the Clear Day List.

The Playoff Pool is now a fixed pool based upon a threshold of 75 total post-season games played. The fixed pool pro-ratedly decreases if under the threshold and increases pro-ratedly if above the threshold.

For 2015-16 and 2016-17, the total Pool will be $1.5 million fixed, distributed evenly among 22 shares.

  • 1st Round - $1,321
  • 2nd Round - $3,068
  • 3rd Round - $6,477
  • Finalist - $12,955
  • Champion - $19,432

For 2017-18 and 2018-19, the total Pool will be $1.6 million fixed, distributed evenly among 22 shares.

  • 1st Round - $1,410
  • 2nd Round - $3,273
  • 3rd Round - $6,900
  • Finalist - $13,818
  • Champion - $20,727

Are Players responsible for Pre and Post-Season Travel Expenses?

Travel expenses incurred by a Player, his legal wife and their children on the way to their home city at the beginning of, or during the season, are the responsibility of the Club. This includes airfare or oil and fuel for one automobile, the rental charge for a moving trailer, and reasonable food and lodging expenses.

What is the Veteran Rule?

Each AHL Club must dress for each regularly scheduled or play-off game, at least eleven (11) Players, other than goaltenders, who have played in a total of not more than two hundred and sixty (260) regular season games in the National Hockey League, American Hockey League, International Hockey League, or any European Elite League, prior to the start of the season, and one (1) player, other than goaltenders, who has played in a total of not more than three hundred and twenty (320) regular season games in the National Hockey League, American Hockey League, International Hockey League, or any European Elite League, prior to the start of the season. Any Player who participates in European Elite League games during a hockey season in which the Player would be eligible to play in the Canadian Hockey League (excluding an overage year) shall not have such games count in the calculation of the two hundred and sixty (260) regular season games. Players on loan from the National Hockey League for a first fourteen (14) day conditioning period shall not be affected by the aforesaid experience requirement.

In the event a Club dresses fewer than seventeen (17) skaters, the number eleven (11) shall be reduced accordingly. In the event the Member Clubs elect to dress eighteen (18) skaters, the development rule minimum number of eleven (11) shall be increased to twelve (12).

What is the Insurance Coverage Period?

All Players who are signed to an AHL/NHL contract or Pro Try-Out Agreement, and make the Opening Night roster qualify for off-ice insurance benefits, and receive coverage up to a maximum of 365 days in a coverage year from October 1 - September 30.

What is the Dispute Resolution Process?

Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to the CBA, including the renewal thereof and/or renegotiations for a new Agreement, or the AHL Standard Players Contract, or from the breach of any, shall be resolved by arbitration.

Is a Player entitled to his own medical records?

Within fourteen (14) days of a Club’s last game, the Club shall provide each Player with a complete copy of his medical records at the time of his annual exit physical. The exit physical shall document all injuries that may require future medical or dental treatment either in the near future or post career. The Club shall remain responsible for the payment of medical and dental costs associated with treatment of such hockey-related injuries at a future date.

Is a Membership Assistance Program available to AHL Players?

A drug, alcohol, financial, and stress-counseling program has been established for players and their immediate family members and is fully funded by AHL owners. The program has been branded as the REDLINE.

Is a Career Counseling program available for AHL Players?

Yes. The PHPA has created a Career Enhancement Program to assist Members with the ever-difficult transition from hockey.

How does this CBA apply to NHL contracted Players in the AHL?

It is recognized that Players who are signed to a National Hockey League (NHL) contract are bound by that contract, and the terms and conditions thereof while they are assigned to an AHL Club. It is agreed that no provision of this Agreement shall be applicable to a player playing under the NHL contract if such provision conflicts with his benefits or obligations as set forth in his NHL contract.

Will a Strike of Lockout occur during the term of this CBA?

There shall at no time during the term of this Agreement be any strikes, walkouts or the use of any method of lockout.

What is a Standard Player Contract?

In the event a Player shall play in the AHL under other than an NHL contract, the Player and the AHL Club for which he plays shall enter into an AHL Standard Player’s Contract. The AHL Standard Player’s Contract is the agreement between the Team and Player which sets the terms and conditions of employment.

