Average NHL player lockout fund 
So, I posted last week about the player's lockout fund. Chris commented "Why don't you put a rough figure out. I've heard it's well over half a billion and closer to a billion."

Here's what I figure....

A source indicates that the NHLPA advised players to save paycheques from at least 1999 - possibly earlier. It is reasonable to assume that the NHLPA actually facilitated this savings with special accounts.
An NHL player is paid semi-monthly which works out to 14 paycheques. One paycheque a year being stored in the lockout fund would amount to the following....

Year Average Salary One paycheque saved
1999-00 $1,194,206 $84,789
2000-01 $1,360,000 $96,560
2001-02 $1,642,590 $116,624
2002-03 $1,790,290 $127,111
2003-04 $1,830,000 $129,930
Lockout fund for an average player $ 555,013

I'm assuming 0% growth over those five years which is probably realistic due to the state of the markets - an investment expert could help out here considering the large amount of funds we are talking about.

So what is the total amount saved by NHL players?

You can't multiply the average by the number of players as a great many of them haven't been in the league for 5 years or those bringing up the average in the first part of the calc have since retired. The entire NHLPA of around 730 players (is that right?) would total a $405 million dollar fund.

And what about NHLPA licensing which they've saved a portion of each year for the lockout?

The figures are hard to come by but the NHL itself projected licensing revenue to be around $1.5 billion in fiscal 04. What would the NHLPA get?

Does all this matter?

Well, public perception does matter. NHL players live across this country. They read papers, and some may read blogs. Their families are often semi-integrated into the community and don't want to be viewed as money hungry professional athletes. When Goodenow says "We didn't go on strike" or "We want to play" or "The owners have been planning this since '98", he's doing it for PR.
If the public realizes that the players have been planning for the lockout for just as long as the owners and that they've prepared for not playing - saving up some of their ridiculous salaries - the public will feel even more strongly that it is the players that must blink first and longest.
If the players feel the pressure from the public it won't be long before a few start calling up their union reps asking about the owner's cap proposals - what would a cap really mean, how much money, what percentage.

Once that crack is opened, the pressure for Goodenow to negotiate a cap will grow.

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