WHEN THEY were negotiating the current CBA with the
players' union in 2005, NHL owners pushed through a bylaw that players with
entry-level NHL contracts would be paid in that team's "native
currency." That was a euphemism for the Canadian dollar, which at the time
was worth around 80 cents in U.S. currency. The idea was to save a little
scratch, but a funny thing happened in the interim: The Canadian dollar spiked,
hitting a high of $1.10 U.S. on Nov. 7 and closing last week at $1.00. Today
about 50 Canadian-born American Hockey League players who live in the U.S. are
seeing a sweet bump in their $35,000 to $65,000 annual salaries. For Binghamton
(N.Y.) Senators goalie Jeff Glass (above) the difference, at the Canadian
dollar's peak, amounted to more than $500 a month, enough for his rent.
Springfield (Mass.) Falcons forward Liam Reddox felt good enough about his
uptick to buy a $27,800 truck before being called up to Edmonton on Nov. 15.
Says his teammate defenseman Theo Peckham, who makes $52,500 Canadian,
"Everything is so much cheaper in the U.S.!"