How long is the AHL Regular Season Schedule?

The regular season shall not exceed eighty (80) games.

How long is the AHL All-Star Break? What do players receive if they are selected to play?

There shall be a four (4) day All-Star Event Break, if said event is played. Teams and Players not participating in the All-Star Event may not practice during the break and there shall be no travel, Player appearances, or promotional requirements for a 72-hour period.

The AHL shall provide transportation and accommodations for each Player and the spouse of each Player who participates in the AHL All-Star Game. Each All-Star participant will be given per diem as per this Agreement.

Does the CBA address the use of Performance Enhancing Substances?

A performance enhancing substances program has been implemented for American Hockey League players, effective as of the 2014-15 season.

The program substantially replicates the collectively bargained policies already in place for NHL Players.

In the NHL, a first positive test results in a 20-game suspension without pay and mandatory referral to the league's Substance Abuse/Behavioral Health Program for evaluation, education and possible treatment.

A second positive test brings a 60-game suspension without pay.

A third positive test results in a permanent suspension. A player receiving a third positive test and a permanent suspension from play in the league will, however, be eligible to apply for reinstatement after two years.

The AHL drug testing program will be administered by the doctors who supervise the NHL/NHLPA Performance-Enhancing Substances Program and the Substance Abuse/Behavioral Health Program.

Does the current CBA address the licensing of player likenesses?

The PHPA and the League continue to jointly license all trading cards or similar collectible products that utilize Player likeness. Neither the PHPA nor the League shall license any such licensees solely unless the other declines to participate.

What type of commitment do AHL Players make to Promotional Activities?

Promotional activities including, but not limited to, personal appearances shall continue to be the obligation of the Players. The Players agree and recognize their obligation to assist in the promotion of the marketing of hockey in general and the American Hockey League. However, promotional and/or personal appearances are not to be scheduled on a day immediately following an extended road trip (5 days). Upon request, the Players shall wear AHL or Member Club licensed apparel as provided by the Club for television interviews on League contracted telecasts.

Does the AHL adhere to the same on-ice rules as the NHL?

The AHL adopts most of the same rules currently implemented in the NHL. The AHL also has in the past experimented with rule changes as a trial test for the NHL. For example, the No-Handling Goalie Zone, Shootout and One-Minute Minor Penalty in overtime are all rules that were first implemented in the AHL.

Is there a maximum amount a player can earn?

There is no maximum salary a player in the AHL can earn.

Can AHL players be traded or moved from one AHL team to another?

Yes, the AHL Club shall have the right to sell, assign, exchange, and transfer a contract, and to loan the Player’s services to any other professional hockey club.

Who qualifies as an AHL rookie?

Players who enter the season with fewer than 25 games of professional experience in North America (NHL or AHL) or fewer than 100 games of experience in a European elite league qualify as an AHL rookie.

The following are frequently asked questions of key elements in the current ECHL - PHPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Please note, this is merely a summary of the clauses within the agreement and does not constitute the official language of the agreement.

What is the length of the CBA?

What is an Active Roster?

Is there a Salary Cap in the ECHL?

What is a Rookie Salary Cap?

What is a Salary Floor?

Is there a Weekly Minimum Salary a Player will earn in the ECHL?

How is the allocation of the playoff pool determined?

What is the Per Diem Allowance for ECHL Players?

How long is Training Camp?

Is a Player required to pay his own Moving Expenses during the Season?

What is a Veteran and is there a limit on how many can be on an Active Roster?

What is a Player Assistant Coach?

What is the Reserve System?

Are players reimbursed for pre-season and end of season travel expenses?

Does a Player receive Off-Ice Insurance?

Is dental care provided to Players?

What is the dispute resolution process?

Is a Player entitled to his own medical records?

Is a Membership Assistance Program available to ECHL Players?

Are ECHL Players allowed to play in the AHL or NHL?

Will a Strike of Lockout occur during the term of this CBA?

How many games do teams play under an ECHL Schedule?

How long is the All-Star Break? What do the Players receive for participating?

What does the Regular Season Champion receive?

How much Bereavement/Family Leave do players receive?

Is equipment provided to ECHL Players?

