Seravalli brings light to the unfair advantages of American NHL teams

Dawson Mckenzie
April 12, 2024  (11:22)

Noah Hanifin skating during a game with the Las Vegas Golden Knights against the Detroit Red Wings.
Photo credit: TSN

After Noah Hanifin signed his massive extension with the Vegas Golden Knights, Frank Seravalli revealed the major advantage that US teams have over Canadian teams.

In breaking news yesterday, Noah Hanifin signed his long-expected contract extension with the Las Vegas Golden Knights, bringing in a massive 8-year contract with a $7.35 million AAV. It was reported that the Calgary Flames were offering more, however, Hanifin did not want to sign there.
Noah Hanifin's eight-year extension with Vegas carries a $7.35M AAV.

Now, Frank Seravalli gave some insight into why Hanifin may have elected to sign with an American team over a Canadian team. He notes that while Hanifin accepted a lower gross salary number from Vegas, because of how taxes work, he would actually be netting more money than if he had signed a larger deal in Calgary.
AAV is lower, but net pay is significantly more in Vegas.

In Vegas, $7.35m AAV results in net pay of $37.364 million.

In Calgary, $7.5m AAV results in net pay of $31.5 million

That's $1.2 million less in gross pay for $6.134 million more in net pay.

This is no small number, as Hanifin is now set to make over a million dollars more simply because he chose 1 team over another. This has a huge advantage for teams like Vegas as they can essentially give players less money against their cap while still paying them the same if not more.
Some have pointed out that there are advantages to playing in Canada, though, too. Canadian players are still paid in US dollars, so their money goes a lot further with the exchange rate. That said, with how taxes work, it may not be enticing enough.
This is far outside of the NHL's scope, though, and likely nothing that can be done.
APRIL 12   |   485 ANSWERS
Seravalli brings light to the unfair advantages of American NHL teams

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