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One of the NHL and NHLPA’s joint endeavours to grow the hockey-related revenues (HRR) pie has been engaging more and more with markets outside of North America. For the players, part of the incentive is making events like the Olympics part of the regular hockey calendar. For the owners, it’s about more revenue streams.

The NHL’s non-North American hopes and dreams and regulated by Article 24: International Hockey.

International committee

Per Section 24.1(a), the International Committee organizes all “regular” NHL events and jointly-developed international projects and initiatives. In other words, they organize the trips to Europe and Asia for pre-season and regular season hockey, as well as help develop events such as the World Cup of Hockey and organize Olympic participation. The composition of the committee isn’t strictly defined.

Every team will be required to participate in one international trip during term of the CBA. As of 2019-20, only 14 of the league’s 31 teams had done so: Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Vancouver and Winnipeg. (Nashville and Columbus were slated to join that group in 2020.) Since the NHL didn’t start doing a lot of international games until 2017, this “requirement” seems to have been ignored or relaxed.

Per diem on international trips started at $110 in 2012-13 and was scaled in 2019-20 to $122 with inflation. Obviously, everybody’s away from their home city so everybody gets per diem.

Worlds participation

NHL player participation in the annual World Championship tournament is actually enshrined in the CBA. Effectively, three conditions exist:

  • The player’s NHL team misses the playoffs or is eliminated early
  • The national team doesn’t ask about participation until the player’s NHL team is eliminated (and asks the player and his NHL team at same time)
  • The IIHF or national team agree to cover insurance for remainder of contract and/or loss of earning capacity

HRR impact

So here’s how it goes:

  • Revenue from international games involving NHL teams playing outside of North America count as HRR (and are split 50/50 between the NHL and NHLPA).
  • Revenue from international projects that don’t involve NHL teams but do involve NHL players – the World Cup, for example – are excluded from HRR but are to be split 50/50 between the NHL and NHLPA). The distinction is there are specific things that HRR has to be used for (and how it can be split up), while excluding World Cup revenues allowed for different things to be done with the funds.

CBA School | Article 1 (Definitions) | Article 8 (Entry Draft) | Article 9 (Entry Level Compensation) | Article 10 (Free Agency) | Article 11 (Rules Governing Standard Player’s Contract) | Article 12 (Salary Arbitration) | Article 13 (Waivers and Loan of Players to Minor League Clubs) | Article 15 (Training Camp) | Article 16 (League Schedule, Playing Roster, Reserve Lists, Practice Sessions) | Article 18 (Supplemental Discipline for On-Ice Conduct) | Article 18-A (Commissioner Discipline for Off-Ice Conduct) | Article 19 (Per Diem) & 20 (Game Tickets) | Article 22 (Competition Committee)