Highest Salary In NHL

What Is The Highest Salary In NHL?

We all wonder about the astonishing money today’s athletes make. And Ice Hockey is no different. Don’t worry, you’re no different! We also wanted to know the details behind the highest earners in NHL, and find out who is the one bagging the most salary in Ice Hockey.

That’s exactly what we did, here we are with a piece of one-stop information for all the details you want to know behind the highest salary in NHL and who’s making it right now. Here we go!

How is The Highest Salary In NHL Calculated? 

The Highest Salary in NHL is a coveted title. The factors that go into calculating this salary are many and varied. They include the player’s contract length, bonuses, endorsements, and taxes. Also, a player’s experience, role on the team, and other contributing factors are taken into account along with the individual abilities.

Highest Salary In NHL; The Calculations

In order to ensure that all players are paid fairly, the NHL has a complex system in place that takes all of these factors into account. Also, there is the CBA agreement between NHL and NHLPA in place which regulates the salaries in the best league of Ice Hockey.

The NHL and NHLPA have an agreement in place that regulates salaries. This agreement is known as the collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA has been successful in keeping salaries relatively stable, while also ensuring that players are fairly compensated. It runs until September 2026.

AAV & Highest Salary In NHL: 

Since we’re talking about CBA in NHL, the Average Annual Value of the players is the bottom line of everything. The player with the highest AAV is the highest earner in the NHL in any given year.

We have a detailed piece written on AAV and its implications. Read it here. For starters, AAV is simply the total contract value divided by the contract length in years.

Who Has The All-Time Highest Earner In NHL?

We’ve been talking about the highest salary in NHL, why not get some historical insights? The question arises; Who has the all-time highest earnings in NHL? And how special that player is? Well, the name is Sydney Crosby!

Sydney Crosby; Highest Salary In NHL

Who is Sydney Crosby?

Since he was drafted first overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Sidney Crosby has been one of the most recognizable and popular players in the league. Crosby is from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada, and began playing hockey at a very young age.

He has led his team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, to two Stanley Cup championships (2009 and 2016) and is considered one of the best players in the world. Crosby is also a three-time gold medalist with Team Canada in the Olympics (2010, 2014, and 2018).

According to Spotrac, over his immensely successful career, Sydney has accumulated nearly $147 Million in earnings in 17 active seasons! This makes him the all-time highest earner in the history of the NHL!

Connor McDavid; The Current Crown Holder: 

You know the history, you know the rules! Now it’s time to talk about the name who has the highest Average Annual Value in NHL. Which makes him the highest salary holder in NHL.

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers is who we’re talking about. McDavid makes $12.5 Million every season, thanks to his 8 years contract with the Canadian NHL outfit.

Who Is Connor McDavid?

Connor McDavid is a professional ice hockey player who was born in 1997 in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He is currently serving as captain of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL). McDavid made his NHL debut in 2015 at the age of 18 and was named among the Rookie team of the Year for his play.

He has also been awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, and Art Ross Trophy. Moreover, in 2016, Connor McDavid became the youngest captain in the history of the NHL when Edmonton Oilers presented him as the skipper for the new campaign at just 19 years of age. Since then, he has come a long way and now holds a well-deserved position of the highest-paid player in the entire league.

McDavid’s Contract Details: 

Since McDavid has the highest AAV in the league, it’s important to understand the calculations that make him the highest-paid player. His current contract started in 2018-19 which was to run until the next 8 seasons. The contract was worth 100 Million Dollars! This whopping sum, given the NHL standards, makes him the subject of this article.

Connor McDavid; Highest Salary In NHL

Simply dividing $100 Million by 8 years’ duration, we get a $12.5 Million for each year. Which is the highest salary in NHL.

However, as we discussed in detail in the AAV article before, the base salary and the bonuses can be different each year than what is implied in his average annual value. Make sure you understand the difference by going through that article.

The Lowest Salary In NHL: 

Here comes the CBA again. The referral to all the salary-related queries in National Hockey League. And it’s the go-to point to know the lowest salary in NHL too. Right now, the fixed lowest amount by CBA is $750,000 as no player can make less than that. Why is that?

However, since there is a fixed lowest amount by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of $750,000. This means that no player in the NHL can be paid less than this amount. This salary is set for players who have played in fewer than ten NHL games, as well as players who are on entry-level contracts. Some veterans who are on the brink of retirement can also be among the names who are paid the league minimum.

Want to read more about it? Find our detailed article on Lowest Salary in NHL here.

Why NHL Players Are Paid Less Than NBA, MLB & NFL? 

If you’ve been following any other top-notch sport like Basketball, Baseball or American football, you would already know that the salaries in NHL are far less than the games mentioned just know. What can be the possible reasons behind it?

Today, everything is attention driven, as it has become the biggest commodity in the global economy. We need to look behind the scenes for the answers!

How much attention, and global attention does Ice Hockey/NHL has in comparisons to the sports like Basketball, Baseball, and even European football. Hence, it’s far less.

Consequently, the inflow of money is comparatively less in terms of sponsors, salaries, and advertisement revenues. So, the players in NHL have salaries less than in many other sports.

For Example

The average salary in NHL is around $2.7 Million, while the average in Major League Baseball is $4.41 Million. And you know the reason why!

NHL’s Top Paid Players Right Now: 

Let’s call it a day after listing the top 5 highest AAVs in NHL right now. These 5 players are the league leaders when it comes to making the highest salaries. You know the first name, who are the rest? Here they are:

Player Name PositionSalary
Connor McDavidCenterman$12.5 Million
Artemi Panarin Left Wing$11.6 Million
Auston MatthewsCenterman$11.6 Million
Erik KarlssonDefenseman$11.5 Million
Drew Doughty Defenseman$11.0 Million

Closing Sentences

You’re special! Because you’re at the end. We’re confident that you have all the necessary information in your arsenal that you need to know about the highest salary in NHL and the prestige players who are making it. We’ve walked you through the concepts and calculations behind it and the factors that are decisive in this regard.

Do you want more? Make sure you visit our Ice Hockey section here, for the flood of information about the game you love the most. Stay Tuned for more!

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