Frequently Asked Questions

Q
When was the NHLPA formed?
A
The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) was formed in June 1967 when representatives of the original six NHL clubs gathered and elected Bob Pulford as its president and Alan Eagleson as its executive director.
Q
What does the NHLPA do?
A
The NHLPA is the collective bargaining representative for all current National Hockey League players. In this capacity, the NHLPA works to negotiate fair terms and conditions of employment and also assists players with grievances and salary arbitration. The NHLPA also operates a group licensing program on behalf of the players, and is responsible for managing the player agents' certification program. The NHLPA plays a major role in growing the game internationally through the planning, execution and player participation in the World Cup of Hockey, the World Hockey Championship and neutral-site games.
Q
When was the first Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated between the players and owners?
A
Although the NHL owners recognized the NHLPA as a union in 1967, the first collective bargaining agreement wasn't negotiated until 1975.
Q
Who is eligible for membership in the NHLPA?
A
Any player on a current NHL roster is an NHLPA member.
Q
What is the Executive Board?
A
The Club Player Representatives, one from each NHL club, serve as voting members of the Executive Board. The Executive Director also sits on the Executive Board as a non-voting member.
Q
How are the Club Player Representatives chosen?
A
The players on each NHL club elect a Club Player Representative and an Alternative Club Representative.
Q
What is the average salary of an NHLPA member?
A
For the 2016-17 season, the average salary was $3,012,785 USD.
Q
What is the minimum salary of an NHLPA member?
A
For the 2017-18 season, the minimum salary is $650,000 USD.
Q
When does a player become eligible for salary arbitration?
A
A Player is eligible for salary arbitration if the Player meets the qualifications set forth below:
  • First Standard Player Contract (SPC) Signing Age 
  • Minimum Level of Professional Experience Required to be Eligible for Salary Arbitration 
    • 18-20:  Four (4) years professional experience 
    • 21: Three (3) years professional experience 
    • 22-23: Two (2) years professional experience 
    • 24 and older: One (1) year professional experience
Q
When does the current CBA expire?
A
The current Agreement was ratified by the NHLPA and the NHL on January 12, 2013. The Agreement is set to remain in effect until September 15, 2022 however, both the NHL and the NHLPA have the right to terminate the Agreement effective midnight on September 15, 2020. The NHL may exercise its option to terminate on or before September 1, 2019. If NHL has not already done so, the NHLPA may exercise its option to terminate on or before September 15, 2019.
Q
How many lockouts or strikes have there been since 1967?
A
The NHL owners have locked out the players three times (1994-95, 2004-05 & 2012-13). In 1994-95, the lockout resulted in a shortened 48-game regular season. In 2004-05, the NHL cancelled the entire season and in 2012-13, the NHL season was reduced to 48-games. The players went on a 10-day strike in April 1992.
Q
How much are the players' union dues?
A
Players pay $30 (USD) per day during the regular season.
Q
What is the active player roster limit?
A
There is a maximum of 23 players on each club's active roster.
Q
What is group licensing?
A
Each NHLPA member can elect to assign his collective image rights to the Association for the purposes of group licensing and marketing programs. The NHLPA can then negotiate license agreements with corporate sponsors and product manufacturers to include all players' likenesses on products ranging from video games and trading cards, to apparel. In exchange for these rights, the NHLPA is typically paid a royalty and/or a marketing fee for any commercial use of the players. Players still retain their individual rights to endorse certain products or companies that aren't necessarily aligned with the group. Such companies, however, may not enter into agreements with more than two players without a group license from the NHLPA.
Q
How does an individual become a certified player agent?
A
Prospective agents must submit an application form and related materials detailing their education, background, their current business and personal relationships, as well as previous business dealings. The applications are then thoroughly reviewed by NHLPA staff, which may make further inquiries or conduct investigations before any decision regarding an applicant's certification has been rendered.
Q
How many agents are certified by the NHLPA?
A
There are approximately 160 Certified Player Agents