With the official start of the hockey season upon us, I thought it would be a good idea to go over some of the ECHL roster rules, Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) rules and other changes for the upcoming season as well as a few items of general interest. There is nothing new in this post as you can find this information elsewhere, but I get many questions about these topics so I have tried to put a lot of information in one place.
During the off-season, each team can sign up to 30 players for training
camp. Training camp rosters are due to the league office this Thursday, September 29 (3:00 p.m. ET). The training camp rosters must be trimmed down and
officially submitted for the start of the regular season by the opening
day roster deadline, which is Wednesday, October 12th (3:00 p.m. ET).
- During the season, each team can maintain
an active roster of 20 players, with 18 (16
skaters and two goalies) dressing for each game. (The active roster
maximum is 21 for the first 30 days of the regular season.) Teams can
place up to two
additional players on a reserve list, and an unlimited number
of players on 21-day injured reserve.
- The "veteran
limit" is four skaters on the active
roster at any time, with goaltenders exempted. A "veteran" is defined as
player who has played 260 or
more regular season professional games at the start of the season. Any
AA or above league in North America counts toward the 260 games along
with top leagues in Europe from the following countries: Russia, Sweden,
Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia & Switzerland. Note the limit is four veterans on the "active" roster so a team could carry more than four veterans and rotate them on and off the reserve list.
Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
salary cap and player salary rules are outlined in the ECHL's CBA with the Professional Hockey
Players' Association (PHPA), which is a 5-year contract that began with
the 2013-14 season and is valid through the end of the 2017-18 season.
2016-17 salary cap is $12,600 per week per team. That is $200 more per week than last season. For the first 30 days
of the season, due to the added roster spot
explained above, the cap is $13,045 per week. So if a team has a full roster of 20 players the average
player salary is $630 per week with a few elite veteran
players making over $1000 per week.
- The CBA also has a minimum weekly salary which this season is $9,500.
- Here is some of the weekly salary information from the CBA.
$530 - Maximum rookie salary (rookie is a player with fewer than 25 professional games)
$445 - Minimum rookie salary
$500 - Minimum salary for all other players
and health insurance are provided by the teams. Married players get
their own apartment while single players share. If you were wondering what must be provided with the apartments, here is the wording from the CBA. "Furnished apartments shall include paid electricity, water, sewer,
gas, trash, and, at the Member’s (Team's) option, may include basic cable, local
phone service, and/or internet service. At a minimum, furnishings shall
include: in the bedroom, bed and dresser; in the living room, couch and
chair; in the kitchen, table and chairs, refrigerator and stove; and
adequate lighting in all rooms, and may include, at the Member’s option,
- Some meals are
provided by the teams, and players are also paid a daily meal allowance
while on the road. The 2016-17 road trip "per diem" allowance is $42
per day, up from $40 last season.
- When a player is
sent to the ECHL by an NHL or AHL
team, the player is still paid his NHL/AHL contracted salary while
assigned to the ECHL. Whatever the salary, it is paid by the team to whom the player is contracted. The ECHL
team then reimburses the NHL/AHL team $525 per week and all the player
is charged against the salary cap is the $525. This is why getting a
player assigned from the NHL/AHL is a great help from a salary cap standpoint.
- The major rule change for the upcoming season relates to icing. A team is no longer permitted to call a time-out after being whistled for an icing violation. Along with this rule change a point of emphasis will be teams trying to delay/stall after an icing call. Look for delay of game penalties being called when this happens.
NEW DIVISION ALIGNMENTS
DID YOU KNOW: Teams are required to provide equipment to the players and the CBA spells out when players get new skates. Here is the exact wording from the CBA about equipment:
"It is the responsibility of the Member 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. Equipment must be timely replaced as necessary so as to insure
this provision is fully implemented.
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 Member".