One of my all-time favorite hockey stories to tell – and tell, and tell, and tell, I know – is about a conversation I once had with Bill Guerin. We were sitting across the table from one another, and he was talking about all the things his (I believe four) kids were into. One’s riding horses, one’s in hockey, and so on and so on.

Me: “Man. Four kids that active, that must be expensive.”

To which Guerin politely responded with a half-smirk “Well not to be a dick, but I’m rich.”

Ah. Yes. Yes I suppose you are.

Guerin made $57,398,591 over the course of his career, and at one point, was receiving checks from three NHL teams (St. Louis, San Jose and the Islanders). That puts him 50th in all-time career earnings. I know this, because CapGeek tells me so.

Yes, CapGeek, the site that lets you know how much cap space your favorite team has and how much your least favorite player gets paid has put together a “career earnings” list that uses info all the way back to 1990. So “all-time” isn’t quite accurate, but I’m fairly confident if it were an “all-time” list, the names would be the same, just shuffled thanks to some 80′s salaries.

I find the list mesmerizing for some reason, and you might too. Some of the names are absolutely stunning. “[Blank] made [blank]? That can’t be.”

Those conversations are always fun to kick about, so I thought a Friday would be a fun day to share this: The Top 10 Holy S**t That Guy Made That Much Money? Surprises.

Oh, by the way: Jaromir Jagr is first overall by like ten shmill. Check the list out.



61st overall. Kimmo Timonen $54,350,000


Admit it: before this picture you had no idea what Timonen, one of our sport’s 100 richest men, even looked like.

Like all the guys on this list, if you’re a fan of the team they play/played for, you’re probably familiar with the fact that they’re making bank. If you’re not really paying attention, it’s kind of a record-scratch moment. It’s not that Kimmo Timonen is remotely bad – nobody on this list is – but over the past 25 years he’s one the highest paid humans to ever lace up skates? On either side of him are Alexei Kovalev and Dan Boyle – y’know, guys you recognize as stars. As there’s the humble Timonen, chugging along with his 0.5 points per game, sleeping on a bed bought with some of his FIFTY FOUR MILLION DOLLARS.


99. Shawn Horcoff $44,275,000


This one is borderline depressing, because it offers us the realization that you don’t even really have to be an all-star to get straight rich, you just need to hang around, and hang around, and hang around the NHL, and you’re stacking chips.

44 million. Horcoff. Today’s one of those days I’m all-too aware that I write for a living. High ceiling there, Bourne.


9th overall. Keith Tkachuk $81,200,000

Keith Tkachuk


Hahaha Keith Tkachuk has no teeth and kinda talks funny and got chubby after his playing days andWHAM– $81 million, byitch.

Again, this list isn’t about bad hockey players. It’s just the surprise: Keith Tkachuk is ninth in earning over the past 25 years? Obviously the circumstances played out perfectly for him – his full career has been played out, he played in the payday years, he happened to sign a deal right before the league locked the players out for being overpaid…all that. And, he scored over 1000 points in over 1200 games. He was a star. But 81 million. My stars. Look at that happy man, willya?


68. Thomas Vanek $51,884,800


Vanek surprised me for two reasons: one, he’s still in his 20′s (granted, not by much), and two, he’s on the verge of signing an absolute whopper of a contract as a free agent. He’s good, but damn, his career earnings might end up being something like Jagr’s.


71. Mattias Ohlund $51,500,000


You guys are aware $51 million is a lot of dough, right? I know you’re probably numb to it because this list will do that, but yeah. With Al McInnis on one side of him on the list and Mark Recchi on the other, Ohlund has amassed over 50 million-plus without ever once in his career carrying a cap hit higher than $3.607,143, which is what he’s currently making. His first contract:


What a whopper. Just gotta keep yourself in the game long enough, I guess.


29. Patrick Elias $64,349,498


It’s quite the accomplishment to play for Lou Lamiorello and crack the top 30, especially when your first deal looks like this:


Like Ohlund, it’s all about that longevity. You certainly don’t hear about Elias spoken of in the “can you believe what that guy earns!” conversations.


