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TwistedBrass

Southern Fried Hockey

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Fun write-up by Wysh about hockey in Alabama.

Quote

It's not easy to blend in as a hockey player in Alabama. Usually the jig is up the minute they open their mouths.

"Obviously, I don't hear my own accent," said Stuart Stefan, an Ontario-born assistant coach for the Huntsville Havoc of the Southern Professional Hockey League. "But you're out in the community, you're talking to someone, and a lot of times they pick it up right away: 'You're a Havoc player.' If you're Canadian, what are you doing in Alabama if you're not on the hockey team, right?"

...

If you are Canadian and you are playing for the Huntsville Havoc or the Birmingham Bulls, the two SPHL franchises in Alabama, you've undoubtedly had "the talk" with your friends back home.

About the strange juxtaposition between playing professional hockey in the cradle of college football, in a place where most of the ice is found in beer coolers. About the failure of the Atlanta Flames and Thrashers, the empty seats in Florida, and the dozens of minor league teams and leagues that have existed in the South but no longer do.

About how hockey doesn't "belong" in Alabama.  That talk.

Southern-fried hockey: How Alabama has made the sport its own [ESPN]

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5 hours ago, PlannedObsolescence said:

To open up a previously-discussed can-of-worms topic- how about this statement? 

 They're semi-professional hockey players, meaning they're paid in season (and well enough to get by).

A great mystery.  I believe Marksman Owner when he says not all teams are maxed out on payroll because it ties rather nicely to some of the worst attended teams having the best records.  Similarly as one of the players interviewed says they play golf, watch movies, and eat out in the afternoons.  While you can watch movies for cheap it certainly seems that he is talking about the theater which is to say the players are spending a solid middle class lifestyle.  Honestly, the big question is room and board.  If the teams are allowed to provide this then you can do okay on a few hundred a week.

 

Ultimately, there is no way to disprove players getting paid extra by the fans or team, but if they are getting room and board free I can see the lifestyle described is not unreasonable.

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7 hours ago, AuburnAL said:

A great mystery. ... Ultimately, there is no way to disprove players getting paid extra by the fans or team, but if they are getting room and board free I can see the lifestyle described is not unreasonable.

@AuburnAL: Dangerously close to requiring a Merge with your recent League thread on the topic, but we'll blame that on the Perfesser's incurable urge to stir the proverbial pot. :disgust:

If you execute a thoughtful search of these Forums' recent & older threads (or even a Google search), you'll find many posts pointing to a combination of teams & booster clubs covering room & board for players.  So it's not a mystery at all.

Let's move on, shall we?

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12 hours ago, AuburnAL said:

A great mystery.  I believe Marksman Owner when he says not all teams are maxed out on payroll because it ties rather nicely to some of the worst attended teams having the best records.  Similarly as one of the players interviewed says they play golf, watch movies, and eat out in the afternoons.  While you can watch movies for cheap it certainly seems that he is talking about the theater which is to say the players are spending a solid middle class lifestyle.  Honestly, the big question is room and board.  If the teams are allowed to provide this then you can do okay on a few hundred a week.

 

Ultimately, there is no way to disprove players getting paid extra by the fans or team, but if they are getting room and board free I can see the lifestyle described is not unreasonable.

 

4 hours ago, JMC-STL said:

@AuburnAL: Dangerously close to requiring a Merge with your recent League thread on the topic, but we'll blame that on the Perfesser's incurable urge to stir the proverbial pot. :disgust:

If you execute a thoughtful search of these Forums' recent & older threads (or even a Google search), you'll find many posts pointing to a combination of teams & booster clubs covering room & board for players.  So it's not a mystery at all.

Let's move on, shall we?

I was actually referring to the term "semi-professional", as used by the ESPN writer regarding the SPHL players, which has been argued extensively in past threads. Methinks the SPHL boys are professional players, not semi-professional, especially in-season.

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7 hours ago, fred said:

I always thought if you get paid to do something you are a professional.

That's what that young lady leaning against the street lamp told me back in Aught-7.  :huh:

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7 hours ago, fred said:

I always thought if you get paid to do something you are a professional.

I would chime in but the problem is some people are so set int heir ways with their "vocabulary," that actual definitions tend to make them argue their "opinions" despite someone showing facts to counter their opinions.

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23 minutes ago, SJSharkies4ever said:

I would chime in but the problem is some people are so set int heir ways with their "vocabulary," that actual definitions tend to make them argue their "opinions" despite someone showing facts to counter their opinions.

