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Does it pay to win the Stanley Cup?


  • Derek Lanoue

    (Department of Economics, University of Windsor)


Yes, it does indeed pay to win the Stanley Cup (SC). Professional sports offer a unique opportunity to examine the relationship between a player’s salary and their performance. Salary statistics have become widely available and enable individual performance scrutiny in relation to remuneration level. There is an extensive literature explaining which factors in‡uence the players’ salary in the National Hockey League (NHL), using data sets from different seasons and including various performance indicators. Although much is known about salary and performance in professional hockey, there is a lack of understanding and empirical evidence of the pecuniary value of winning the Stanley Cup (SC) - the trophy awarded annually to the NHL playoff champion and the ultimate prize in professional hockey. Our empirical analysis suggests that winning the Stanley cup the season prior to signing a new contract earns players a 19% wage premium on their next contract.

Suggested Citation

  • Derek Lanoue, 2015. "Does it pay to win the Stanley Cup?," Working Papers 1502, University of Windsor, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wis:wpaper:1502

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stacey Brook, 2010. "The Payoff to Leadership in Teams," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(3), pages 358-360, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Terry, Ryan P. & McGee, Jeffrey E. & Kass, Malcolm J., 2018. "The not-so-free agent: Non-performance factors that contribute to free agent compensation premiums," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 189-201.

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    More about this item


    National Hockey League; NHL; Salary; Stanley Cup; Hockey Analytics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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