List of player salaries in the NHL

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For a year-by-year list of each team's payroll, see List of team payrolls in the NHL.

Here are several lists of National Hockey League players' salaries since the 1989–90 NHL season. This list does not include income from corporate endorsements or salaries before 1988–89.

Top 20 salaries in the NHL since 1989

This is a list of the twenty NHL players who have earned the most in salaries between the 1989–90 season and the 2007–08 season.

These figures have been gleaned from different sources,[1] and so may not be perfectly accurate. This is merely an estimation that, for the most part, does not take into account bonuses and sponsor contracts.

These totals also do not take into account partial seasons played—for which a player would only receive a partial salary—except for the shortened 2004–05 season, which affected every player. Thus, the listed totals are a sum of the amounts each player was contracted to receive for a full season.

Top 20 NHL salary-earners from 1989–90 to 2007–08
Rank Player name Salary (USD) Years active
1 Jaromir Jagr $ 99,874,893 19 (1990–91 – 2007–08) (2011-12 - present)
2 Nicklas Lidström $ 94,065,000 19 (1991–92 – 2011-12)
3 Joe Sakic $ 87,174,047 20 (1988–89 – 2008–09)
4 Mats Sundin $ 74,042,632 18 (1990–91 – 2008–09)
5 Keith Tkachuk $ 73,848,674 17 (1991–92 – 2009-10)
6 Rob Blake $ 73,067,982 19 (1989–90 – 2009-10)
7 Paul Kariya $ 70,686,100 14 (1994–95 – 2010-11)
8 Peter Forsberg $ 70,405,214 12 (1994–95 – 2007–08)a
9 Mike Modano $ 70,087,650 19 (1989–90 – 2010-11)
10 Chris Pronger $ 66,200,500 15 (1993–94 – present)
11 Steve Yzerman $ 64,672,616 22 (1983–84 – 2005–06)
12 Sergei Fedorov $ 61,519,036 18 (1990–91 – 2008–09)
13 Brian Leetch $ 59,501,250 18 (1987–88 – 2005–06)
14 Mark Messier $ 58,958,639 25 (1979–80 – 2003–04)
15 Brendan Shanahan $ 58,615,000 21 (1987–88 – 2008–09)
16 Teemu Selanne $ 57,857,790 16 (1992–93 – present)
17 Patrick Roy $ 56,771,988 19 (1984–85 – 2002–03)
18 Pavel Bure $ 56,369,794 12 (1991–92 – 2002–03)
19 Doug Weight $ 54,354,775 17 (1991–92 – 2010-11)
20 Dominik Hasek $ 54,152,300 16 (1990–91 – 2007–08)b
"Years active" excludes the 2004–05 NHL season, as the league was not operating that year. It also includes seasons prior to the 1989–90 NHL season, although the salaries paid during this time may not be included in the total due to scarcity of information.
a Peter Forsberg missed the 2001–02 NHL season and almost all of the 2007–08 NHL season due to injury.
b Dominik Hasek did not play the 2002–03 NHL season because he had retired, though he returned the following season.

Top five contracts by season

1989–90 season

Although Wayne Gretzky is considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time, his total salaries are not among the top 20 salary earners of all time.
  1. Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins) $2 million
  2. Wayne Gretzky (Los Angeles Kings) $1.72 million
  3. Mark Messier (Edmonton Oilers) $0.86 million
  4. Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings) $0.7 million
  5. Bryan Trottier (New York Islanders) $0.575 million

1990–91 season

  1. Wayne Gretzky (Los Angeles Kings) $3 million
  2. Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins) $2.18 million
  3. Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings) $1.3 million
  4. Ray Bourque (Boston Bruins) $1.194 million
  5. Brett Hull (St. Louis Blues) $1.116 million

1991–92 season

  1. Wayne Gretzky (Los Angeles Kings) $3 million
  2. Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins) $2.34 million
  3. Brett Hull (St. Louis Blues) $1.5 million
  4. Pat LaFontaine (Buffalo Sabres) $1.4 million
    Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings) $1.4 million

1992–93 season

  1. Eric Lindros (Philadelphia Flyers) $3.5 million
  2. Wayne Gretzky (Los Angeles Kings) $3 million
  3. Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins) $2.408 million
  4. Mark Messier (New York Rangers) $2.385 million
  5. Pat LaFontaine (Buffalo Sabres) $1.775 million

1993–94 season

Martin Brodeur is the highest-paid goaltender of all time, with approximately $82 million earned in salaries alone.
  1. Eric Lindros (Philadelphia Flyers) $3.35 million
  2. Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings) $3.2 million
  3. Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins) $3 million
    Wayne Gretzky (Los Angeles Kings) $3 million
  4. Patrick Roy (Montreal Canadiens) $2.6593 million

1994–95 season

After the 1994–95 NHL season was shortened to 48 games due to a lockout, players earned only about 56% of their predicted salary.

