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VIP Mailbag: Beer Sales, Division I, KHL Structure

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Q.Hey Mike,

Was searching around the web to find any news about the move to D1, but couldn’t find any. I was wondering if there was any delay or if the vote just hasn’t happened yet. Thank you in advance.

Last I knew, a vote could happen next time the NEC meets, but I’m not sure when that is. Apparently it’s difficult because this matter needs the presidents to vote, not the ADs. At their last meeting, not enough presidents were in attendance to vote.

Q. I saw that Merrimack might do beer sales and that gets a ton of money do you think it could eventually or even now help in the smallest tiniest way for them building a new arena?

It will be added revenue, but it won’t in any way cover the cost of a new arena. Using the new Colgate or Bentley arenas as good examples of what Merrimack could use (as far as size), the cost for those buildings were between $40-$50 million. Beer sales at Merrimack could bring in a couple hundred thousand per year in revenue, if the crowds continue to stay large, but that doesn’t even make a dent in $40-$50 million.

A new rink doesn’t happen without a big donation coming forward, or some capital campaign where a handful of wealthy donors band together to kickstart a project. Using the money the college has invested in the Merrimack Athletic Complex in recent years as evidence, I don’t think a new facility isn’t even on the radar.

You can make the argument that Bentley is a “smaller” hockey school than Merrimack, but the fact is that Bentley is a much wealthier school. Bentley’s endowment is around $240 million, and according to U.S. News and World Report, Merrimack’s endowment in 2016 was around $40 million. So, while the schools are similar in size, Bentley has roughly six times the financial resources.

And to get back to the question, while beer sales would generate some much-needed revenue, it would go more towards (I’m guessing) offsetting operational expenses, rather than be used as a fundraiser for any type of facility.

Q. What is the pay scale in the KHL? You wrote recently about Da Costa that he probably went to the KHL because the money was better than the AHL, but how much better is it? Do you have any idea?

For someone like Da Costa, or even Karl Stollery who signed today, there is probably a salary of $800-900k if they’re in the NHL, and around $150-$200k if they’re in the AHL on a two-way contract. In the KHL, many top players earn over $1 million, and star players (Alexander Radulov, Ilya Kovalchuk) have reportedly earned $5 million or more.

KHL contracts aren’t totally public, but my guess is that Stollery and Da Costa could be around $500,000? Maybe more?

Da Costa’s previous team, CSKA Moscow, would reportedly spend about $30 million per year on players (they had about $10 million wrapped up in Kovalchuk and Radulov), so that left about $20 million for another 18 players. On average, that’s more than $1 million per player.

As far as average salary in the league, it appears that there are big variations between teams, so it’s hard to pinpoint where a specific player could be.

About Mike McMahon

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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