“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 are frequently asked questions regarding key elements within the current AHL - PHPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the PHPA office for clarification at 289-296-5561.
Please note, this is merely a summary of the clauses within the agreement and does not constitute the official language of the agreement.
The CBA is five (5) years in duration, beginning September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2024.
Players playing in the AHL on an AHL Standard Player’s Contract shall receive minimum compensation as follows:
Players on loan to the AHL from lesser leagues shall receive minimum compensation as follows:
The above amounts shall be pro-rated daily over the AHL regular season.
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:
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
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.
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 2019-20, the total Pool will be $1.65 million fixed, distributed evenly among 22 shares.
Travel expenses incurred by a Player, his legal spouse 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.
Each Member Club must dress for each regularly scheduled or playoff game at least twelve (12) Players, other than goaltenders, who have played in a combined total of not more than two hundred and sixty (260) regular season game in the National Hockey League, American Hockey League, and any European Elite League, prior to the start of the season. Any player who particpates in European Elite League games duirng a hockey season in which the Player would be eligible to play in the Canadian Hockey League (excluding over-age 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) conditioning period shall not be affected by the aforesaid experience requirement.
If the event a Club dresses fewer than eighteen (18) skaters, the number twelve (12) shall be reduced accordingly.
Beginning with the 2020-21 season Players who have not turned 25 years of age prior to July 1 of the upcoming season will be considered to meet the standard of the twelve player requirement under this section.
In the event a Club dresses fewer than eighteen (18) skaters, the number thirteen (13) shall be reduced accordingly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes. The PHPA has created a Career Enhancement Program to assist Members with the ever-difficult transition from hockey.
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.
There shall at no time during the term of this Agreement be any strikes, walkouts or the use of any method of lockout.
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.
The regular season shall not exceed eighty (80) games.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is no maximum salary a player in the AHL can earn.
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.
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.
The CBA is five (5) years in duration, beginning July 1, 2018 and expiring June 30, 2023.
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.
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):
Balance of Season:
The salary cap is higher for the first 30 days of the Season due to the one extra roster slot available.
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:
The Salary Floor is the minimum total salary paid by a Member Club to Players on the Active Roster. The amounts are as follows:
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:
For all other Players:
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.
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:
If the team is on a road trip of five (5) consecutive days, the team is required to provide
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 and beverages, fruits, and snacks on the bus during road travel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Yes, for pre-season travel, the team will provide the player with either a one-way or
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
evidenced by written receipts, must be submitted by the Player to the Club within seven (7)
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
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.
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.
A member shall provide at a minimum one check-up per year, that may include x-rays where required, and cleaning with a dentist for each Player, Spouse, and all children, subject to a twenty-five-dollar ($25) co-pay for each person.
Any dispute, controversy, claim, or disagreement arising out of or relating to the CBA, shall
submitted to final and binding arbitration and will follow the procedure outlined
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.
After permission and direction by a Player to the Member physician, a Member shall provide the Player with a copy of all medical records, within (14) days of the End of the Season, or upon Player's Waiver or Release, or immediately following a documented Player injury, whichever occurs first.
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.
In the event the League and team receive an executed contract/try-out agreement from an
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.
There shall at no time during the term of this Agreement be any strikes, walkouts, or the use of any method of lockout.
The regular season shall not exceed seventy-two (72) games.
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
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.
The Regular Season Champions shall receive the following for distribution amongst players who finish the regular season on the Active Roster:
In the event of a death of an immediate family member of a Player, the Player shall be
to four (4) days leave with pay. Furthermore, the team shall furnish the Player and Spouse
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.
It is the responsibility of the team to provide each Player with all equipment, including
necessary and appropriate for professional hockey. Equipment must be fit for its intended
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.
Each year, the League shall contribute the following amounts to further the PHPA Career Enhancement Program. The contribution will be paid on or before November 1 of each season and will be used soley for the purpose of educating Players. The PHPA will provide to the League an annual recap of the Players and kind of assistance given.
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.