The Biggest NHL Contracts for 2013

The 2012-2013 season of the National Hockey League is done, with the Chicago Blackhawks emerging as World Champions. This year is not without its downside. Prior to the start of the season, the player

The 2012-2013 season of the National Hockey League is done, with the Chicago Blackhawks emerging as World Champions. This year is not without its downside. Prior to the start of the season, the players and the league were on a lockout due to the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) affecting the income of the players greatly as the total number of games was reduced from the original 82 to just a mere 48 games for the season.

Speaking of income, since the Stanley Cup is over and done with, it is an opportune time to know which players made the most money this year. For a sport that is very physical in nature, you would think that the players would be asking for more compared to other sports organizations like the NBA. The average NHL player makes only $2.4 million per season, as compared to the NBA’s average of roughly $5.2 million a year. While NBA’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were all making around $17 million this year, the highest paid NHL player made way less than that.

There are many contentions as to who had the highest salary in 2013, depending on the details of the income generated. It is also important to note that since the season got shortened, the player salaries have also been pro-rated. Based on contract salary alone, the following are considered to be the Top 5 highest paid NHL hockey players for the 2012 to 2013 season.

11 Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Salary: $5,583,659

Vincent Lecavalier is the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning and is currently the longest tenured player on the team. He was awarded the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 2007 for leading the NHL in goals with 52 in 82 games. Aside from being a hockey player, Lecavalier is an active member of the community, being known for his generosity when he donated $3 million to a children’s hospital in Florida.

10 Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey Devils)

Salary: $6,439,024

Ilya Kovalchuk is the alternate captain of the Devils and won the Calder Memorial Trophy during the 2001-2002 season while he was still with the Atlanta Thrashers. He has also won the Muarice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 2004, receiving it in a three-way tie with Jarme Iginla and Rick Nash.

9 Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)

Salary: $6,500,000

Nicknamed “Kopi” by Kings fans, is the first Slovenian player to ever play in the NHL. Anze Kopitar has led the Kings in scoring during the 2011-2012 season when they won the Stanley Cup, with 76 points, including a career-best 51 assists.

8 Marc Savard (Boston Bruins)

Salary: $6,500,000

Like Chris Pronger, Marc Savard is a player that has not played since January 2011 after also being diagnosed with post-concussion and it does not look like he will be playing again anytime soon. While inactive, he is still under contract thus making this year’s list of highest paid hockey players. In the NHL record books, despite missing out the season, Savard is included in the list of players who are part of the Bruins as Stanley Cup champions for 2011.

7 Daniel Briere (Philadelphia Flyers)

Salary: $7,000,000

Daniel Briere is one of two Flyers that are part of this list and is one of the alternate captains of the team. He is a 2-time All-Star and was named All-Star MVP in 2007.

6 Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild)

Salary:  $7,024,390 (should have been $12 million)

Ryan Suter is best known as the son of the Bob Suter, an amazing hockey player who was part of the United States Hockey team that defeated the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The younger Suter was selected as an alternate captain for the 2010 U.S. team that won silver in Vancouver.

5 Tyler Myers (Buffalo Sabres)

Salary: $7,024,390 (should have also been $12 million)

Nicknamed “The Big Easy” or “ Big Tex” for his imposing size of 6 feet and 8 inches, Tyler Myers won the 2010 Calder Memorial Trophy, which is given to the player that is selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition. While born in the United States,  Myers grew up in Calgary and because of this, opted to play internationally for Canada.

4 Brad Richards (New York Rangers)

Salary: $7,024,390 (should have been $12 million)

Prior to being one of the alternate captains for the Rangers, Brad Richards played for the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning that won the 2004 Stanley Cup. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP for the 2004 playoffs. Richards is also known for hosting the PEI Celebrity Golf Classic held in Prince Edward Island six years running.

3 Chris Pronger (Philadelphia Flyers)

Salary: $7,200,000 (should have been $12 million)

Chris Pronger is considered to be one of the most successful players to have played professional hockey, although sadly enough, he has not played since 2011 due to post-concussion syndrome. He was part of three different teams that have played in the Stanley Cup finals and landing the championship with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. Pronger is known for being the first defense-man since 1972 to have won the Hart Trophy in the 1999-2000 season.

2 Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)

Salary: $8,195,122 (should have been $14 million)

Shea Weber is a three-time NHL All-Star and was part of the gold medal winning Team Canada in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. He is currently the captain of the Nashville Predators and has spent his entire career with the team.

1 Salaries worthy of mention

As earlier mentioned, due to the shortened season and the pro-rated salaries, there were five other players who would have been placed 5th to 10th places. They are:

Evgeni Malkin - $5,268,293 (should have been $9.5 million)

Alex Ovechkin - $5,268,293 (should have been $9.5 million)

Sidney Crosby - $5,092,607 (should have been $8.7 million)

Eric Staal - $4,975,610 (should have been $8.5 million)

Steven Stamkos - $4,682,927 (should have been $7.5 million)

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The Biggest NHL Contracts for 2013