Well you're no fun, then.  :popcorn:

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3 minutes ago, JMC-STL said:

Well you're no fun, then.  :popcorn:

Lol, i can just refer you to a previous topic in which I did provide the definitions of both, sir! 

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5 hours ago, fred said:

I'm just guessing, but I bet Webster died before there was professional hockey. So who cares what he thinks?

Well considering that knowledge actually derives from validated books such as Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Britannica, etc., rather than people assuming they know what words mean, actually holds weight in conversations. Definitions are not open for interpretation and are defined as such for a reason.

My post on this topic is here.

But, again, I can repost that here so all can see.

Professional: (of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.

Semi-Professional: receiving payment for an activity but not relying entirely on it for a living.

Definitions are definitions for a reason, and generally not open for different interpretations.

SPHL weekly salary is $5,600 per week for the entire team, which roughly equates to just over $311 per week.

ECHL is $12,800 (for the 2017-18 season) which actually calculates at exactly $640 per week.

AHL (also comprised of actual NHL contracts) is $46,000 (2017-18 season) which equates to $2,300 per week.

As a result, the AHL and ECHL are more professional than the SPHL due to players are actually able to make a living off their salaries. The downside; however, is that the ECHL still can be classified as a semi-professional league due to $640 per week during the playing months may or may not be able to sustain one during the off season. That is open to one's interpretation. The AHL is by far a professional league because if I made around $2,300 per week, I'd be great.

Keep in mind though, players are still subject to income tax withholding just as with a regular 9-5 job.

By the way, $640 is more than twice what the SPHL pays.

On a side note, what actually separates the professional from the semi-professional is the fact that some SPHL players may never go any higher than the SPHL. ECHL players have a higher chance of reaching the NHL, or at the highest, the AHL.

I don't know about most, but I can live on the ECHL and AHL salaries, because I live simple. The SPHL is lower in pay grades and no one player can sufficiently live off of the low pay.

@JMC-STL here comes my greatest gift.

Let's do the math:

SPHL salary is $5,600 per week for the entire team. This means on average, the player may make between $280 - $311 per week (all dependent on either 18-man or 20-man roster).

The SPHL season lasts approximately 25 weeks.

311 x 25 = $7,775 per year

This is below the federal poverty level. Remember, all players are only paid under contract during the season. Once the season is over, their contract is null and void.

ECHL math:

$640 x 26 = $16,640

Still, may not be able to make ends meet in the offseason with this.

The AHL is exempt from this discussion because a lot of those players are signed by NHL teams.

Everyone is free to view terms in their own way, but I know what is what and again, these guys cannot make a living off low level hockey, one that might not see them making a full-time NHL career from it.

Case in point, MLB is being scrutinized for the same thing. Minor league players are suing and wanting higher pay to play minor league ball. Advantage is the pay is from the parent clubs, so it wouldn't hurt the farm club. The way I see it is pay is equivalent to quality. I would be disgusted to know minor league players can make thousands per year and never win a championship, but they feel they are on the same level as guys who play MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL.

 

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38 minutes ago, JMC-STL said:

@SJSharkies4ever: If that's your greatest gift, you have just qualified as a semi-professional mathematician.  Keep your day job.  construction.gif

Correction sir, amateur as I do not get paid for my mathematical skills! 🤣

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Since we are being sticklers for details today, I thought you would want to know. Unless something has changed since last year there is no salary cap in the AHL. I believe the minimum salary for an AHL player is around $46,000 a year. 

Edited by fred

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From Merriam-Webster (Both Merriam brothers and Webster were dead before there was professional hockey though)

a: participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs a professional golfer

b: having a particular profession as a permanent career a professional soldier

c: engaged in by persons receiving financial return professional football

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6 hours ago, SJSharkies4ever said:

Correction sir, amateur as I do not get paid for my mathematical skills! 🤣

Correction to your correction: Volstate redirects your Team Moderator salary directly to an educational fund. If you choose not to take advantage of that benefit, it nonetheless counts as sub-minimum wage compensation for your cipherin', Jethro.

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10 hours ago, JMC-STL said:

Correction to your correction: Volstate redirects your Team Moderator salary directly to an educational fund. If you choose not to take advantage of that benefit, it nonetheless counts as sub-minimum wage compensation for your cipherin', Jethro.

Lol I surrender old man.

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