Highest Paid Contracts in the History of Ice Hockey
Despite the fact that the wage on Alex Ovechkin’s current deal with the Washington Capitals has been reduced, he will continue to enter his 17th season as the highest-paid player in the National Hockey League.
Alex Ovechkin has been a member of the Washington Capitals for a long time, and he is currently the team’s highest-paid player as well as the highest-paid player in the National Hockey League. Ovechkin was selected first overall in the NHL draft in 2004, and the Washington Capitals have been his only team during his entire professional career.
Ovechkin began his professional career by signing an entry-level contract with the Washington Capitals. The deal was for three years and had a total value of $11.5 million, with a signing bonus of $590,520.
The superstar had a breakout season as a rookie, scoring 106 goals, and produced one of the most amazing goals during a matchup between the Capital and the Phoenix Coyotes in 2006. After his first year in the NHL, Ovechkin went on to win the Calder Trophy, which marked the beginning of his rise to celebrity.
In 2008, Ovechkin signed the most lucrative contract in the history of the National Hockey League (NHL), which was a 13-year, $124 million deal with the Washington Capitals. Even without a signing bonus, Ovechkin made an average salary of $9,538,462 every year during his career. It is possible that Ovechkin is the first player in the NHL to sign a contract worth more than $100 million, but his deal is not the longest one in the league. Rick DiPietro, a player for the New York Islanders, now holds the record for the longest contract ever signed, clocking in at 15 years.
The fact that Ovechkin handled all of the discussions and specifics of the deal on his own is easily the most astounding aspect of the situation.
Ovechkin became a free agent in 2021 and signed a five-year agreement with the Capitals for a total of $47.5 million. This figure includes a signing bonus of $34.5 million.
With 766 goals scored throughout the course of his career, the superstar winger is not only the highest-paid player in the NHL but also ranks among the top five best scorers in the history of the game. The nine-time winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy has demonstrated why he ought to receive the biggest salary of any athlete.
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Highest Paid Players of Ice Hockey
- Erik Karlsson: $92 million for 8 years.
After acquiring Erik Karlsson in a trade prior to the 2018 campaign, the San Jose Sharks made it a priority to keep him on the team. Karlsson’s new contract is worth $92 million, making him the highest-paid defenseman in the history of the NHL.
The Sharks haven’t been able to reap nearly as many benefits from their investments as they had hoped. Karlsson played for the Ottawa Senators for a total of nine seasons, scoring 20 goals in two of those seasons. He has scored 27 goals in the first four years of his current contract. In order to recoup some of this worth, San Jose will be looking for increased contributions from the player who is 32 years old.
- T-6. Ryan Suter and Zach Parise: 13 years and $98 million worth of contracts
Both defenseman Ryan Suter and left wing Zach Parise might be singled out, although doing so almost seems inappropriate given their obvious similarities.
The players signed identical contracts with the Minnesota Wild during the summer of 2012, allowing them to join the team. Because of the modifications that were implemented in a new collective bargaining agreement the following year, Suter and Parise were among the final free agents to acquire contracts of this length.
They played together for nine years, during which time the Wild established themselves as a perennial playoff team, despite the fact that Minnesota advanced only twice to the second round and never further. After the 2021 campaign, the Wild exercised their option to buy out both Suter and Parise.
- Connor McDavid, in position T-4: $100 million for 8 years
Connor McDavid currently holds the top spot on the all-time list for the highest average annual value at $12.5 million. It’s not hard to see him having a higher market value.
After three seasons in a row with 100 points or more, he started the 2018–19 season, his fourth in the league, playing under the terms of this contract. Since then, McDavid has scored 116, 97, 105, and 123 points, respectively, to establish himself as one of the most productive skaters of this generation. The Edmonton Oilers have the option to extend their commitment to the player, who is currently 25 years old, until the 2025-2026 season.
- T-4. Ilya Kovalchuk: $100 million for 15 years.
Ilya Kovalchuk was the source of controversy. Twice. In 2010, he re-signed with the New Jersey Devils on a deal that was for a total of $102 million over 17 years. However, the NHL did not approve of the contract because it went against the current CBA that was in existence. Kovalchuk ultimately inked a 15-year, $100 million deal to stay in New Jersey.
After another three years, during the lockout’s aftermath, Kovalchuk decided to retire from the NHL at the age of 30, so he could continue playing hockey in his home country of Russia.
As a direct consequence of that, this one calls for a colossal asterisk. Despite the fact that Kovalchuk returned to the NHL in 2018-19 and played for two seasons, he was never paid the remaining $77 million of this contract.
- Sidney Crosby: The agreement is for a period of 12 years and $104.4 million.
By the time 2013 got around, it was quite evident that Sidney Crosby had established himself as one of the top players in the NHL, if not the best player overall. Even though he had played in 470 games and accumulated 665 points over the course of his career, he was only 25 years old when he entered his prime.
However, there remained a possibility of loss associated with this 12-year deal. Crosby had only participated in 58 games over the course of the previous two seasons, primarily due to serious concussion difficulties. In retrospect, there is no need for concern.
Crosby started a streak of six straight years in which he scored 84 points or more when he set the NHL record with 104 points in the 2013–14 season. Most notably, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in both 2016 and 2017, giving them back-to-back titles. Crosby was named the most valuable player of the playoffs in both years, earning him the Conn Smythe Trophy.