The Cost of Making the NHL

So, you've failed your childhood dream of making the National Hockey League? Now what? 

There is only one thing to do: Live out your dream through your child!

WARNING: Living out your dream through your child can be expensive. Here is the cost of one year of hockey for a 10-year-old so that you he can, some day in the future, have a miniscule "shot" at the NHL...

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To begin, your child will need to play on the AA travelling team. Local hockey teams are for bums. Got that? Bums. Scouts don't have time for bum players from inferior bum leagues. So sign up your child at the higher price. Well, first pay $60 to try out for the team, and then sign up. Actual registration, insurance, and jersey rentals will take an extra $800-1000 - if you're lucky and have a good fundraiser system (be prepared to work a few bingos). No big deal. Now you're ready to go! Have a fun year!

But wait, there's more.

The AA team, for some unknown reason, requires green equipment instead of the standard black. So you'll have to buy a new helmet, pants, gloves, and hockey socks. Add in the regular price for a new pair of high-performance skates (why must their feet grow every year?), skate sharpening, a few sticks (they ain't cheap wood sticks anymore), other equipment, and team merch, and suddenly your gear is between $2000-2500.

Ok, that's fine. Now to get to practice. But first, a quick question: Do you have a reliable vehicle? 

Since it's an AA team, you'll need to travel to most practices, seeing as players from four different communities are on the team. 2-3 practices per week, at an average distance of 25 minutes away. With gas at a record high price.

But who are we kidding? It's all about the games! There will be some local games! Just be prepared to work the score clock, booths, 50/50 ticket sales, penalty box, and clean up. You might even get some time to watch the games! 

On the other hand, there will be some travel games involved. For AA, this gets a little dicey. Each weekend will involve anywhere from 8-16 hours of travel, 2-3 hotel rooms, 5-9 meals out, and even some bonus activities so the kids don't get bored. Oh, and you will have to take time off from work. Most weekends of travel will require at least a Friday off, though sometimes you must dip into Thursday afternoon as well. Yes, an average weekend away will, all things considered, set you back $700-1200. But the good news is you only do this 8-10 weekends per season!

Well, the season is done. Your kid had fun. But before you go ahead and plan the wind-up/coaches gifts (+$50-100), have your kid try out for one of the provincial teams! This is actually quite simple. Sort of. First, you need to keep your kid conditioned throughout the week. Sign him up for 3-on-3 hockey ($90 + travel = $200). Then, do try-outs and (hopefully) weekly practices (with team fees), all in the big city some 2+ hours away. What's a $1000+ these days anyway, given the rise of inflation? Peanuts, really.

Alas, your future-NHLer beloved son is ready for the provincial-team tournaments. Now some years this involves airfare and trips to the United States. Not this year! You only have to do a "local" tournament in the city, and then tournaments in Edmonton and Winnipeg (7-8 hours away each). Each tournament will require 3-4 hotel nights, 8-12 meals out, 1-2 days off work, as well as different equipment, jerseys, merch, and fees (tournament, refs, etc.). $1400-1600 for a high-end tournament is not too bad. Again... inflation, right?

Well, now it's almost summer time. Phew! Time to relax! Sure, a few trips to the city for skating are in order, and summer hockey camp will be a must as well. But still, it was a successful year!

And the total (realistic) price for your one child's year of hockey? Keeping in mind that this is necessary to make the NHL?


Now to get ready for his next year of hockey...

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Image featured is the old Canadian $5 bill.

Millette is a husband, father, educator, and author of Disconnected: The Broken Path, now available on Amazon.

For a snippet from Disconnected, and an explanation behind it, click HERE.


  1. To whom it may concern,

    My name is Fr. Stephen Arabadjis. I am a member of the Society of St. Pius X. But I am in my 7th year of Sabbatical.
    Therefore I was hoping your group could do a 54 day rosary novena for my intentions. But any prayers and sacrifices would be greatly appreciated. I know Our Lady will reward you generously for this.

    In Our Lady,
    Fr. Arabadjis

    P.S. Thanking you in advance, since I don't always get all my communications.


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