  1. Wayne Gretzky (Los Angeles Kings) $3.66 million (Predicted salary of $6.54 million)
  2. Mark Messier (New York Rangers) $3.45 million (Predicted salary of $6.29 million)
  3. Scott Stevens (New Jersey Devils) $3.24 million (Predicted salary of $5.8 million)
  4. Pavel Bure (Vancouver Canucks) $2.61 million (Predicted salary of $4.5 million)
  5. Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins) $2.361,429 million (Predicted salary of $4.071429 million)

1995–96 season

  1. Wayne Gretzky (Los Angeles Kings/St. Louis Blues) $6.54 million
  2. Mark Messier (New York Rangers) $6.29 million
  3. Keith Tkachuk (Winnipeg Jets) $6 million
  4. Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins) $4.5714 million
  5. Pavel Bure (Vancouver Canucks) $4.5 million

1996–97 season

  1. Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins) $11.35 million
  2. Mark Messier (New York Rangers) $6 million
  3. Pavel Bure (Vancouver Canucks) $5 million
  4. Pat LaFontaine (Buffalo Sabres) $4.6 million
  5. Patrick Roy (Colorado Avalanche) $4.567 million

1997–98 season

  1. Joe Sakic (Colorado Avalanche) $16.45 million [2]
  2. Chris Gratton (Philadelphia Flyers) $10.15 million
  3. Wayne Gretzky (New York Rangers) $6.25 million
  4. Mark Messier (New York Rangers) $6 million
  5. Pavel Bure (Vancouver Canucks) $5.5 million

1998–99 season

  1. Sergei Fedorov (Detroit Red Wings) $14.5 million [2]
  2. Paul Kariya (Anaheim Ducks) $8.25 million
  3. Eric Lindros (Philadelphia Flyers) $8 million
    Dominik Hasek (Buffalo Sabres) $8 million
  4. Mats Sundin (Toronto Maple Leafs) $6.347 million

1999–00 season

Jaromír Jágr has earned more in salaries than any other hockey player – more than $120 million.
  1. Jaromir Jagr (Pittsburgh Penguins) $11.7 million
  2. Paul Kariya (Anaheim Ducks) $11 million
  3. Peter Forsberg (Colorado Avalanche) $9 million
  4. Theoren Fleury (New York Rangers) $8.5 million
    Eric Lindros (Philadelphia Flyers) $8.5 million

2000–01 season

  1. Peter Forsberg (Colorado Avalanche) $10 million
    Paul Kariya (Anaheim Ducks) $10 million
  2. Jaromir Jagr (Pittsburgh Penguins) $9.842708 million
  3. Pavel Bure (Florida Panthers) $9 million
  4. Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues) $7.3 million

2001–02 season

  1. Jaromir Jagr (Washington Capitals) $11 million
  2. Pavel Bure (Florida Panthers/New York Rangers) $10 million
    Paul Kariya (Anaheim Ducks) $10 million
  3. Joe Sakic (Colorado Avalanche) $9.832727 million
  4. Chris Pronger (St. Louis Blues) $9.5 million
    Teemu Selanne (San Jose Sharks) $9.5 million

2002–03 season

  1. Jaromir Jagr (Washington Capitals) $11.483333 million
  2. Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues) $11 million
  3. Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit Red Wings) $10.5 million
  4. Pavel Bure (New York Rangers) $10 million
    Paul Kariya (Mighty Ducks of Anaheim) $10 million

2003–04 season

Pavel Bure amassed $56,369,794 in his twelve-year career. He would have earned $10 million in 2003–04, but due to injuries, he was forced to retire early, having played his final game around the time of his 32nd birthday.
  1. Peter Forsberg (Colorado Avalanche) $11 million
    Jaromir Jagr (Washington Capitals) $11 million
  2. Sergei Fedorov (Mighty Ducks of Anaheim) $10 million
    Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit Red Wings) $10 million
    Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues) $10 million

2004–05 season

Season cancelled (see 2004–05 NHL lockout).

2005–06 season

The team salary cap is $39 million. Under the latest NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, no player can earn more than 20 percent of the team salary cap ($7.8 million).

  1. Jaromir Jagr (New York Rangers) $8.36 million[3]
  2. Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit Red Wings) $7.6 million
    Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues) $7.6 million
    Alexei Yashin (New York Islanders) $7.6 million
  3. Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames) $7 million

2006–07 season

The team salary cap is $44 million. No player can earn more than $8.8 million.

