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15 of NHL’s highest paid players would get their money amid a lost season

Sep 26, 2012, 9:52 PM EDT

Ryan Suter, Zach Parise Getty Images

An impressive 15 out of the league’s 50 highest-paid players will see plenty of cash even if there’s a lost season as Bob McKenzie and others fear, according to USA Today.

They’ll get some or all of their money from NHL teams through a combination of factors: signing bonuses, injury pay or escrow.

To little surprise, this offseason’s splashiest acquisitions were among the players who are the best protected from a work stoppage. Kevin Allen goes into greater detail on a few:

  • Shea Weber will miss just $1 million in salary while receiving his hefty $13 million bonus if there’s no season; Ryan Suter and Zach Parise‘s $10 million bonuses will keep them cozy.
  • Slightly less recent guys are covered too, as Tyler Myers and Brad Richards are among the NHLers who will sweat the lockout the least thanks to similar bonuses.
  • Injury-wise, Marian Gaborik will receive a hefty sum as long as doctors don’t clear him to play. Concussion problems will mean steady paychecks for guys like Marc Savard and Chris Pronger, too.

On the other hand, there are guys who can relate to Mike Modano and Jeremy Roenick because of the big salaries they’d miss out on if 2012-13 is erased altogether.

Ilya Kovalchuk leads the pack with a $11 million salary while Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin would lose $9 million, or a sobering $692K per paycheck, Allen reports.

No wonder Ovechkin is making those big threats.

  1. aklolzer - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    SMD pens fans

  2. phillyphannn83 - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Hey Nashville, still happy you guys matched the offersheet for Weber? That deal is gonna sink your franchise. You don’t have the fanbase to support it which is why he’ll be gone in 2 years, sooner if the lockout lasts the whole season.

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:00 AM

      They matched, live with it. Thank god Philly cannot buy every guy they want.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      He doesn’t have an NTC so Nashville does ultimately win if they can trade him for smart picks. It’s a rather large ace up their sleeve, I’d say.

      • danphipps01 - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        Aren’t they restricted in that, though? Thought because he signed the offer sheet that the only team that could acquire his rights for the next year was Philly. After that he can once again be dealt anywhere, but Nashville and Philly are the only options for this year as I understand it – leaving Nashville with the options of either giving Philly what they want (if they even want him at this point – and why would they with no season?) or paying out that enormous bonus, all the while knowing that it probably won’t buy them even one shift on the ice because Gary Bettman’s an asshole.

  3. hockeyflow33 - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    These guys should give their agents a nice bonus this year

  4. bellicosejeff - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Yes, we’re very happy we matched. See, the reason it took several days before we matched is our 11 owners had to talk it over to decided if THEY could float the majority of the contact out of their own pockets as to not hurt the franchise. After six year’s it’s actually a very good contract for a small market team. Thank the hockey gods we have 11 rich owners. Most of them still own and run business too. They didn’t buy this team thinking it would be a huge payout right off the bat. These guys know it’ll take time and money to make Nashville a top tier franchise. They know what they’re doing and you can bet on it that they wouldn’t have matched if they thought it might hurt the franchise or their future plans for it.

    And hey, Shea didn’t get the NTC. So if by chance something does change, there’s a very good chance Poile won’t even consider Philadelphia…just because. He’ll have plenty of other options to choose from.

    • danphipps01 - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:30 PM

      God yes. Vancouver would beat any offer Philadelphia made, period. And unlike Philly, they can actually send some high-end defensemen back the other way to make the transition to life after the best D pairing in hockey less painful.

  5. Doesnotmatter - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    Who was stupid enough to sign those guys to contracts with gigantic signing bonuses? I can understand Nashville matching the offer sheet for Weber but not the others. That is exactly why the owners want to cut players’ salaries. Because of the moronic contracts that are handed to the players. So right now the Wild are paying 20 million dollars for two guys that won’t be playing hockey anytime soon ( it seems like they won’t ). And whose fault is that? I would really want to know.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      At the same time, I’m not sure some owners in potentially good to great hockey markets should cry about losing money if they’re not willing to throw some money at good players if they have the chance. No one wants to see a crappy product on the ice, and you’re not going to draw anyone if you’re not willing to shell out some bucks for a worthy addition. I realize this is a one-dimensional oversimplification of how to increase the butts-to-seats ratio, but it’s definitely a factor.

      • Doesnotmatter - Sep 29, 2012 at 6:39 AM

        I agree completely. Better players, better team, better results equals more tickets sold, more merchandise sold, more money. It works in theory. I am completely behind the players in this mess. I know business is business but the owners are being complete hypocrites here. I could use other words to describe them but I won’t. Whining about players’ salaries, signing players to ridiculous contracts and contract extensions before the CBA expired and again whining about players’ salaries and demanding a salary rollback. They might as well put a clause into the CBA that would automatically cut the players wages by a quarter every time it expires.

  6. phillyphannn83 - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    The only reason they matched is because if they hadn’t they’d lose the 150 fans they have left. Those Nashville fans posting here, before getting all pissy that I said
    d there’s only 150 of you(get a little thicker skin, geez) stop for a moment and think, how utterly and truely pissed would you have been had you lost both Suter AND Weber in the same offseason? You know you’d all(just like the rest of the world) be saying the franchise was doomed, how can they expect anyone to come watch a team of nobody’s after letting your 2 best players go after your best season ever. You know I’m right. I’ll even be honest here. Philly basically forced you into this move. We backed you into a corner and made you do something you wouldn’t have done otherwise. Sneaky and underhanded yes, but legal in the NHL.

    As for the comments about how “great” your owners are and lucky you are to have them… Del Biaggio ring a bell?? Tried to move the team to Kansas City, sold seats there before purchasing his share of the Preds?? FBI investigations?? 97 month prison term for fraud?? Chapter 11 bankruptcy??? Yeah, GREAT ownership. Are you guys blind or just in denial?

    • hockeymom17 - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:16 PM

      my goodness are you this ignorant about all nhl teams? or just the ones that leave you butthurt?. it’s embarrasing how little you know about the team’s current ownership situation and their fans

  7. bellicosejeff - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Do you have any current info on our club? Boots pulled the wool over everyone eye’s. He hasn’t been an owner for a while now. His stake in the team was sold long ago.

    I always love how fans for other teams LOVE to talk facts about the Preds. