Crosby is highest paid, but some surprises on Forbes list of top NHL earners

It’s no surprise that Sidney Crosby is the highest-paid player, including endorsements, in the NHL. But there were some unexpected names on the Forbes list of highest earnings players in the league, including a surprise at number two.

It might not come as a huge surprise, but
Sidney Crosby, almost inarguably the best player in the NHL, is the highest-earning star in the league at $16.5 million this year. What is a bit surprising, however, is the disparity in endorsements between he and the second highest-paid player, Nashville Predators defenseman
Shea Weber. The face of the NHL and front and center in campaigns for the likes of Reebok, Gatorade, Tim Hortons, and Sport Chek, Crosby makes an estimated $4.5 million in endorsements. Forbes also reports that Crosby has recently signed a deal with Rogers Communications, the Canadian telecom giant that owns the NHL broadcasting rights in Canada.

Weber, on the other hand, stands to make $100,000 off of endorsements. The thing keeping Weber so high up the list of the league’s best earners is his massive salary. Though Crosby is earning $12 million this season, Weber is bringing in $14 million this season thanks to the offer sheet he signed with the Philadelphia Flyers that his Predators matched. Because he’s not an instantly recognizable star and plays in a smaller market, Weber’s $100,000 does little to boost his earnings this season. While many would think
Alex Ovechkin would sit in the second spot, which belongs to Weber, he’s actually just one spot below in third place, set to earn a reported $14 million in 2014-15. Though he’s making less than Weber and Crosby, Ovechkin’s $4 million in endorsements is nothing to shake a stick at. Already the face of brands such as Nike, Bauer, Gillette, Upper Deck, and Coca-Cola, Forbes reports that Ovechkin will now also be on the books for Beats by Dre and Fanatics, a sports memorabilia company. For those scoring at home that means the 29-year-old superstar is making $10 million from his hockey salary. Not bad. Ovechkin is followed by some more expected stars, like Minnestoa’s 
Zach Parise ($11.8 million) and 
Ryan Suter ($11.2 million) and the Ranger’s 
Henrik Lundqvist ($11.7 million), all of whom are making a pretty penny in base salary this season. Parise and Lundqvist make $800,000 and $700,000 in endorsements, respectively, with Suter picking up $150,000 from his deals. The shocker of the list comes in at the seventh spot, with
Vincent Lecavalier set to earn a reported total of $11 million this season. Thanks to his Tampa Bay buyout, which sees him haul in $4.76 million, and his recent contract in Philadelphia that will pay him $6 million this season, Lecavalier is one of the league’s highest earning players. Part of that, however, is the $250,000 in endorsements, which includes deals with Upper Deck, Reebok, and Panini. The only player from a Canadian team on the list is
Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who will reportedly make $10.3 million this year, only $250,000 coming from endorsements. You can find the entire list below:
Salary Chart

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