Chris Pronger made nearly $114 million in salary over the course of his 18-year NHL career. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
Transitioning to the second phase of life when your playing career wraps up is one of the toughest things for professional athletes, and former Hart Trophy winner Chris Pronger wanted to share his expertise with the world. Pronger, an 18-year NHL veteran who made nearly $114M over his career, broke down what the take-home pay would be on a five-year contract with an average annual value of $6 million, with the goal of illustrating financial literacy.
Pronger started the first of two major threads on April 4, stating that he was one of the highest-earning NHL players of his era, but by his estimate, more than 50 percent of players struggle with financial problems after retirement.
“An athlete can easily spend $20k/month,” Pronger wrote. “And since the avg. career is 4 seasons, an athlete might have $2m-$3m in savings when they’re done. But with spending habits already formed, in a few years there will be issues. And in my opinion, this is a fairly optimistic scenario.”
Twitter being Twitter of course, a lot of people didn’t take Pronger’s advice in good faith, questioning why a multi-millionaire athlete is speaking about financial hardship, when most people would have to work a lifetime to achieve a fraction of his earnings.
Pronger should earn the benefit of the doubt here, however. It didn’t appear that he was flaunting his wealth, but merely speaking to the very real problem of post-career bankruptcy which has plagued athletes across several different professional sports.
It wasn’t all bad. Some saw Pronger’s willingness to share his experience as a step in the right direction.
For now, we look forward to next week where Pronger may share his third tweet-thread of how to budget on a salary that we can only dream of.
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