Which NHL players are on track to hit the top 10 by 2018?
NHL players may have the highest average salary among all teams.
The NHL is still paying its players well, but it has been doing it on a much smaller budget.
Last season the average NHL player made $9.4 million, while the NBA’s LeBron James and the NHL’s John Tavares both earned $8 million, according to Forbes.
That doesn’t include the league’s other superstars, including Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, who each earned more than $10 million.
But with less money to play with, NHL players have been making more money.
The average salary for players in the NHL is currently $10.3 million, the second highest in the league behind the $10 billion Dallas Stars ($11.4 billion), according to the SportsBusiness Journal.
That’s up from $9 million in 2017.
In 2017, the average salary of a player was $8.3 mln, the highest since the NHL began tracking salaries in 1982, the paper reported.
In 2018, the NHL average salary is expected to be $10 mln.
But that’s not all.
There are some big names on the rise, too.
NHL players with the highest earnings in 2018 are Sidney Crosby ($10.7 million), Jaromir Jagr ($10 million), and Alexander Ovechkin ($9.3 mil.), according to data from SportsBusiness.
The top 10 earners in 2018 include Sidney Crosby, who earned $9,935,934, and Pavel Datsyuk, who was paid $934.6 million.
The best players in 2018, according the Sports Business Journal, are Pavel Detsyuk ($9,837,839), Ryan Getzlaf ($9 million), Nicklas Backstrom ($988,852), Corey Perry ($890,038), and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($880,938).
The biggest gains in salaries came from players like Wayne Grety ($2.9 million) and James Dolan ($1.9 mil), the paper found.
Wayne Gretey, the best-paid NHL player, earned $5.8 million in 2018.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said at a news conference in November that he expected a lot more players to earn more money, adding that the salary cap could push players out of the league if the league doesn’t address the issue.
The cap is set to rise to $68.7 billion in 2022.
The new cap for players is expected, too, which is expected on the same day that the new collective bargaining agreement kicks in.
But it may be some time before the NHL realizes that its players are the ones paying for the increased cost of living.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettmann says it’s a question of “how quickly we get over that hump.”
Sports Business writer Chris Burden has more on this story.