Is a Career Enhancement Program available to ECHL Players?

What type of commitment do ECHL Players make to Promotional Activities?


What is the length of the CBA?

The CBA is five (5) years in duration, beginning July 1, 2013 and expiring June 30, 2018.

What is an Active Roster?

An active roster consists of a maximum of twenty (20) Players who have signed a Standard Player Contract (SPC) or have been assigned or loaned to the ECHL Club by an NHL/AHL team. A Player on Injured Reserve is not on the active roster. For the first thirty (30) days following the commencement of the season, the Active Roster shall mean a maximum of twenty-one (21) Players.

Is there a Salary Cap in the ECHL?

Yes. The weekly Salary Cap to be shared amongst all Players on the Active Roster shall be as follows:

First 30 Days of Season (due to one extra roster slot):

  1. 2013/14- $12,400 US
  2. 2014/15- $12,615 US
  3. 2015/16- $12,830 US
  4. 2016/17- $13,045 US
  5. 2017/18- $13,260 US

Balance of Season:

  1. 2013/14- $12,000 US
  2. 2014/15- $12,200 US
  3. 2015/16- $12,400 US
  4. 2016/17- $12,600 US
  5. 2017/18- $12,800 US

The salary cap is higher for the first 30 days of the Season due to the one extra roster slot available.

What is a Rookie Salary Cap?

The Rookie Salary Cap is the maximum weekly allowable salary for a Player who has played fewer than 25 regular season professional games. The amounts are as follows:

  1. 2013/14- $500 US
  2. 2014/15- $510 US
  3. 2015/16- $520 US
  4. 2016/17- $530 US
  5. 2017/18- $540 US

What is a Salary Floor?

The Salary Floor is the minimum total salary paid by a Member Club to Players on the Active Roster. The amounts are as follows:

  1. 2013/14- $8,900 US
  2. 2014/15- $9,100 US
  3. 2015/16- $9,300 US
  4. 2016/17- $9,500 US
  5. 2017/18- $9,700 US

Is there a Weekly Minimum Salary a Player will earn in the ECHL?

Yes. For a Player who has played in fewer than 25 regular season professional hockey games at the beginning of the Season who has signed a Standard Player Contract and who was not on an ECHL team’s End of Season roster:

  1. 2013/14- $400 US
  2. 2014/15- $415 US
  3. 2015/16- $430 US
  4. 2016/17- $445 US
  5. 2017/18- $460 US

For all other Players:

  1. 2013/14- $450 US
  2. 2014/15- $460 US
  3. 2015/16- $480 US
  4. 2016/17- $500 US
  5. 2017/18- $500 US

How is the allocation of the playoff pool determined?

Any Player participating in the playoffs or on the club's injured reserve continues to get paid salary. The Playoff Pool is payment in addition to Salary, paid by the team from the required contributions of all ECHL teams participating in the Playoffs. The Playoff Pool shall be allocated for distribution among the Players on the Active Roster as the Players and the PHPA shall elect.

  1. 2013/14- $255,000 US
  2. 2014/15- $260,000 US
  3. 2015/16- $265,000 US
  4. 2016/17- $270,000 US
  5. 2017/18- $275,000 US

What is the Per Diem Allowance for ECHL Players?

The per diem allowance for each Player accompanying his team while he is away from his home arena in excess of 25 miles for the purpose of playing a mandatory practice, regular season, or post-season game is as follows:

  1. 2013/14- $38 per day
  2. 2014/15- $39 per day
  3. 2015/16- $40 per day
  4. 2016/17- $42 per day
  5. 2017/18- $42 per day

If the team is on a road trip of five (5) consecutive days, the team is required to provide an additional dinner or pre-game meal in addition to the payments above.
In addition, when a team plays a home game and immediately leaves its Home Arena to play a road game, the team must provide each Player with a meal or a fifteen dollar ($15) per diem payment.

How long is Training Camp?

Training Camp shall not open prior to fourteen (14) calendar days before the league’s first regular season game, and will end at 11:59PM EST on the day before the first Regular Season game. All players shall receive per diem payment for meals, or 3 meals per day provided by team through the end of training camp, or until the player is released. The team shall provide, at its expense, reasonable and appropriate lodging to all Players and Invitees who participate in training camp.

