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Mario Lemieux - Wayne Gretzky - Mark Messier

In 1989-1990, the Edmonton Oilers won their 5th Stanley Cup in 7 years -- their first one without Wayne Gretzky who was now with the Los Angeles Kings, leading the NHL with 142 points. While Mario Lemieux officially had the highest NHL base salary, Wayne Gretzky was by far making more money with numerous very lucrative endorsement deals. They were the only 2 NHLers making over a million a year in base salary.

Rank Player NHL Salary ($US) In today's  $
1 Mario Lemieux $2,000,000 $4,124,194
2 Wayne Gretzky $1,720,000 $3,546,806
3 Mark Messier $837,142 $1,726,267
4 Steve Yzerman $700,000 $1,443,468
5 Bryan Trottier $575,000 $1,185,706
6 Larry Robinson $550,000 $1,134,153
7 Denis Savard $525,000 $1,082,601
8 Michel Goulet $507,000 $1,045,483
9 Doug Wilson $500,000 $1,031,048
9 Dave Taylor $500,000 $1,031,048
9 Raymond Bourque $500,000 $1,031,048
9 Ron Hextall $500,000 $1,031,048
9 Tim Kerr $500,000 $1,031,048
14 Chris Chelios $485,875 $1,001,921
15 Paul Coffey $450,000 $927,944
16 Mike Liut $445,000 $917,633
17 Borje Salming $435,000 $897,012
18 Mark Howe $425,000 $876,391
19 Jari Kurri $422,500 $871,236
20 Tomas Sandstrom $410,000 $845,460
21 Peter Stastny $405,600 $836,386
22 Al MacInnis $401,375 $827,674
23 Pat Lafontaine $400,000 $824,839
23 Bernie Nicholls $400,000 $824,839
23 Mike Gartner $400,000 $824,839
23 Jimmy Carson $400,000 $824,839

Photo credit: Upper Deck 1990-91