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Erik Cole


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Not every NHLer has it as good as a star, but as I said, that's just one of the risks of going after a pro sports career. It comes with the territory. I love the story of Darche fighting to get to the NHL and I rooted for him to do well because of it, but at the end of the day, he's still set financially compared to what most people go through in real life. The average worker in Quebec makes maybe 20-30k, not 60k and certainly not 500-600k. If you work for 40 years, that would mean you make about 1M in your lifetime. Let's say Darche spent 8 years earning 30k in the AHL and 3 years making 600k in the NHL... that's still around 2M. Let's drop about 800k from that in extra taxes, and he's still made more in his short career than most people make ever. And when he's done, he has career options related to hockey and he's got the option of going back to school, doing promotional work or motivational speaking, or doing something else he wants to.I will certainly agree that he's not in a position to just blow money on a rich-and-famous lifestyle the way Crosby or Ovi could, but he's comfortable enough to retire if he chooses. I think a lot of NHLers in financial difficulty later on in life are in that spot because they blew their money in an immature fashion, and teams have taken steps to try and give young players financial counseling these days, so that they don't forget to budget for the future. Every one of us has to plan for retirement too, and if I spent all the money I made now, I'd be up a creek when I got to retirement too.

As I said, I think Cole is completely allowed to decide whether playing is worth it to him or not. I don't hold a grudge against him for that. But I'm not crying over the fact he has to leave an extra couple thousand dollars in escrow and I'm not crying for Darche or Bouillon or Paul Mara either.

Well said BigTed3 :)

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Not sure if it has been posted here,,,,but here's a piece from the Montreal Gazette via TSN regarding Coles future.

"According to the Montreal Gazette, forward Erik Cole told the media on Friday that his unhappiness with the new CBA and his family situation will force him to review whether or not he wants to keep playing after this season.

Cole, who is in the second year of a four-year, $18 million deal with the Habs, first brought up the possibility of retirement in October.

"I want to have a conversation with the (Players' Association) about some of the escrow stuff and some of the fearsome things in the new CBA," Cole told the Gazette. "Family-wise it's a transition year with my daughter in school next year and I think it's something to be considered and everybody should consider this when they look at the new CBA, not just the way it affects the group but how it affects you individually."

The 34-year-old forward also stated his concern that players won't get the full value of their existing contracts as the NHLPA's share of league revenues will drop from 57 to 50 per cent."

I hope not.

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I didn't read any previous posts so ill apologize before hand, I just saw his article on HIO and I'm sick of hearing about players complain about the money. Money and length of time in the league is not the point.

No one Is forcing you to play Professional Sports!

If you want more stability or want to make more money in another way then you have the freedom to do so. If you grew up dreaming of the millions and not the glory then you got into it for the wrong reason. We all know the hard work and determination it takes but at the end of the day it is an absolute privilege to play sports and get paid for it, if you don't like it then there are thousands of people willing to take your place.

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I know its off topic, but I cant help it. Sure, Crosby Cole even quite possibly Yannick Weber are all probably doing really well. But if you go watch nos canadiens, youll notice that guys like Pyatt, Price, live in some fairly basic apartments and not some nice penthouse. From what I can tell, the players need to buy their own cars for the off-seasons (the team does get them for seasons) and pay for their own training as well as other costs of living in big cities (think guys for Montreal, NYR, Toronto, Vancouver, etc.) as well these players probably have a home in their hometown unless they play close to where they are from. So you need a place to live during the season in a metropolis, a place to live to be with your family, off-season personal training, a car, food utilities etc. Im sure it adds up especially to the Mike Blundens Tom pyatts or Glen Metropolits.

But at the same time, yes. The players are being greedy, but Im sure all of us would be in their situation. Its probably nice to live the lifestyles they are living and I for sure would not want that to change. Im just saying that I can kinda see where their coming from in their situation and NO they are not perfect, I was agreeing with the 50/50 split it was just the way the owners seemed to behave that was my whole purpose for joining the players side of things. Owners give out horrible offers, unwilling to negotiate, demanding salary cut backs and a restriction on backdiving contracts even though they were signing those contracts the offseason prior obviously with no intention of ever giving the players their money. And just locking the players out in general as a first resort, not a last resort.

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First off, I'm not all the sure how relevant a guy making Darche money even is to the CBA discussion. The league minimum is not directly tied to the cap - even if the players' share goes up or down a few points, the Darches of the league will be making the same minimum salary.

