Hockey Star’s Viral Twitter Rant Targets Wealth Management – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Chris Pronger spent 20 years in the NHL and became a measuring stick for other defensemen. He won the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2000, the first defenseman to since Bobby Orr almost three decades earlier. He was big, skilled, and also not a pushover, collecting over 1,600 penalty minutes.

After some years in front office work, the Hall of Famer took to Twitter in April and decided to throw his weight around. However, this time he went after bad financial habits of athletes and those who prey on their newfound wealth and naiveté.

Pronger unloaded a lot of knowledge and advice in the 18-tweet thread. Here are some of key takeaways:

‘The Income Doesn’t Last as Long as One Might Think’

Pronger was drafted second overall in the 1993 NHL Draft by the Hartford Whalers. In the thread, he mentioned his rookie deal was worth $300,000, with a $1 million signing bonus. For any 18-year-old, that’s a lot of money.

He mentioned the impulse to make life-changing purchases when that first contract gets signed. There’s the big house for the parents, tricked-out ride, maybe a fancy watch. While NBA players usually get more attention for these big buys – many of whom see this as a way out of poverty for their families – it can happen to athletes in all leagues from all wealth levels.

Pronger rattled off a list of expenses NHL players incur during the season, from housing to support staff. All that comes out after taxes, which can swallow over half the paycheck. Pronger played for five different franchises, so he knows playing in different cities means different tax bills.

He warned that the lifestyle of lavish spending isn’t sustainable. While he credits mentors and a good support system for a good start in financial health, he acknowledged not everyone has that. Most NHL players get drafted out of juniors, which means they’ve likely lived away from home for years in smaller towns, where opportunities to develop good spending habits or positive influences may not be readily available. Most players only stay in top leagues for a few years, so their earning capacity is a short window.

‘You’re a Mark’

While Pronger started with a stick tap to players to try to steer them from trouble, he later threw a two-handed cross-check across the chests of those looking to take advantage of players.

He accused financial advisers, attorneys and other professionals of having “two sets of documents” and said they often  “charge us more than the average person.” He believes the youth and wealth of professional athletes make them targets of those looking to make extra …….


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