53. Ryan Smyth $56,887,000


I put Ryan Smyth in the Shane Doan (65th overall) category: we always hold these guys up as warriors, the physical embodiment of all the ideals we hold close to our hearts. Hard-working, blue collar guys who just put their heads down and don’t ask for nuthin’. Except $56 shmill or so. Golly-gee shucks, thanks ‘n’ stuff!


44. Nikolai Khabibulin $59,443,018

Yes, I know he's with Chicago. It's just a cool pic.

Yes, I know he’s with Chicago. It’s just a cool pic.

And sliding in between Patrick Roy and Rick Nash is…wait, really? I don’t think I ever remember him being all that great. Maybe for like a hot sec in Tampa? I dunno. Could probably afford a pretty fast car and a few nice drinks with that kinda dough.


38. Roman Hamrlik $60,637,500


Roman Hamrlik made sixty million dollars? I mean, I know he played forever and stuff, but like…one million is a lot. Sixty is sixty times that, ballpark. That’s $300k more than Scott Niedermeyer made from 1990 til now.

And the number one holy s*** he made that much money guy is…


20. Wade Redden $69,615,666


Nearly $70 million.

The biggest winner of all, Wade Redden.

“Haha ya guys it sucked having to play in the A, oh man, so embarrassing, haha by the way I just purchased your family and now they’re all my slaves sorry what were you saying?

Comments (15)

  1. 138. DiPietro, Rick » G $36,682,500
    318 NHL games. $115,354/game. or 25,000/pulled groin.

  2. That list is fascinating to look at the strange combinations of players. My personal favorite:
    45) Patrick Roy
    46) Sidney Crosby
    47) Pavel Datsyuk
    48) Jeremy Roenick
    49) Bobby Holik
    50) Bill Guerin
    51) Dominik Hasek
    52) Alex Ovechkin

    That is a list of Hall of Famers, one legitimate star, and a glorified checking center. Bobby Holik! over $57 mil career earnings! It would be fun to go through that page and see how many of them owe Glen Sather for their spot on the list.

  3. 37. Gomez, Scott » C $61,304,000.

    He made $10M in 07/08 for boxcars of 16/54. 70 points.

    No idea how he wasn’t in the top 10, top 3 even.

    Another Glen Sather product.

  4. Jagr, Richards, Redden, Gaborik, Leetch, Bure, Weight, Gomez, Hamrlik, Messier, Shanahan, Nash, Holik, Guerin, Smyth, Joseph, Kovalev, Lindros, Drury, Arnott, McCabe, Lunqvist, Jokinen, Gretzky, Richter.

    All of those guys got a paycheck from Glen Sather at some point in their career. That’s only from the top 110 players on the list, I’m sure there are more later (Michal Rozsival springs to mind). That’s almost a quarter of the top 100 or so played for Sather. Madness.

  5. I believe these are only to-date, not allowing for future guaranteed (e.g., #143 Bryz’s buyout)…

  6. Tkachuk at 81.2 is a crime…Guy has put up a few points on terrible teams that never won anything.

    I think Rick Nash will be thought of the same way in 10 years.

  7. This is some of Bourne’s best writing – no seriously I love it when he writes like he talks. You can tell he had fun writing this one.

  8. Did Guerin pick up the check?

  9. Yeah, I have had a similar moment to this.

    Guy I played youth football (soccer) with played for a few top English clubs and a leading Spanish club, had a handful of England caps too.

    Pretty depressing knowing I was the better player than him aged 14, but just didn’t happen for me. Last time we spoke he was drawing over $100,000 CDN a week (yep, a week). After tax.

  10. Check out where Lemieux is on that list.

  11. The picture you guys found of Ryan Smyth for this article is just sheer perfection. Well played, Backhand Shelf.

  12. Actually, the perfect Ryan Smyth photo would picture a puck bouncing off his @-ss and into the net.

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