Now on the subject of mill workers' lifetime salaries and all that, Greame made the point a few posts ago that I never see addressed - why does everyone talk as though once a hockey player plays his last game that he has made his last penny? And I'm not even talking about the few who get into coaching or journalism or whatever - what's to say he can't get one of these assembly line jobs that apparently pay so much? I think it's very debatable that the average Canadian will make anything close over a lifetime to what an average NHLer will make over his playing career, but even if we take that as fact: isn't there something to be said for the huge quality of life gap that comes from retiring at 35 instead of 70? And if ex hockey players are having financial troubles, what's to stop them from getting a real job when they're done? They'd have a strong leg up on other candidates based on recognition alone - I guarantee that nobody in Montreal would let Steve Begin's resume get lost in the pile underneath 100 other people looking for work.

Here's the bottom line: include the taxes and the media and whatever else negative you can find, and ask just about anyone in Canada if they would be an NHL player if they could. I bet you'd get a whole lot of yesses. Now ask just about any NHL player whether they'd rather wait tables. I guarantee you not one says yes, because if that's how they really felt they'd be doing it.

Here's the thing: it doesn't actually bother me that hockey players make so much money, and I think it's a little silly when people say that nurses or teachers or soldiers should make more in comparison. NHL players aren't paid more because they contribute more to society, they are paid more because they have a very rare and exclusive level of skill. A significant percentage of Canadians could qualify to be a nurse if they take the right courses, the same is certainly not true for an NHL level athlete. It's just how things are.

So, Mr. Cole, by all means say what you feel. You're a great player, and therefore you've earned your money in my eyes. If the new CBA bothers you then you're free to complain to whoever you like about it and to give them your opinion. But if you're going to complain to a national media source, which you know will be read by millions of hockey fans making more modest wages who are already a little bitter about watching rich people squabble for four months, then you've got to accept that those people will have their opinions as well. If you really don't care about your public image then more power to you, but you can't claim to be surprised if whatever goodwill you made in the city with your play last year evaporates a little bit.

My opinion is that it's time to forget about it and move on. There's no way that Eric Cole is actually going to retire over something like this, it all sounds like sour grapes. Once the puck hits the ice nobody will be talking about the CBA anymore, and Cole will eventually forget about whatever's bothering him.

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I know its off topic, but I cant help it. Sure, Crosby Cole even quite possibly Yannick Weber are all probably doing really well. But if you go watch nos canadiens, youll notice that guys like Pyatt, Price, live in some fairly basic apartments and not some nice penthouse. From what I can tell, the players need to buy their own cars for the off-seasons (the team does get them for seasons) and pay for their own training as well as other costs of living in big cities (think guys for Montreal, NYR, Toronto, Vancouver, etc.) as well these players probably have a home in their hometown unless they play close to where they are from. So you need a place to live during the season in a metropolis, a place to live to be with your family, off-season personal training, a car, food utilities etc. Im sure it adds up especially to the Mike Blundens Tom pyatts or Glen Metropolits.

I kind of get what you're saying HTB, but in my opinion looking at it this way is really a bit glass-half-empty. Why should a player look at it as "I need to buy my own car in the off-season" when most people would look at it as "sweet, I get a company car free of charge for nine months a year!" :). You have to buy an appartment in a city and a house in your hometown? Again, that's not so much a negative as a positive ("Even though I had to move away for work, I have enough to afford a house in the town I really want to live in so I can spend my three months off there! Sweet!" ;)) More than a few of my high school friends would love to be able to spend more time here in Nova Scotia, but they're in Alberta full-time instead because that's where they can get work.

All I'm saying is that there are no extra costs associated with being a hockey player. Maybe off-season personal training, as that's essentially mandatory, but that's still a drop in the bucket (and something a lot of people would probably like to do if they could afford it). The whole thing is just a bit of a weird argument to me. NHL players, even at the very very lowest end of the salary range, make more money than (literally) 99% of Canadians. AND they get perks. It doesn't matter what the tax rate is, it doesn't matter what metric you use, they are simply much better off financially than almost everyone else. I'm not saying that money is everything and that just because they are rich they should automatically be happier in their lives and take whatever the owners give them, I'm jsut saying that I fundamentally don't understand any argument that hinges on the fact that some hockey players "don't really make that much".

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Its a shame...I am a huge Cole fan, for every aspect of his game, and i respect him as a modern model athlete with values, spirit, leadership. His comments about CBA and retiring is just something you never expect to hear from a consistant and dedicated athlete. Of course any player may have issues from the new CBA or issues with their families, they are human after all, but they dont comment like this in public, because there are millions of human beings out there envying the way they live, the money the make, and the work they do for living. I guess we have to respect another aspect of Cole's personality, in a person that makes his opinions public no matter the cost.

