Have you ever wondered how much an NHL coach gets paid? Well, so do a lot of other people. However, the information is not easy to obtain, because coach’s salaries are not officially published. The main source of a coach’s salary information comes from local reporters.Embed from Getty Images
How much does a NHL coach get paid? An NHL coach’s salary ranges from about $1 million to $5 million with an average in the $2.5 to $3.0 million USD. A coach’s salary is guaranteed and if they get fired they will still get paid out the entirety of the contract.
Let’s take a closer look at a coach’s salary in the NHL.
Coach’s salaries do not need to be reported publicly
The first thing to know about coach’s salaries are not disclosed to the public like player’s salaries are. There is no coaches union like there is a player’s union. And the player’s union has voted to make salaries public, whereas coach’s salaries come out throw insider knowledge.
Player’s salaries were not made public until 1989. At that point players did not even really make their salaries known amongst each other, but decided to release all of the information as a way of helping to push salaries higher to have decent comparables. The tradeoff was a lack of privacy for your salary for an ability to negotiate a higher salary.
However, for whatever reason, the coaching fraternity has not followed suit.
Instead, we need to rely on local reporters uncovering the salaries of the respective coaches. With this being the case not all coaches salaries are known.
My assumption is that some coaches are letting their salaries ‘slip’ as a way to do informally what players did back in 1989. If more coaches are aware of comparable salaries, it will only push salaries of all the coaches up.
And since there are only 31 coaches it is easier to get a feel for a coaches salary than it is if you needed to survey 700 players.
NHL Coach’s contracts are guaranteed
A coach’s salary is on a guaranteed contract. If a coach signs a contract for 3 years they will get paid for the full three years of the contract. Even if they are fired a month into that contract.
There have been many cases where a coach has got fired from a team, and has been hired by another team. This does not necessarily mean they will get paid double.
A team will need to seek permission to talk to the coach who has been fired, because they are still under contract for the other team. What it does mean is that there is probably some sharing of costs on the old contract if the new team wants to hire him.
We can never be exactly sure what has happened in these cases, but if you were the old employer wouldn’t you try to claw back a million or so?
NHL coaches are hired to be fired
That is a good thing for the coaches that their contracts are guaranteed because as they saying goes, ‘coaches are hired to be fired’.
Coaches do not have a long tenure as a head coach in the NHL. There is the odd coach who will go for longer than 5 years, but most only survive a couple of years.
And, if you are a coach you do not want to win the Jack Adams for coach of the year. Why is that???? Because, it is often the case (a curse) that they are fired the next year. The have set themselves up for too high of expectations.
With all of that being said I have come up with a coaches salary tracker.
As you will see not all of the information is filled out, but I believe it is the most complete tacker out there.
A couple of caveats I wanted to share:
- Interim coaches – when a coach is fired they will often be replaced with an assistant coach from the team on a trial basis. This is what they call an interim coach. If they do great they will get a full contract after the year, if not the gm will find a new head coach. The salaries of interim coaches are never reported. I am sure (hope) they will get a bump up in salary from the assistant role.
- Help – The chart is not complete! If you have any information on the missing parts of the tracker, please let me know – I would appreciate the help!
Coach’s Salary Tracker
|Arizona Coyotes||Rich Tocchet||4 years starting 2017-18||$1.5 million/year|
|Boston Bruins||Bruce Cassidy||Extension starting in 2020-21||$3 million/year|
|Buffalo Sabres||Ralph Krueger||3 years starting 2018-19||$4 million/year|
|Calgary Flames||Geoff Ward||2 years starting 2020-21||$900,000/year|
|Carolina Hurricanes||Rod Brind'Amour||3 years starting 2018-19||N/A|
|Chicago Blackhawks||Jeremy Colliton||3 years starting 2018-19||$1.5 million/year|
|Colorado Avalanche||Jared Bednar||2 year extension thru 2021-22||N/A|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||John Tortorella||2 year extension thru 2020-21||Previous $2 million/year|
|Dallas Stars||Rick Bowness||Interim||N/A|
|Detroit Red Wings||Jeff Blashill||4 years starting 2015-16||$800,000/year|
|Edmonton Oilers||Dave Tippett||3 years starting 2019-20||$2.75 to $3.0/year|
|Florida Panthers||Joel Quenneville||5 years starting 2019-20||$5 million + up to 1.75 million in bonuses per year|
|Los Angeles Kings||Todd McLellan||5 years starting 2019-20||$5 million/year|
|Minnesota Wild||Dean Evason||2 years starting 2020-21||N/A|
|Montreal Canadiens||Claude Julien||5 years starting 2017-28||$5 million per year|
|Nashville Predators||John Hynes||3 years starting 2019-20||N/A|
|New Jersey Devils||Lindy Ruff||3 years starting 2020-21||N/A|
|New York Islanders||Barry Trotz||5 years starting 2018-19||$4 million/year|
|New York Rangers||David Quinn||5 years starting 2018-19||$2.4 million/year|
|Ottawa Senators||DJ Smith||3 years starting 2019-20||N/A|
|Philadelphia Flyers||Alain Vigneault||5 years starting 2019-20||$5 million/year|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||Mike Sullivan||4 year extension starting 2019-20||N/A|
|San Jose Sharks||Bob Boughner||Interim||N/A|
|St. Louis Blues||Craig Berube||3 years starting 2019-20||N/A|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Jon Cooper||3 year extension starting 2019-20||$3.5-4 million/year|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Sheldon Keefe||3 years starting 2019-20||N/A|
|Vancouver Canucks||Travis Green||4 years starting 2017-18||$1 million/year|
|Vegas Golden Knights||Peter DeBoer||4 years starting 2019-20||N/A|
|Washington Capitals||Peter Laviolette||3 years starting 2020-21||$4.9 million/year|
|Winnipeg Jets||Paul Maurice||4 years starting 2019-20||$3 million/year|