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NHL Fortune: $68,054,157

Description

Mark Messier’s net worth / career earnings / salary history. He made US$68,054,157 (US$107,937,498 in today's dollars), ranking #69 in NHL / hockey career earnings.

Birthdate: January 18, 1961
Country of birth: Canada
Position: C
NHL Draft:
  • Year: 1979
  • Round #3
  • Overall Pick: 48
  • By: Edmonton Oilers

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Salary History
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.
Season   Salary
(US$)
In today's
US$
NHL
Rank
+/-
(US$)
+/-
(%)
1978-79 $26,000 $103,099
Signed a one-year contract with the Cincinnati Stingers, of the World Hockey Association, for $26,000. (According to the book The Rebel League, he earned $30,000)
Source: Copy of contract
1979-80 $42,700 $152,174
Contract in Canadian currency: $50,000. After being drafted 48th overall in the NHL draft by the Edmonton Oilers, held out during training camp wanting a four-year contract at CAN$50,000/season. The Oilers were offering either a four-year, two-way contract that would pay considerably less if sent in the minors or a one-year plus one option year, one-way contract at CAN$20,000. He ended up signing a contract and we assume that it was the CAN$50,000/season for 4 years.
Source: Book: Messier
1980-81 $42,750 $134,179
Contract in Canadian currency: $50,000.
Source: Book: Messier
1981-82 $41,700 $118,633
Contract in Canadian currency: $50,000.
Source: Book: Messier
1982-83 $40,550 $108,691
Contract in Canadian currency: $50,000.
Source: Book: Messier
1983-84 $40,550 $105,308
Contract in Canadian currency: $50,000. Estimated minimum salary based on 1979-80 salary.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1984-85 $231,600 $576,681
Contract in Canadian currency: $300,000. Signed a 5-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers for CAN$300,000/season.
Source: The Hockey News 1985 Yearbook
1985-86 $219,600 $528,044
Contract in Canadian currency: $300,000.
Source: The Hockey News 1985 Yearbook
1986-87 $216,000 $509,721
Contract in Canadian currency: $300,000.
Source: The Hockey News 1985 Yearbook
1987-88 $226,200 $514,952
Contract in Canadian currency: $300,000.
Source: The Hockey News 1985 Yearbook
1988-89 $243,900 $533,462
Contract in Canadian currency: $300,000.
Source: The Hockey News 1985 Yearbook
1989-90 $837,142 $1,746,673 4
Contract in Canadian currency: $990,700. Plus CAN$42,800 in deferred payment.
Source: Canadian Press
1990-91 $824,434 $1,632,084 8 -$12,708 -2%
Contract in Canadian currency: $962,000. One-way contract.
Source: The Hockey News / Canadian Press
1991-92 $1,084,000 $2,058,796 13 $259,566 31%
1992-93 $2,385,000 $4,396,409 4 $1,301,000 120%
Amount includes salary and any signing bonus paid in 1992-93.
Source: The Hockey News / La Presse
1993-94 $2,533,000 $4,535,413 5 $148,000 6%
Includes base salary and any signing bonus and deferred payments allocated to the 1993-94 season.
Source: The Hockey News
1994-95 $3,596,059 $6,275,513 2 $1,063,059 42%
Because of the lockout, his NHL salary of $6,293,103 was prorated for the 48-game season.
Source: Guide Hockey 1995-1996
1995-96 $6,000,000 $10,184,801 2 $2,403,941 67%
Source: La Presse
1996-97 $6,000,000 $9,894,549 2
Source: La Presse / Guide Hockey RDS
1997-98 $6,015,000 $9,692,499 4 $15,000 0%
Signed a five-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks for $6M/season (Each year: $2M signing bonus, $3M salary and $1M promotional fee). Included buyout options of $2M before the 2000-01 season and a $1M before the 2001-02 season. Contract clauses included up to $ 3,000 per month for a 3-bedroom corporate apartment in Vancouver as he was living in Washington State; post-career moving allowance; fully guaranteed disability and life insurance; luxury box and 10 tickets per game if box unavailable; no trade clause; and single room on the road. Bonuses included $ 150,000 if the team participates in the second playoff round; $ 200,000 for the 3rd round; $ 200,000 for the 4th round; and $ 200,000 for winning the Stanley Cup. Also $ 250,000 if the team won the Western Conference; $ 100,000 if he made the NHL 1st All-Star Team; $ 25,000 if he made the 2nd All-Star team; $ 15,000 if he participated in the All-Star game; $ 100,000 for winning the Hart/Ross/Smythe awards; $ 25,000 for finishing second for the Hart/Ross/Smythe awards; and $ 15,000 for finishing 3rd for the Hart/Ross/Smythe awards. He did not earn any bonus except $15,000 for participating in the All Star Game.
Source: Copy of negotiating notes from Darren Rovell / Vancouver Sun / The Hockey News
1998-99 $6,015,000 $9,544,445 6
He did not earn any bonus except $15,000 for participating in the All Star Game.
Source: Copy of negotiating notes from Darren Rovell / The Hockey News
1999-00 $8,000,000 $12,422,140 6 $1,985,000 33%
He did not earn any bonus. After the season, the Vancouver Canuck bought out the last 3 years of the contract for $2M.
Source: Copy of negotiating notes from Darren Rovell / The Hockey News
2000-01 $4,000,000 $6,008,362 41 -$4,000,000 -50%
Source: The Hockey News Ultimate Fantasy Guide 2000-01
2001-02 $5,583,530 $8,156,299 30 $1,583,530 40%
2002-03 $3,904,858 $5,615,024 73 -$1,678,672 -30%
2003-04 $3,904,585 $5,490,106 82 -$273 0%
Retired from pro hockey after the season.
2004-05 NHL lockout year: Season cancelled - no NHL salary paid.
2011-12 $6,000,000 $6,899,440 50
In the 2012 summer, an arbitrator awarded a $ 6M settlement from the Vancouver Canucks because of a clause in his 1997-98 contract stipulating that he would compensate if the value of the Canuck franchise increased over the life of his contract.
Source: Vancouver Sun
Career Earnings: US$68,054,157
(In today's dollars: US$107,937,498)

NHL Rank: 69
(In today's dollars: 33)

Contract(s) (click to enlarge)

Interesting animated bar chart race showing that 36 players and 1 commissioner appeared, in the past 25 years, in the yearly Top Ten NHL/hockey career earnings. Jaromir Jagr is #1 in total hockey earnings since 2002-03 and will be taken over in 2-3 years by Crosby and Ovechkin. How is your 401k/RSSP doing?

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