NHL (National Hockey League) is the worlds most popular Ice Hockey league and also one of the popular sports leagues in the United States. Players earn a fortune by playing in the NHL games. In this article, we are going to see how much is the NHL referees and linesmen earn by officiating and conducting the games respectively. Each NHL game has four officials (2 referees and 2 linesmen) and the salary of the officials vary depending on their experience and the game they are in.
Work of an NHL Referee and Linesmen
Ice hockey is a fast-paced sport which requires a referee who is fit and fast-moving as the game proceeds. The job of an ice hockey official is certainly one of the most challenging jobs on the ice during the game. To move to and from, chasing the puck up and down the ice, or protecting the net from oncoming attackers is not the responsibility of an NHL referee, instead administering the rules and regulations of the game, which includes skating vigorously across the rink when necessary, and to remain highly focused on the game are the chief duties of an NHL referee.
In addition to the in-game tasks, the officials also possess a number of pre-game responsibilities like making sure the rink is apt for the game in advance, to have the necessary equipment ready. The referees should be in great shape to keep up with the game as the puck has the ability to fly 100 miles per hour.
The Strike and Hike
The Referees and linesmen in those days made an average salary of just $50,000, with a 10-year experienced referee making an average salary of $80,000. The NHL Officials Association includes the linesmen and the referees those who are part of the league. This payment was not satisfactory and hence the NHL officials went on strike in 1993. The 1993 strike resulted in a hike just as the officials were looking for a bump in pay. Since then there has been an increase in the pay scale gradually as per the leagues’ and events conducted every year.
Average Salary of an NHL Referee
The average salary of a well-trained NHL Referee was around $185,000. Apart from a referee, there are other categories that come under the officials which include linemen. The level of variance in the salary ranges between $165,000 and $400,000 per year which in turn depends on a person’s experience in the field and the amount of work put in per year. On the average scale, the salary of an NHL referee can be expected to be around $1,500 to $3,000 per game.
The following image is the screenshot of a job posting for NHL referee. In it, the salary range is set between $193,174 and $224,560.
NHL Linesman Salary
The job of a linesman is different from that of a referee. The linesmen stand at the blueline and they are responsible for any violation involving the center line and the blue line. They are also responsible for calling icing and offside. If two players get into controversies in between the proceedings of a game, then it is the responsibility of the linesman to sort out the fight. An NHL linesman salary ranges from $110,000 to $235,000 which is lower than the salary range of an NHL referee.
Highest Paid NHL Referees
The salaries of the highest paid referees in the NHL are $400,000 which is lower than the minimum salary of a player ($650,000). While highest paid linesmen salaries are $250,000. Check out the table below for the complete list (via tsmsportz.com).
|Official Name||Per Game Fee||Annual Earnings||Category|
This job profile is particularly impressive, as the other jobs demand experience and laser-focused attention. Being an NHL referee is not that easy as it requires physical fitness and prior knowledge about the sport, yet the job does not require much of education, making for a great return on investment.
Comparing NHL referee’s salary with other major leagues’ referee
In every sport, the role of a referee or an umpire is the most important one as they hold the responsibility of presiding over the event. The pay scale of each referee differs as per the sport, league and season.
The salary range of NHL referees is equal to that of MLB umpires but less when compared to other major sports leagues like NBA referees and NFL referees. The overall salary range of major sports leagues are listed below:
|NFL Referee||$173,000 to $650,000|
|MLB Umpire||$150,000 to $450,000|
|NHL Referee||$165,000 to $400,000|
|NBA Referee||$150,000 to $550,000|
How much do you think NHL referees should be paid? Share your thoughts in the comments below.updated on 23 October 2018