PS 1. If he finally desides to retire after this season its going to be a huge blow for our top RW because with the Cap going down we will need to fill this need quite cheap in the 4-5M range and the only available decent UFA are Perry, Iginla, Horton (all will sign above 5M) and Alfredsson, Jagr, Selanne (all above 40 years old).

PS 2. I wish this kind of mentality will touch a player like Gomez, and maybe he considers to retire too...

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Assembly line worker would get paid not very much, let's say 30000$ a year, multiply that by 40 years, that's 1.2 million dollars.

Budaj makes that in 1 year. He's now played 7 years (going into his 8th), so you can add up that cash pile.

So maybe I'm confused here but the numbers don't add up.

people always blame the players for making lots of money but really it isnt their fault..... fact is their industry is a much more profitable business.... and really your picking a assembly line work which is generally the bottom of a business.... you should compare their income with someone further up in an industry since the factory line worker would be better compared to the people who work at concessions in the arenas and the maintnence personel who help maintain ice surface.

back on topic i think erik cole should take what hes gettingg as he isn't the only player having a pay cut

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people always blame the players for making lots of money but really it isnt their fault..... fact is their industry is a much more profitable business.... and really your picking a assembly line work which is generally the bottom of a business.... you should compare their income with someone further up in an industry since the factory line worker would be better compared to the people who work at concessions in the arenas and the maintnence personel who help maintain ice surface.

back on topic i think erik cole should take what hes gettingg as he isn't the only player having a pay cut

I'm not the one who initially compared them to assembly line workers, I was replying to another post who mentioned them earlier. Please read the entire thread.

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back on topic i think erik cole should take what hes gettingg as he isn't the only player having a pay cut

He has the right to decide whether or not it's worth it to him to play. I certainly don't think anyone should feel sympathy but if he decides he'd rather go home and do something else than take the pay cut I see no reason to be upset with him over it. If you don't like the conditions you're going to be working under, quitting and doing something else seems reasonable to me.

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He has the right to decide whether or not it's worth it to him to play. I certainly don't think anyone should feel sympathy but if he decides he'd rather go home and do something else than take the pay cut I see no reason to be upset with him over it. If you don't like the conditions you're going to be working under, quitting and doing something else seems reasonable to me.

Especially since he has a wife and kids and I'm sure he would love to spend more time with them. Being a hockey player and always on the move, not much time to be a dad and see his kids grow up.

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He has the right to decide whether or not it's worth it to him to play. I certainly don't think anyone should feel sympathy but if he decides he'd rather go home and do something else than take the pay cut I see no reason to be upset with him over it. If you don't like the conditions you're going to be working under, quitting and doing something else seems reasonable to me.

I understand this, and I do agree, I just find it a bit hypocritical after the rhetoric for 4 months was "we just want contracts honoured". That being said, it's probably a blessing in disguise if he retires after this season or next, I have a bad feeling that the last half of his contract is going to be tough to swallow, by his last year he'll be 36, and his playing style doesn't allow players to age gracefully. I also don't believe for a second that he's going to just walk out and leave 8 million dollars on the table.

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Guest habs1952

Here's the thing: it doesn't actually bother me that hockey players make so much money, and I think it's a little silly when people say that nurses or teachers or soldiers should make more in comparison. NHL players aren't paid more because they contribute more to society, they are paid more because they have a very rare and exclusive level of skill. A significant percentage of Canadians could qualify to be a nurse if they take the right courses, the same is certainly not true for an NHL level athlete. It's just how things are.

Supply and demand. If more talented hockey players were produced the salaries would come down due to competition for a limited number of jobs.

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Not sure if it has been posted here,,,,but here's a piece from the Montreal Gazette via TSN regarding Coles future.

"According to the Montreal Gazette, forward Erik Cole told the media on Friday that his unhappiness with the new CBA and his family situation will force him to review whether or not he wants to keep playing after this season.

Cole, who is in the second year of a four-year, $18 million deal with the Habs, first brought up the possibility of retirement in October.

"I want to have a conversation with the (Players' Association) about some of the escrow stuff and some of the fearsome things in the new CBA," Cole told the Gazette. "Family-wise it's a transition year with my daughter in school next year and I think it's something to be considered and everybody should consider this when they look at the new CBA, not just the way it affects the group but how it affects you individually."

The 34-year-old forward also stated his concern that players won't get the full value of their existing contracts as the NHLPA's share of league revenues will drop from 57 to 50 per cent."

I hope not.

If he doesn't want to play - quite frankly, I'd rather not have him play. Good riddance.

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He has the right to decide whether or not it's worth it to him to play. I certainly don't think anyone should feel sympathy but if he decides he'd rather go home and do something else than take the pay cut I see no reason to be upset with him over it. If you don't like the conditions you're going to be working under, quitting and doing something else seems reasonable to me.

Well I would be upset if he quit over this, only because it hurts our hockey team. I'm not saying I think it would make him wrong or a bad person or anything, but as a Habs fan I don't see any reason not to be upset if one of our top players suddenly decides to stop.

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I love all of the hate going towards Cole. Well. I don't. But I find it funny. If he wants to retire because of the new CBA, that's his prerogative. I bet if he were on any other team nobody would take notice at his comments on this so much.

I also believe 99% of the players in the league could think the same way, just nobody wants to be the one to say it.

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Just an insightful and mature hockey player speaking his mind and sharing his frustrations. He's been a full time Dad for 6 months and his words reflect that. My respect for him actually went up. When Hockey starts back up and he gets his fire back, this will be looked at as an off the cuff remark.

He's not walking away this year since the school year already started and by summer his wife and him will discuss 8 million reasons why he should still play. These comments make him human, you know because he is after all just a hockey playing family man.

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Guest habs1952

Just an insightful and mature hockey player speaking his mind and sharing his frustrations. He's been a full time Dad for 6 months and his words reflect that. My respect for him actually went up. When Hockey starts back up and he gets his fire back, this will be looked at as an off the cuff remark.

He's not walking away this year since the school year already started and by summer his wife and him will discuss 8 million reasons why he should still play. These comments make him human, you know because he is after all just a hockey playing family man.

Agree, but those comments should have been kept private. Those comments coming so soon after the CBA battle really shines a greedy light on the players.

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You didnt just say that did you? ;)

We're not talking about coalminers or something. These guys get obscene amounts of money to chase a piece of rubber around the ice. Even if they had somehow gone to an 80/20 split most players would earn more than the average Canadian does in 10 years.

One of Hamrlik's arguments was that they already have enough "playing hockey is selfish" - he comes from an extremely poor country you know. People visit Prague and think the Czech Republic is a rich country but aside from that one major city (supported by tourism) its not. I would think it wholly logical for someone who comes from a very poor society to think that perhaps they should be happy with what they've got - but regardless - Hamrlik's comments were justifed - and his opinion.

I have no problem with any of the players/owners/medias opinions throughout the ordeal - they own what they say - but I have more respect for Hamrlik saying it that for Cole harping on his opinion. But thats just my opinion. :lol:

Right on. Very wise Jedi. Hamrlik does speak from a perspective that almost on Canadian can truly share (certainly none if us can).

Add on the fact he was going through his 3rd lockout and I think he was totally justified to speak his mind and had alot of guts

to say what he did at that particularly volatile time.

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I'd hate to see him go

GO COLE! :rolleyes:

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i know it sounds ludicrous to us not in the hockey world to see NHL players screaming about more money and a bigger cuts.

Truth of the matter is, only a small portion of NHL players are really earning the big bucks. And those that are, also have things going on the side. Cros, Stamkos, Ovy, Cammy, etc... All are sponsored and make more money advertising for Reebok or Gatorade.

The mill worker or assembly line worker at Honda will make more money in their lifetime than a guy like Budaj will make over his hockey career. If lucky, you can play for 15+ years. I'm not talking stars since they only make up a small percentage of all NHlers, but the average player is lucky to have a 10 year NHL career. The stars are set, not only making the big bucks, they have endorsement deals that could continue well past their playing careers. Cros may have missed a lot of hockey over the last few seasons, but i bet he didn't miss very many commercial shoots.

I feel for the average hockey player, they have such a small window with which to make a lifetimes salary. Football players have it even worse, length of an NFL career is about 5 years (depending on the position). QB's usually have the longest career, whereas running backs are lucky to have a contract and a healthy body in their 30's.

Us fans all dream of playing pro sports. Yet the reality is most will have to find some sort of employment after their brief careers(and all they've ever done is sacrifice their lives to living a dream). Thankfully nowadays, you can go into coaching, scouting, sports broadcaster, but that's only for a lucky few.

The mill worker may have to log 40-50 hours a week for 40+ years, but at least they have financial security for their retirement.

