How Much Do Female Hockey Players Make? [Updated!]

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Hockey is a beautiful game. But it’s not just about watching the big ice blocks flying around the ice. Sure, it’s those moments that make the game so special. But, it’s about the women who play the game. Specifically, how much do female hockey players make? We explored this topic and gathered some interesting stats from the US government.*

The Meanest Season

One of the first things you’ll notice about women’s hockey is just how much it differs from the men’s game. First of all, the players are much smaller. It’s not unusual to see women play in adult women’s leagues where they are often the tiniest of the tiny players. And because of this, their games are often more physical. But that’s not all there is to it. The other big difference is the puck. While the large ice ball is still around, it’s usually a puck that comes in various sizes. Smaller pucks are used for quicker games while the larger ones are used for the slow, physical grinders. This can make a world of difference in your search for financial security.

The financial security of a professional female hockey player comes in all shapes and sizes. Some make very good money while others can’t even cover their monthly expenses. It depends on a number of factors, mainly where they play and how long they stay in the league. Here are the top nine-paid and the lowest-paid women’s hockey players in the United States based on 2017-18 contracts:

Top-Paid

Let’s start at the top and work our way down. Here are the top-paid women’s hockey players in the US based on contracts from the 2017-18 season.

  • Teresa Cheng, Calgary Inferno
  • Jocelyne Eve, Montreal Alouettes
  • Kelli Stack, Saskatchewan Roughriders
  • Melissa Bertuzzi, Toronto Argonauts
  • Katherine Helps, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • Meghan Duggan, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
  • Caroline Ouellette, Toronto Argonauts

You’ll notice that all of these women play for the Calgary Inferno. The other Canadian teams weren’t far behind though with four other organizations paying their players well. There are a few reasons for this. First, it’s Canada’s National Sport. Everyone knows what hockey is and how it’s played. Plus, since it’s Canada, you know that healthcare is covered by the government. That means that female hockey players get a decent welfare check. Finally, the owners of the Calgary Flames are really good at making money. So good that they’re the eighth-richest owners in the NHL. They also own the Stampede Arena in Calgary, Alberta where many of the games are played. So, if you’re looking for a good time, you could look into playing for the Calgary Inferno. It’ll be a good time for your wallet. Or, you could just enjoy the game from the stands.

Lowest-Paid

We’ll now take a look at the lowest-paid women’s hockey players in the US. As mentioned, it depends on a number of factors. The biggest one is how long the player stays in the league. If she decides to take a break from hockey for a while, her wages can take a huge hit. One of the requirements to make it to the professional leagues is having the proper paperwork. Without it, you won’t be able to register with the league and won’t be able to earn any money. Here are the nine lowest-paid women’s hockey players in the US based on contracts from the 2017-18 season:

  • Brianna Decker, Sky Blue FC
  • Nadine Prucha, Chicago Red Stars
  • Tiffany Caban, Los Angeles Blues
  • Caitlin Sweeney, New Jersey Devil Womens
  • Courtney Dowling, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Mikaela Buhlke, Buffalo Beauts
  • Amy Van Deusen, Atlanta Falcons
  • Nicole Gaudette, Houston Dash

Many of these women play for lower-league teams. Those teams pay their players much less. But it doesn’t hurt to have some good luck either. Since they register with the leagues, they have the opportunity to showcase their talent and earn some good money. But sometimes, having good talent doesn’t translate into good money. This is often the case for the lowest-paid women’s hockey players. They have to prove themselves everyday and often have a lot of competition for spots.

Career Highs

So far we’ve covered the highest-paid and the lowest-paid female hockey players. But, what about their overall earnings? Here are the career highs for the nine aforementioned players:

  • Teresa Cheng (above)
  • Kelli Stack (above)
  • Melissa Bertuzzi (above)
  • Caroline Ouellette (above)
  • Meghan Duggan (above)
  • Hamilton Tiger-Cats (above)
  • Toronto Argonauts (above)
  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers (above)
  • St. Louis Athletes (above)

As you can see above, Teresa Cheng scored a whopping $125,000 last season. And just imagine how much she could have made if she decided to play another year. Or, if she decides to take a year off and then comes back, her earnings could skyrocket. Or, she could end up breaking even. It all depends on how healthy she stays and whether or not she wants to keep playing. It’s all a matter of chance. But, for now, she’s definitely set for life. In fact, she could make more money coaching than playing. A great way to make more money is to become a sports agent. But, that’s a conversation for another day.

That’s pretty much all there is to know about professional female hockey. While there are some important things to keep in mind, such as getting proper healthcare and having a good manager, this article should get you well on your way to being financially secure as a female hockey player. Good luck out there.

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