How Much Do NHL Coaches Get Paid? – (Salaries Facts)

NHL Coaches salary

Have you ever wondered how much an NHL coach gets paid? Well, so do a lot of other people. However, the information is difficult to obtain, because coaches’ salaries are not officially published.

The major source of a coach’s salary information comes from local reporters.

How much does an NHL coach get paid? An NHL coach’s salary ranges from about $1 million to $5 million, with an average of $2.5 to $3.0 million USD. A coach’s salary is guaranteed and if they get fired, they will still get paid out for their entire contract.

Let’s take an in-depth look at a coach’s salary in the NHL.

Why Are Coaches’ Salaries Not Reported Publicly?

The first thing to know about coaches’ salaries is that it is not disclosed to the public like players’ salaries. Apparently, coaches have no union like players.

The player’s union voted to make salaries public, whereas coaches’ salaries come out through insider knowledge.

Player’s salaries were not made public until 1989. At that point, players did not really make their salaries known amongst each other.

However, they decided to release all 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.

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.

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And since there are only 32 coaches, it is easier to get a feel for a coach’s salary than it is if you needed to survey 700 players.

How The NHL Coaching Contracts Actually Works?

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?

That is a good thing for the coaches that their contracts are guaranteed because, as the 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. They have set themselves up for too high of expectations.

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With all of that being said, I have come up with a coach’s salary tracker.

As you will see, not all the information is filled out, but I believe it is the most complete tacker out there.

A couple of caveats I wanted to share:

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.

Coach’s Salary Tracker: