Rising to the top of any sport isn't an easy feat. It involves dozens of hours of training every week, strict diets, extra time in the gym, and lots of sacrifices in general. All of this and you're not even guaranteed to be hired as a member of a great team or being number one in every single championship. That's why those who actually make it to big leagues make some serious bucks, even when their career is over.
In North America, there are plenty of leagues for several sports that only hire the best of the best. One of those leagues is none other than the National Hockey League, which has produced (and keeps producing) plenty of millionaires to go around. Let's take a look at the 10 richest NHL players in 2019!
10 Nicklas Lidström - $60 Million
This Swedish born player was a true superstar during his years playing for the National Hockey League. Many people still consider Lidström to be one of the best defencemen to ever grace the hockey fields, and at 49-years-old, that's quite the feat to achieve,
Nicklas played 20 seasons in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings, a team he served as captain for in the last six seasons where he played. He also belongs to the 2017 list that ranks the greatest NHL players of all time and broke dozens of records during the course of his career. As of 2019, Lidström's net worth is estimated to be $60 million.
9 Rob Blake - $60 Million
Rob Blake was born and raised in Canda and his career with the NHL lasted for an impressive two decades, during which he played for the Los Angeles Kings, the Colorado Avalanche, and the San Jose Sharks. Blake retired in 2010 after returning to the Sharks, but not without leaving his mark on the world of hockey.
Aside from his career as a player, Rob also worked as assistant general manager to the Los Angeles Kings, the general manager for their American Hockey League affiliates, and the 2014 IIHF World Championship general manager. As of 2017, he's been the vice-president and general manager of the Los Angeles Kings. His net worth clocks in at $60 million.
8 Alexander Ovechkin - $60 Million
Russian born Alexander Ovechkin, also known as "Ovi" or "the Great Eight," began his hockey career in Moscow prior to entering the ranks of the NHL in 2005, when he joined the Washington Capitals, a team he's been playing with ever since.
At only 34-years-old, Ovechkin has already won dozens of awards and broken several records, which led to him being regarded as one of the strongest players to ever be a part of the NHL. Alexander's retirement probably won't come any time soon, and his current net worth is estimated to be around $60 million.
7 Joe Thornton - $60 Million
The second Canadian to be featured on this list is Joe Thornton. He began his amateur career playing for his hometown team, the St. Thomas Travelers, in 1992, and he made the jump to the NHL in 2004, playing for the Boston Bruins.
Only one year later, in 2005, Thornton began playing for the HC Davos, and he's stuck with them ever since. Joe has received several awards and broken a handful of records, both within and outside of the HC Davos. As of 2019, Joe Thornton's net worth is a reported $60 million.
6 Joe Sakic - $60 Million
Joe Sakic is also a Canadian hockey superstar, who retired in 2009 after a prolific career in the NHL. Sakic played for the Quebec Nordics, later rebranded as the Colorado Avalanche once it was sold and relocated to Quebec.
Over the course of his career, Sakic made quite an impression with the NHL, snatching several awards, and breaking record after record, and even though his leadership skills were questioned, his talent as a player persisted over everything else. Joe Sakic's hockey career granted him a net worth of $60 million.
5 Jarome Iginla - $60 Million
Canadian born Jarome Iginla announced his retirement from the game only a year ago, in 2018, after playing over a thousand games with the NHL, and receiving several awards that spoke of his incredible talent as a hockey player.
Iginla jumped around quite a bit over the course of his career, playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, and Los Angeles Kings. Even though he's recently retired, he can still brag about his impressive net worth of $60 million.
4 Chris Pronger - $65 Million
Much like his fellow Canadian player Jarome Iginla, Chris Pronger played for several different teams during his time in the NHL, including the Hartford Whalers, the St. Louis Blues, the Edmonton Oilers, the Anaheim Ducks, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Arizona Coyotes.
Pronger's contract with the NHL expired in 2017, and he has since served as the senior advisor of hockey operations for the Florida Panthers, and assists the league with its Player Safety Division. As of 2019, Pronger's net worth hits $65 million.
3 Pavel Bure - $70 Million
Russian born Pavel Bure began playing for the NHL back in 1991 when he became a part of the Vancouver Canucks, a team he played with until 1999. Prior to his retirement in 2004, Bure also played several seasons with the Florida Panthers and the New York Rangers.
Even though he's been retired for several years, Bure still remains one of the richest hockey players in the world. His net worth is estimated to be a whopping $70 million, thanks to his impressive career in the NHL.
2 Mario Lemieux - $150 Million
Mario Lemieux's career as a hockey player was both incredible and inspiring. He played for the Pittsburgh Penguins from the very beginning to the very end of his career, even after he had to take a break due to very serious health issues.
After his retirement, Lemieux's love for the game never died, and he eventually became the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins. All of these business ventures eventually earned him an outstanding net worth of $150 million.
1 Wayne Gretzky - $200 Million
Being considered the greatest hockey player of all time is no joke. And that's exactly what Wayne Gretzky, a Canadian-born player, is today, even though he's been retired for two decades. During his career, Gretzky played for the Indianapolis Racers, the Edmonton Oilers, the Los Angeles Kings, the St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers.
He has several business ventures involving ownerships and leadership roles with the NHL, and thanks to all of this plus his career as a player, Wayne remains the richest player of 2019, with a staggering net worth of $200 million.