NHL players have been warned by their association that its escrow hold-back could be increased in the new year.
Currently, the NHL holds back 13.5 per cent of players’ paychecks. That money is available to the league at the end of the year in case NHL revenue projections are not met. The procedure was included as part of the most recent collective agreement so that players take home only their negotiated 56 per cent share of NHL revenues.
Only once in the three seasons since the season-long lockout have the players not received at least 100% of their salaries. In 2006-07, players left 2.49% of their salaries in league coffers, compared to both the 2005-06 and 2007-08 seasons when players received back all of their escrow money plus interest.
However, with the economy in free fall, the NHL board of governors were told last week in Palm Beach, Fla., that the current escrow might not be enough and that the percentage might need to increase to cover any shortfalls.