William Nylander shakes Matthew Tkachuk's hand following game 5 loss to Panthers
Photo credit: NHL

Ex-Leaf exposes an unfair advantage that U.S. teams are given over Canadian franchises

Published January 7, 2024 at 9:11

Not all NHL teams are created equal even if the NHL rules in place should balance out the discrepancy. A team like the Toronto Maple Leafs, for example, is backed by a financial powerhouse which gives them the advantage of offering large front loaded deals or large bonus structured deals.

Much speculation in Leaf land this season has been centred around pending UFA William Nylander. The 27-year-old Swede has been playing like a man possessed this season, leading Toronto in scoring with 21 goals and 54 points in 37 games - in a contract year no-less.

During the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast on Saturday, Elliotte Friedman reported that Nylander's deal is now expected to land somewhere in the $11.5M range and could be announced as early as Monday.

While the figure is tough to stomach for Toronto fans, the facts are clear that he has earned every penny with his play.

TSN personality and former Maple Leaf Frank Corrado brought up the stark advantage a Florida-based team has when it comes to the cap since it's a state with no state income tax. Within the Gavin Hockey Wealth website, there is a calculator that breaks down the tax difference between States and between Canada and the U.S., and this handy little tool revealed something pretty profound about Nylander's potential $11.5M AAV.

If Nylander does sign in Toronto for $11.5M, he will still net less money than Matthew Tkachuk at $9.5M in Florida.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, for example, have three players on their roster with a cap hit of $9.5M in Andrei Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point. They will all take home more in net salary then Nylander will in Toronto, even if Nylander eclipses $11M per season.

It's no coincidence that teams from the state of Florida and Vegas are having so much success in the salary capped NHL while a Canadian based franchise hasn't won the cup in the salary cap era. It's not just about the American markets outnumber the Canadian markets by more than 3-to-1, it's also because living in these States provides players with a huge income tax incentive.
January 7   |   1854 answers
Ex-Leaf exposes an unfair advantage that U.S. teams are given over Canadian franchises

Do you think the tax differential is an unfair advantage for U.S. based teams?

Yes, no wonder Canada hasn't seen a Cup since '93158185.3 %
No, just another excuse27314.7 %
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