Are Russians the Highest-Paid Goalies in the NHL?

By Raeder, Douglas A.; Sommers, Paul M. | International Advances in Economic Research, February 2010 | Go to article overview

Are Russians the Highest-Paid Goalies in the NHL?


Raeder, Douglas A., Sommers, Paul M., International Advances in Economic Research


JEL J44 * L83

Twenty years after Glasnost, Russians in the National Hockey League (NHL) are now among the highest-paid goaltenders. Of the 89 NHL goalies who played at least one game in the 2008-09 season, over 33% were born outside North America (and 4.6% of the total were from either Kazakhstan or Russia). A few years after Glasnost, there was evidence that Russian-born NHL players were underpaid (see Austin et al., IAER, 1998).

Salaries (in thousands of U.S. dollars) at the start of the 2008-09 season of all NHL goalies who played at least 10 games in the 2007-08 season were regressed on goals against average (GAA) [equal to goals against multiplied by 60 and then divided by the goalie's minutes on the ice], the number of seasons (Seasons) played through 2007-08 (again, with a minimum of 10 games played in each season), and the number of seasons squared (Seasons2). Ethnicity was initially broken down into four regional categories: Canadian, American, European, and Russian. Salary data are from www.nhlpa.com and players' profiles are from www.nhl.com.

Goalies receive significantly higher salaries for a lower GAA (p = .00l) and experience, namely, the number of seasons played. [The coefficients on Seasons and Seasons3, 1,293.9 (p<.001) and -60.44 (p =.001), respectively, suggest [partial derivative]Salary/[partial derivative]Seasons = 0 when Seasons=10. …

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