When you crunch the numbers, you're safer working 40+ years as a blue-collar worker than an average pro athlete. That career ending injury is possible with every blocked shot or hard body check.

Erik Cole was lucky to sign a 4 yr deal at his age, that pays him 4.5 mil/season. Several million for a few years isn't that much when you spread it out over a whole lifetime. Try and work in construction after a 10 year grinder career, your body is finished. If it isn't the head injuries that get you, it's the arthritis in every joint from all the wear and tear.

Im sorry, but ask 100 canadians and 99 will tell you this is bull.

A league minimum salary of half a million dollars is still a ridiculous amount of money. The average Canadian (which was my original starting point) makes less than 1/10 of that. Minimum wage would put you at approximately 1/22 of that! And to the poster who talked about taxes, believe it or not, we all pay them! I am not sure why we talk about Hockey players like they suddenly die the moment they retire. They retire with a modicum of fame - regardless of whether or not they are a star or a grinder which is a HUGE leg up in business. Sure they work hard at training and practicing, but doctors and teachers and artists and musicians work 100 hour weeks too, perfecting their art/skill.

We're way off topic as this is the Erik Cole thread, but we will have to agree to disagree on this topic.

first quote <_<:[

second quote :):]

True alot of guys who have some kind of NHL career will never strike a huge contract.

If you consider someone who plays the speculated average career of 240 games, that is 3 seasons.

Minimum salary I believe is $750,000, not $500,000.

This means an average guy who never gets a raise still earns 2.25 million for 3 yrs work.

After he leaves the NHL he might play in some other pro league, possibly KHL like Tim Stapleton (of Jets last year).

European guys can go home and play there and earn a good salary.

Even if you exit pro hockey, most have a degree. They all get regular jobs after retirement AND their noteriety as an ex-NHL player

will open doors for them and/or create business opportunities that average guys cannot get.

What it comes down to is that 2.25 million is like you and me winning Lotto 649.

With sensible investments that money will set up most people for the ensuing 10-20 yrs of not more

depending on their wisdom in spending and the market. If they exercise proper investment strategies they will not lost the whole principal amount.

This gives even the average NHL'er way a massive head start financially over most average people, including your Honda assembly line worker (and what if he gets hurt and disabled?)

To me, Cole's comments at the time of Hamrlik's quote and his even more recent comments say to me that he is selfish and thinks that he is the only one who has to consider real life issues. I may be wrong but I think that there might be a few other players who have young families and kids starting school this year.

How about the journeyman who has been traded 6 times in his career. Did you hear any of them whining this week about his family being in "transition" and needing to consider retirement because he didn't like the new CBA?

Cole has never been traded in his NHL career.

If he is so selfish to think this way then I don't care if he fails to complete his comittment to the club and us fans.

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I'm not talking about 4 million becoming 2 million when I talk about taxes. I'm talking about 500k becoming 250k, and people lumping Erik Cole's career in with Mathieu Darche's career. Erik Cole will be fine in any CBA, people like Darche will still be fine, but a few percentage points matter to him. We can't make generalizations about hockey players and speak of Darche's financial situation the same as Cole's. Guys like Erik Cole did take a hit in this lockout so that Darche types will be better off in the future, regardless of what the scale is. Yes, in a perfect world I'd like to see the bottom 6 guys get a hundred thousand or so, and the stars be the only guys who get paid, but the economics involved push salaries up to a level that seems a bit silly when looking at their contributions to society relative to a surgeon, but the reality is there's far less supply for people that can play hockey as well as Erik Cole.

Moving on, I do find it ironic that Cole and the PA's big talking point was about how they "just wanted existing contracts honoured", and now as soon as it's signed he talks about retiring. Ludicrous. There's also no way he retires, there's no way he's going to just leave 8 million dollars on the table. Mrs. Cole will need new clothes some time. There's also how silly the "we just want to play" garbage was.

I know you are just making your point but are you trying to claim that $250,000 after taxes is a trivial amount of money that is hard to live upon?

I am a full time physician and my after tax annual income is way below $250,000.

BTW I'm not crying about being "too poor" either. I am grateful for the life I have in Canada and what God has provided to me.

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I know you are just making your point but are you trying to claim that $250,000 after taxes is a trivial amount of money that is hard to live upon?

I am a full time physician and my after tax annual income is way below $250,000.

BTW I'm not crying about being "too poor" either. I am grateful for the life I have in Canada and what God has provided to me.

What I meant was that 250k is a lot of money, but it certainly isn't 100 foot yacht and never work again money, which is the general assumption of pro athletes and their salaries/lifestyles.

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