Canadian Hockey League claims majority of clubs not profitable

The Canadian Hockey League says the majority of its clubs either break even or lose money.

CHL reveals financial records as part of lawsuit defence

A lawsuit seeks to have Canadian Hockey League players receive at least minimum wage, instead of the $35-$50 weekly stipends they currently receive. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The Canadian Hockey League says the majority of its clubs either break even or lose money. 

The claim was made in response to a lawsuit filed in 2014 by former CHL players who claim the league and its teams are violating minimum wage laws.

In a press release on Thursday, the league said the documents released by the CHL were analyzed by KPMG accountants and financial expert Dr. Norm O'Reilly indicate that if the two most successful clubs are removed from the equation, the other 40 WHL and OHL clubs on average lose close to $75,000 annually. 

According to the documents, the two profitable clubs made an average of $2.8 million and $1.8 million, respectively. None of the teams are identified in the filing.

In October, an Alberta judge ordered all 42 Western Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League teams to produce financial records dating back to 2011. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is not listed as a defendant and was not included in the order. 

The lawsuit argues the league should pay its current and former players minimum wage along with holiday pay, vacation pay, overtime hours and other outstanding wages. 

According to lawyer Ted Charney — who represents one of the plaintiffs — the league's players earn between $35 and $50 per week.

Dr. O'Reilly's report claims if the minimum wage policy was put in place, many of the league's teams would be required to cut operating expenses and player benefits and be faced with the possibility of folding. 


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