Is a Player required to pay his own Moving Expenses during the Season?

Any Player who is traded, claimed, or assigned during the season shall receive reimbursement for reasonable moving expenses for the Player, Spouse, and his children from the acquiring team. In the event the Player is traded during a road trip, the acquiring team shall reimburse and allow the Player to return to the prior Home territory in order to secure his personal effects.

What is a Veteran and is there a limit on how many can be on an Active Roster?

Each team shall be limited to four (4) Veterans on its Active Roster. A Veteran shall mean a Player, other than a goaltender, who has played in at least 260 regular season games of professional hockey.

What is a Player Assistant Coach?

Each team may designate one Player as the Player Assistant Coach during the Season, but such designation shall be at no additional compensation or benefits except as provided in the CBA.

What is the Reserve System?

Each team reserves the rights to all Players on its Protected List during the Season until 11:59PM Eastern Time on June 15. No player on a team’s Season Ending Roster shall be traded by a Member after June 15 at 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time. At this time, all trades from the previous season, including trades for future considerations, shall be considered final.
A team shall only be entitled to reserve Rights to a maximum of eight (8) Qualified Players. Of these eight (8) Qualified Players, no more than four (4) of the Qualified Players shall be Veterans. “Qualified Player” shall mean a Player who is listed on a team’s Season Ending Roster who has received a Qualifying Offer from that team. A “Qualifying Offer” shall mean an offer of a Standard Player Contract to a Qualified Player.

Are players reimbursed for pre-season and end of season travel expenses?

Yes, for pre-season travel, the team will provide the player with either a one-way or round-trip airline ticket(s) from the Player’s home to the team’s Home Territory. If the Player drives, reimbursement for the actual cost of transportation of the Player, Spouse, and his children as evidenced by written receipts, must be submitted by the Player to the Club within seven (7) days after reporting to the team. Full payment of all expenses shall be made to the Player within seven (7) days of the Player’s arrival at the Home Territory and the furnishing of receipts.
For end of season travel, the Club shall provide travel to the Player’s home, provided that the Player is on the Active Roster or Injured Reserve at the End of the Season or is Released and not claimed off of waivers. The Player may request an advance equal to his travel cost incurred to arrive in the Home Territory. If during the season, the Player arrived from other than his home and is driving to his home, the team shall complete a Travel Home Advance Form and deliver it to the Player with the advance. If the actual cost is more than the advance, the Player shall be reimbursed for the additional necessary expense to travel to his home upon delivery to the Club of proper receipts documenting all such necessary expenses.
The team shall pay reasonable travel expenses within seven (7) days of the team’s receipt of the Player’s claim. When a Player is traveling via airline, in addition to the Player’s one (1) equipment bag not to exceed fifty (50) pounds (or 2 equipment bags in the case of goaltenders), the Player, Spouse, and his children shall each be entitled to two (2) checked bags containing personal items, not to exceed fifty (50) pounds per bag, or the maximum weight per bag permitted by the airline. Any other baggage must be sent via commercial ground transportation and pre-approved by the team, including pets.

Does a Player receive Off-Ice Insurance?

During the season, each Player on an Active Roster or Injured Reserve shall be eligible to receive off-ice health insurance coverage. Any player’s liability for any off-ice insurance coverage shall immediately cease on the day a Player is called up by an NHL or AHL team, and any such off-ice insurance shall immediately resume upon the Player’s reassignment to his ECHL team by the NHL or AHL team.

Is dental care provided to Players?

Teams shall provide at least one dental check-up per year for each Player, Spouse, and all Children, subject to a $25 co-pay for each person.

What is the dispute resolution process?

Any dispute, controversy, claim, or disagreement arising out of or relating to the CBA, shall be submitted to final and binding arbitration and will follow the procedure outlined below.
A grievance must be initiated by the League or the PHPA within ninety (90) days from the date of the event, or within 90 days from the date on which the facts of the matter became known. The party served with the grievance will answer in writing within twenty-one (21) days of receipt. Unless otherwise resolved, all matters will be submitted by the Commissioner and the Executive Director within 21 days of receipt of any answer. Selection of a neutral arbitrator shall be from a panel designated in a side letter agreement between the parties. The arbitrator shall have the authority to determine the procedural rules of arbitration and to make such binding orders to act effectively. The record shall be closed at the end of the hearing unless the arbitrator orders to the contrary. The arbitrator will issue a written decision no later than thirty (30) days of the close of the record.

