At first blush, it’s a real shame that Darryl Boyce of the Toronto Maple Leafs separated his shoulder in his first NHL game last night.
Now, I’m not suggesting these guys play only for the money, but from a financial standpoint, Boyce couldn’t have hoped for a better result than to be on the injury list for the next six weeks.
Here’s why. Once a player is on an NHL roster, the team cannot send him down to the minors if he’s injured. That means the Leafs will not be able to return Boyce to the Toronto Marlies until he completely recovers from his injury. And that means that as long as Boyce is hurt, he’ll be making NHL money.
How much? Well, if he’s out for six weeks, he’ll make more on the Maple Leafs injury list than he would have made the entire season with the Marlies.
Boyce’s base salary is $475,000 on a two-way contract he signed in early January. He also has a $50,000 bonus he would have received regardless of whether or not he was on the pro roster. If he’s out for six weeks, that’s a total of 42 days, plus the two days he spent with the Leafs prior to his injury.
NHL salaries are allocated on a per-day basis and based on a 187-day regular season. That means Boyce stands to make $111,764.70 if he stays on the Leafs roster for a total of 44 days. Compare that to his $60,000 salary playing for the Marlies this season.
Boyce is undoubtedly hoping he can prove to be a fast healer, but you can bet his accountant is hoping it takes a good, long time for him to get over this injury.
Chances are Boyce would have only played a couple of games with the Leafs before being dispatched to the Marlies.
As it is, he has beaten the odds by playing in even one NHL game.
A former defensive forward for St. Michael’s in the Ontario League, Boyce spent the last two years playing for the University of New Brunswick before signing a minor league deal with the Leafs this season.
That was upgraded to an NHL contract after the first half of the season and the Leafs were so impressed with his play they called him up when Alexei Ponikarovsky went down with, coincidentally, a shoulder injury that will keep him out of the lineup for six to eight weeks.
Prior to his injury, Boyce had played five shifts for a total of 3:20 of ice time. He had one hit, one giveaway and won both of the faceoffs he took.
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