Amanda Kessel at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Getty

Now that's pretty cold.

The top women’s professional hockey player in New York CityAmanda Kessel has to move to New Jersey because she can’t afford the city’s rent on her salary.

The Wisconsin nativewho just arrived here to join the New York Riveters earns asalary that by some standards barely exceeds the poverty line: $26,000, reported the New York Post.

And she’s supposedly a top earner in the National Women’s Hockey League.


To put the wage disparity in perspective, the highest paid NHL player is Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby at $16.5 million in the 2015-16 season, with a plumb $4.5 million extra in endorsements and business off the ice. (Kessel’s brother Phil is also a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins who recently won the Stanley Cup).

To reduce expenses Kessel, 25, is moving from her temporary Soho digs to Jersey City where she will share an apartment with teammates Rebecca Russo and Courtney Burke. To supplement her paycheck Kessel, a member of the 2014 Olympic team that won silver in Sochi, receives a stipend from Team USA. She also earns some extra change from playing in tournaments and coaching kids at summer camp.

Her teammates also have to seek extra work to pay the bills. “One is teaching in a school. There are probably about three or four who are coaching. Some are looking to nanny,” Kessel said.

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Nevertheless, Kessel is ecstatic to be on one of the four teams in the two-year old NWHL, because after a severe injury, she thought she might never play again.

In 2013, she suffered a concussion that cost two years of her career. Following the injury she took off six weeks, went to score big at the Sochi Olympics, and then fell into an inexplicable funk that kept her from barely venturing out of her house except to see the doctor.

“I said, ‘Something’s not right here,’ ” she remembers. “I couldn’t go into stores and talk to people. I didn’t want to look at people because I felt so off.”

Fortunately Kessel found a doctor to treat her and encourage her.

“I needed the push,” she said. “I thought I was doing everything possible to get better, so someone telling me something different was what I needed.”

Despite her low pay, Kessel is still in it for the gold: she plans to attend the 2018 Olympics to fulfill her “biggest dream: to win a gold medal,” she said.

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