Is a Player entitled to his own medical records?

Within fourteen (14) days of a Club’s last game, the Club shall provide each Player with a complete copy of his medical records at the time of his annual exit physical. The exit physical shall document all injuries that may require future medical or dental treatment either in the near future or post career. The Club shall remain responsible for the payment of medical and dental costs associated with treatment of such hockey-related injuries at a future date.

Is a Membership Assistance Program available to ECHL Players?

A drug, alcohol, financial, and stress counseling program has been established by the League and the PHPA. Each team shall donate one (1) game worn Captain’s jersey, which will be auctioned, to help fund the program.

Are ECHL Players allowed to play in the AHL or NHL?

In the event the League and team receive an executed contract/try-out agreement from an AHL/NHL team, the Player shall be allowed to report to that League.
If the team or the Player receives a try-out offer from an NHL/AHL team with no affiliation with the ECHL team, the Player shall not accept the try-out offer until the ECHL team has received a $500 development fee from the non-affiliated NHL/AHL team for each call-up.

Will a Strike of Lockout occur during the term of this CBA?

There shall at no time during the term of this Agreement be any strikes, walkouts, or the use of any method of lockout.

How many games do teams play under an ECHL Schedule?

The regular season shall not exceed seventy-two (72) games.

How long is the All-Star Break? What do the Players receive for participating?

There shall be no travel, practices, regular season games, player appearances or promotions during the three (3) day All-Star Event Break. When a team returns from an away game or completes a home game just prior to the break period, at least seventy-two (72) hours shall pass before having to travel to or practice for a Regular Season game.
In addition, the League shall guarantee that each Player who participates in the All-Star Game receives a flat payment of Three Hundred Dollars ($300) from the host team. The League shall also guarantee that transportation, accommodations, and meals shall be provided by the host team for each Player who participates in the ECHL All-Star Game.

What does the Regular Season Champion receive?

The Regular Season Champions shall receive the following for distribution amongst players who finish the regular season on the Active Roster:

  1. 2013/14- $4,150 US
  2. 2014/15- $4,200 US
  3. 2015/16- $4,250 US
  4. 2016/17- $4,300 US
  5. 2017/18- $4,350 US

Furthermore, Players on the Active Roster who finish first in their conference in the Playoffs shall receive:

  1. 2013/14- $2,100 US
  2. 2014/15- $2,200 US
  3. 2015/16- $2,300 US
  4. 2016/17- $2,300 US
  5. 2017/18- $2,300 US

How much Bereavement/Family Leave do players receive?

In the event of a death of an immediate family member of a Player, the Player shall be entitled to four (4) days leave with pay. Furthermore, the team shall furnish the Player and Spouse with a round-trip ticket from the playing city to the location of the funeral.
A Player may also request Family Leave for the birth of a child, a family emergency or illness, and the Player shall get four (4) days leave with pay.

Is equipment provided to ECHL Players?

It is the responsibility of the team to provide each Player with all equipment, including skates, necessary and appropriate for professional hockey. Equipment must be fit for its intended use at a professional level and provide for the safety and well being of each Player.
Notwithstanding the above, Players who have been on an Active Roster or Injured Reserve for sixty (60) or more days during the Season, with the majority of time being spent on the Active Roster, who have not yet received a pair of skates, are entitled to at least one pair of skates provided by the team.

Is a Career Enhancement Program available to ECHL Players?

Each year, the League shall contribute $750 per team to further the PHPA Career Enhancement Program. This contribution will be used solely for the purpose of educating Players.

What type of commitment do ECHL Players make to Promotional Activities?

Promotional activities including, but not limited to, personal appearances shall be an obligation of each Player to the team. The Players agree and recognize that certain non-compensated appearances shall be undertaken on behalf of charities and other non-profit organizations as directed by the team.

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