Today’s Wall Street Journal feature on the excessive salaries of National Hockey League players which are putting the 30-team league in financial peril, should be an eye opener for all professional athletes. NHL players certainly are not the highest paid when compared to baseball, football and basketball stars of the Major Leagues, National Footbll Leacgue and the NBA. But they are moving up to the point where the NHL teams lost $millions last year and face even higher totals as soccer, golf and womens’ professional sports grow.
You can’t blame NHL players who engage in the roughest sport, football included, for grabbing what money they can—while they can. I can well remember talking to Fernie Flaman who was an All Star defenseman for the Boston Bruins a half century ago, and him telling me how the top salary he could get from the Bruins’ General Manager Art Ross was $5,000. He was worth at least $10,000 as he was the best defenseman in he NHL during the era following World War II.