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NHL Players’ Earnings Remain Flat, Trail Other Pro Leagues

  • Connor McDavid topped the NHL's highest-paid list.
  • The league's spending cap hit a record $82.5 million for the 2022-23 season.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The top 10 highest-paid NHL players are set to make $117.7 million combined this season — only a small increase from last year’s $117.2 million.

For the fourth time in five years, the Edmonton Oilers’ 25-year-old captain Connor McDavid is the NHL’s top earner, according to Forbes’ Highest-Paid NHL Players list, set to make $15.3 million before taxes and agents’ fees. 

McDavid is followed by the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin ($14 million), the Dallas Stars’ Tyler Seguin ($11.9 million), and the New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin ($11.7 million), with the Florida Panthers’ Sergei Bobrovsky and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews tied for fifth ($11 million).

The combined earnings of the top 10 are barely up from the 2013-14 list, when the top 10 brought in $116.3 million.

  • Since then, the NFL’s top 10 saw their earnings jump 46% to $489.1 million.
  • MLB’s increased 50%.

Ice Increase

The NHL players’ earnings aren’t jumping like other sports, but recent indications favor an impending spike.

In September, Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon became the highest-paid player in league history with an eight-year, $100.8 million deal.

The league’s salary cap, which hit a record $82.5 million for the 2022-23 season, reportedly could rise around $10 million over the next three years. The cap froze at $81.5 million for the three pandemic-affected seasons.

In June, commissioner Gary Bettman said the league recorded $5.2 billion in revenue over the course of the season.

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