Highest-paid NHL players of all-time

Some of the biggest names in hockey today sit atop the list of the NHL's highest-paid players. (Getty Images)
Some of the biggest names in hockey today sit atop the list of the highest-paid NHL players of all-time. (Getty Images)

Written by Compose.ly Staff

There's no shortage of water-cooler banter surrounding the highest-paid athletes. Whether it's Air Jordan, A-Rod, Tiger Woods, or Floyd Mayweather, fans have an abiding fascination with the financial details of the world's wealthiest sports figures. From salaries to endorsement deals to signing bonuses, the flow of cash in the sports world is never underreported.

Noticeably absent from lists are NHL players. It's rare to hear people jabbering over NHL salaries because — when it comes to max contracts — hockey stars make less than the other major North American sports leagues.

While NHL contracts aren't the sport's most diamond-studded deals, how much one hockey player collects over a career is surprising. The average NHL yearly contract is $2-$3 million, and the elite top-paid hockey stars can rake in upwards of $100 million throughout their career.

So who is the wealthiest NHL player of all time? Below are the top 10 financially adorned NHL players.

Top 10 highest-paid NHL players of all time

Now that the 2022-2023 NHL season is off and skating, it's time to get into the weeds over which league members sit on the highest mountains of gold. Most top earners have spent well over a decade on NHL ice, and their pocketbooks are the better for it.

All but one player on the entry list is active in the NHL. Additionally, although their job is arguably the hardest, no goaltenders cracked the top 10.

The following totals estimate total NHL career earnings and don't account for taxation, performance bonuses, or endorsements.

Alright, enough preamble — let the puck drop.

10. Ryan Suter: Defense, Dallas Stars

Suter's largest payday came in 2012 from a 13-year contract with the Minnesota Wild worth $98 million.

  • Total Estimated Earnings: $107,659,333

  • NHL Seasons Played: 17

  • Playing Career: 2003 - Present

9. Zach Parise: Left Wing, New York Islanders

Parise also cashed in on a 13-year, $98-million contract with the Minnesota Wild.

  • Total Estimated Earnings: $108,660,065

  • NHL Seasons Played: 17

  • Playing Career: 2003 - Present

8. Patrick Kane: Right Wing, Chicago Blackhawks

Kane struck gold with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2014, signing a contract worth $88 million, including a $44 million signing bonus.

  • Total Estimated Earnings: $108,737,195

  • NHL Seasons Played: 15

  • Playing Career: 2007 - Present

7. Joe Thornton: Center, Free Agent

Unlike the long-term deals that are commonplace for star players today, Thornton deployed a different strategy to compile his career earnings. Between 2005 and 2014, Thornton signed four straight three-year deals worth more than $20 million each.

  • Total Estimated Earnings: $111,541,561

  • NHL Seasons Played: 24

  • Playing Career: 1997 - Present

6. Anze Kopitar: Center, Los Angeles Kings

The two-time Stanley Cup champ is currently signed to an eight-year, $80-million contract with the Kings — the most lucrative deal of his career.

  • Total Estimated Earnings: $115,250,000

  • NHL Seasons Played: 17

  • Playing Career: 2005 - Present

5. Shea Weber: Defense, Vegas Golden Knights

Weber’s massive 14-year, $110-million contract began in the summer of 2012 when he re-signed with the Nashville Predators.

  • Total Estimated Earnings: $126,831,000

  • NHL Seasons Played: 17

  • Playing Career: 2003 - Present

4. Evgeni Malkin: Center, Pittsburgh Penguins

Malkin, a three-time Stanley Cup champ, two-time league scoring champ and 2012 NHL MVP, is worth far more than his 195-pound weight in gold. The all-star center signed an eight-year, $76-million contract with the Penguins in 2012, which expired at the end of the 2021-22 season.

  • Total Estimated Earnings: $127,270,893

  • NHL Seasons Played: 16

  • Playing Career: 2004 - Present

3. Jaromír Jágr: Right Wing, Retired

In 2001, the Capitals signed Jágr to a seven-year contract worth $77 million, the largest the league had ever seen. The Czech hockey star earned $11 million per season at his peak.

  • Total Estimated Earnings: $128,139,753

  • NHL Seasons Played: 24

  • Playing Career: 1990 - 2018

2. Alex Ovechkin: Left Wing, Washington Capitals

While Ovechkin is one of the NHL's most awarded players, perhaps his most significant achievement was signing the largest contract in league history: 13 years, 124 million greenbacks.

  • Total Estimated Earnings: $128,220,893

  • NHL Seasons Played: 17

  • Playing Career: 2004 - Present

1. Sidney Crosby: Center, Pittsburgh Penguins

Crosby's first major contract with the Penguins in 2007 raked in $43.5 million over five years. However, he made $43 million look like a hill of beans after signing on for another 12 years for a modest $104.4 million — making him the highest-paid NHL player of all time.

  • Total Estimated Earnings: $146,890,244

  • NHL Seasons Played: 17

  • Playing Career: 2005 - Present

More from Yahoo Sports