What Is A Taxi Squad In Hockey?

Taxi squads in hockey are players that travel and practice with the team despite not being on the active roster. These players can be called up to play in a game when needed. Previously taxi squads only consisted of one or two-players per team.

After the covid pandemic taxi squads became a large topic in the NHL. Since players were often removed from games on short notice teams needed players that would be ready to play in a short time frame.

To fix this issue the NHL increased the size of taxi squads. These larger taxis squads were able to fill the roster if a team were to face a covid outbreak during the season.

A taxi squad since the pandemic has several requirements that must be followed by all NHL teams.

The taxi squad must have a minimum of four players and a maximum of six players. This way the team will have enough active players that a small covid outbreak should not cause a game to get postponed.

A taxi squad will also require a goaltender if there are only two active goaltenders on the roster. This small requirement of the taxi squad may have a bigger impact on the game than any other.

By forcing a goalie onto the taxi squad when there are only two on the active roster the NHL has effectively eliminated the emergency backup position until the taxi squad rules are changed.

This is because if a goalie is to become sick or injured on game day the team will simply call a player up from their taxi squad. Prior to this, an emergency backup would get a chance to dress for the game as no other active goalie could make it to the location.

Since taxi squads travel with the team they will always be ready to play if needed.


How Much Do Taxi Squad NHL Players Make?

The salaries of taxi squad NHL players varies from player to player as it is entirely dependent on their contract. Whether the player on the taxi squad has signed a one-way or two way contract is going to affect how much they will get paid on the taxi squad.

If a player has signed a one-way contract he will continue to get paid his NHL salary while he is on the Taxi squad. If a player has a two-way contract then being on the taxi squad is going to result in being paid as if he were in the minor leagues.

In other words NHL salary for 1-way contracts and AHL salary for 2-way contracts. The salary of players that are on the taxi squad is not counted against the salary cap. Instead, the salaries will be considered to be those of players on the Minor league team.

Where Did The Term Originate From?

The term taxi squad actually originated from football instead of hockey. Back in the 1940s, the Cleveland Browns created the taxi squad system.

Their team roster had already been set but the team had found several players that were promising prospects. Instead of just letting these players walk they were paid to be kept as reserves.

The owner of the team Arthur Mcbride decided to pay these players through the taxi company that he owned at the time. Due to paying the players salary with the taxi company profits the term taxi squad was coined.

The full story about the origin of the taxi squad can be seen here.

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