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The «Gold»tenders
By Jean-Pierre Collette
Publication date: October 5, 2003

Money, money, money… Is there anything else in professional hockey today? For the last 15 years, salaries have never stopped rising in the NHL. But it’s only been a few years since the goaltenders have been fully established as the most valuable players of the league and cash a lot of money.

In this article, we sorted the goaltenders in 5 categories to show how is the salary hierarchy in the NHL. For complete salary history information on goalies and playes, visit the HockeyBiz section.

To see the salary history of the last 15 years along with the accumulated fortunes of the listed goalies, click on their names.


A balanced and competitive hockey team is almost always built around an experienced goalie. They bring crowds to the buildings and confidence to the team. Is it surprising to see the last 5 Stanley Cup champions in this list? No wonder the owners are willing to give these goalies so much money.

bullet Patrick Roy (8,5M$ in 2002-03)
bullet Dominik Hasek (8,0M$)
bullet Curtis Joseph (8,0M$)
bullet Ed Belfour (7,0M$)
bullet Martin Brodeur (6,9M$)
bullet Olaf Kolzig (6,3M$)
bullet Sean Burke (4,5M$)
bullet Nikolai Khabibulin (4,4M$)
bullet Tommy Salo (3,9M$)

Young Millionaires

The incredible performances of some young goaltenders in the last few years also pushed the salaries a step higher. These keepers, younger than 30, are already established as great assets for an hockey team and as…millionaires.

bullet José Théodore (5,5M$)
bullet J-Sébastien Giguère (4,5M$)
bullet Marty Turco (3,7M$)
bullet Jocelyn Thibault (3,1M$)
bullet Martin Biron (2,2M$)


Some general managers were lucky (or simply wise) to sign long term contracts which became real bargains when you look at the ensuing performances. In this category, we have young number ones, great back ups and some older ones who are giving a great return on the investment.

bullet Roman Cechmanek (3,0M$)
bullet Patrick Lalime (2,6M$)
bullet Dwayne Roloson (2,2M$)
bullet Manny Fernandez (2,2M$)
bullet Roberto Luongo (1,9M$)
bullet Marc Denis (1,6M$)
bullet Tomas Vokoun (1,2M$)
bullet Manny Legace (1,1M$)
bullet Martin Gerber (0,5M$)

Bad Investments

At the opposite of the previous category, the following goaltenders are giving headaches to the GMs that gave them lucrative contracts without proper results showing up.

bullet Roman Turek (4,3M$)
bullet Evgeni Nabokov (3,7M$)
bullet Chris Osgood (3,0M$)
bullet Dan Cloutier (2,5M$)

Expensive Back-Ups

Sometime, money is just not invested at the right place, particularly for teams which that are paying a lot of money for their back-up goaltenders. We're not saying that these goalies are not playing well, but when you look at their salaries… it hurts.

bullet Byron Dafoe (3,5M$)
bullet Ron Tugnutt (2,8M$)
bullet Arthus Irbe (2,7M$)
bullet Brian Boucher (2,0M$)


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