  1. Jaromir Jagr (New York Rangers) $8.36 million
  2. Brad Richards (Tampa Bay Lightning) $7.8 million
  3. Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit Red Wings) $7.6 million
    Mats Sundin (Toronto Maple Leafs) $7.6 million
    Alexei Yashin (New York Islanders) $7.6 million

2007–08 season

The team salary cap is $50.3 million. No player can earn more than $10.06 million.

  1. Daniel Briere (Philadelphia Flyers) $10 million
    Scott Gomez (New York Rangers) $10 million
    Thomas Vanek (Buffalo Sabres) $10 million
  2. Jaromir Jagr (New York Rangers) $8.36 million
  3. Kimmo Timonen (Philadelphia Flyers) $8 million

2008–09 season

The team salary cap is $56.7 million. No player can earn more than $11.34 million.

  1. Dany Heatley (Ottawa Senators) $10 million
  2. Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) $9 million
    Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) $9 million
  3. Mats Sundin (Vancouver Canucks) $8.6 million
  4. Miikka Kiprusoff (Calgary Flames) $8.5 million

2009–10 season

The team salary cap is $56.8 million. No player can earn more than $11.36 million.

  1. Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay Lightning) $10 million
  2. Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) $9 million
    Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins) $9 million
    Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) $9 million
  3. Chris Drury (New York Rangers) $8.05 million

2010–11 season

The team salary cap is $59.4 million. No player can earn more than $11.88 million.

  1. Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay Lightning) $10 million
    Roberto Luongo (Vancouver Canucks) $10 million
  2. Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) $9 million
    Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins) $9 million
    Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) $9 million

2011–12 season

The team salary cap is $64.3 million. No player can earn more than $12.86 million.

  1. Brad Richards (New York Rangers) $12 million
  2. Ilya Bryzgalov (Philadelphia Flyers) $10 million
    Christian Ehrhoff (Buffalo Sabres) $10 million
    Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay Lightning) $10 million
  3. Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) $9 million

2012–13 season

The team salary cap is $70.2 million. No player can earn more than $14.04 million.

  1. Shea Weber (Nashville Predators) $14 million
  2. Tyler Myers (Buffalo Sabres) $12 million
    Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild) $12 million
    Brad Richards (New York Rangers) $12 million
    Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild) $12 million

2013–14 season

The team salary cap is $64.3 million. No player can earn more than $12.86 million.

  1. Shea Weber (Nashville Predators) $14 million*
  2. Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) $12 million
    Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild) $12 million
    Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild) $12 million
  3. Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes) $9.25 million

2014–15 season

The team salary cap is $69 million. No player can earn more than $13.8 million.

  1. Shea Weber (Nashville Predators) $14 million*
  2. Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) $12 million
  3. Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers) $11 million
    Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild) $11 million
    Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild) $11 million

Sample salaries from earlier seasons

Newsy Lalonde was earning CAN $1,300 during the 1917–18 NHL season, which is equivalent to approximately $25,000 CAD in today's funds.

Salary figures prior to the 1989–90 season are not readily available. The following table presents a sample of salaries from various seasons; the players listed were not necessarily the highest paid that year.

Season Player name Salary[4]
1917–18 Newsy Lalonde CAN $1,300
1921–22 Newsy Lalonde CAN $2,000
1923–24 Howie Morenz CAN $3,500
1925–26 Frank Fredrickson CAN $3,500
1953–54 Jean Beliveau CAN $21,000
1954–55 Jean Beliveau CAN $21,000
1955–56 Jean Beliveau CAN $21,000
1956–57 Jean Beliveau CAN $21,000
1957–58 Jean Beliveau CAN $21,000
1959–60 Doug Harvey CAN $25,000
1959–60 Maurice Richard CAN $25,000
1962–63 Frank Mahovlich CAN $25,000
1963–64 (NHL minimum salary) CAN $7,000
1963–64 Phil Esposito US $54,990
1965–66 Gump Worsley CAN $28,000
1966–67 Bobby Orr US $35,000
1967–68 Bobby Orr US $35,000
1967–68 Derek Sanderson US $10,000
1969–70 Derek Sanderson US $13,000
1974–75 Mario Tremblay CAN $80,000
1977–78 Bobby Hull US $1,000,000
1977–78 Bernie Parent US $1,000,000
1977–78 Derek Sanderson US $1,000,000
1982–83 Brian Hayward US $65,000
† Bobby Hull was playing the World Hockey Association at this time, a short-lived rival to the NHL.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Sources: Sports Illustrated, Forbes, l'Équipe magazine, NHL.com, and certain financial sites dedicated to professional sports.
  2. ^ a b The given salary includes a signing bonus.
  3. ^ $7.8 million + $0.56 million in arrears from the Washington Capitals.
  4. ^ Hockey Zone Plus: Historic Salaries

External links