When following the game of hockey there are numerous acronyms and slang words you will come across. Trouble is after a while it can be tough to remember what each one means. This article is going to breakdown the term AAV in hockey this way you will know what everyone is talking about come free agency.
AAV in hockey means average annual value, this value refers to how much a player is costing a team each year against the salary cap.
In hockey, contracts are usually signed for multiple years to understand how much a player will cost the team each year the player’s total contract value will be divided by the number of years he signed for.
For example, if a player signed a four year twenty million dollar contract his AAV would be five million dollars. This is because when you take twenty million and divide it over the four years it works out to five million dollars per year.
AAV is often a great tool when looking to get a better understanding of a player’s overall cost. Contracts can be front loaded or back loaded meaning that more money may be paid to the player in the first or final few years of the contract.
By using AAV you are able to get a more accurate look at how the contract is going to cost your team over its lifetime.
How To Use AAV As A Fan
Now that you understand what AAV means in hockey it’s time to learn how you can use this new acronym as a hockey. Below we will break down two different ways this hockey terminology is often used.
Judging A Current Players Contract
One of the most common ways that AAV is used in hockey is when judging the quality of a players contract. In hockey like any other sport, teams must make tough decisions on whether or not to keep players.
Oftentimes AAV is used as the most accurate metric to see what a player is costing the team. By looking at a players AAV you can compare him to other players around the league and their AAVs.
If a player has a high average annual value yet is failing to score many points for your team then this is something the fans are going to be talking about.
Since the NHL plays with a salary cap it is important that teams do not spend money on players that are not producing for them.
When a player is getting paid at a rate higher than his production it is likely he is going to be in trouble. Teams may look to pay out his contract early or trade him to a team with more cap space.
These are the sorts of conversations fans will have regarding players with overinflated salaries.
Assessing The Price Of A Free Agent
Another situation in which AAV can be used as a fan is when assessing the price of a potential free agent signing.
Each year when free agency comes around the average cost of a players salary is often thrown around. As players start to search for teams to play for in the coming season their desired average cost of salary is often publically released.
This leaves the fans to discuss whether or not this price would be a good deal for their hockey team. For this reason during free agency you will likely see the term AAV used much more freqently than any other point in the hockey season.
Comparing Earnings To Other Sports Leagues
Another way in which fans may use this acronym when talking hockey is to compare NHL salaries to other major sports.
It is no secret that the NHL is behind the NBA, NFL, and MLB in terms of players salaries. That being said it can still be quite entertaining to compare the leageus top players to understand how big that difference really is.
For example some starters on bottom of the barrell NBA teams are going to be making three times as much a Connor Mcdavid the highest paid player in the entire NHL.
If you looking to learn some more hockey slang check out our guides to understanding ROW or SHG.