The Premier Hockey Federation keeps on growing. On Wednesday, December 14, the league announced the salary cap would increase to a historic $1.5 million per team for the 2023-24 season.
In 2021, the salary cap was just $150,000. It has increased 900% since then. This increase is the league’s third salary increase in nine seasons and shows huge growth for the women’s game. The league has had great growth over the last year with the expansion to Montreal, top players on the ice, more games, improved facilities, and new contract terms for players. Raising the cap and allowing players to make more is life-changing. In the league press release, PHF Commissioner, Reagan Carey, stated, “The PHF was the first league to pay its players back in 2015, and our commitment to building the best home for women’s professional hockey requires us to continue leading the way forward. Greater financial opportunities for athletes is part of the new PHF era.”
All seven PHF teams (Connecticut, Boston, Metropolitan, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, and, most recently, Montreal) have contracts that exceed the salary floor of $526,000 (75% of the cap). With the $750,000 cap, many players currently have other jobs off the ice to make ends meet. Now, they have a choice. If a team has a 25 player roster (current max), the average salary would be $60k. That makes playing PHF hockey viable as a full-time job. Having more full time hockey players in the league will help raise the level of play, leading to even more growth in the game. The league minimum and salary floor have not been announced yet, but they are expected to go up. If the salary floor and 75% cap requirement stay the same, the projected average minimum salary would be $45,000. The league has already seen some of this shift with the historic contract signed by Buffalo Beauts player and 2021 league MVP Mikyla Grant Mentis. She signed a historic one-year $80,000 contract for this season. Contracts like these show the financial growth and stability of salaries in the league.
These are professional athletes, and they’re finally getting to take advantage of all those benefits. Commissioner Carey described it, “This historic salary cap increase reflects the strengths of our league and developing business model and supports an enhanced player experience that over the last year has introduced full healthcare benefits, facility upgrades, league expansion, and a record 84-game schedule.”
This salary increase and PHF growth this year shows that the women’s game is being taken seriously. The league has more talent than ever, with a record number of Canadian, international, and senior national team players. Commissioner Carey says, “We will not stop here, and are very proud to continue our track record of establishing new records for women’s professional hockey.” So, the league isn’t done growing. It is an exciting time to be a women’s hockey and PHF fan because it feels like the good just keeps coming. The PHF is definitely a league to support. They have all the pieces to be successful and just need the fan base to keep the momentum going.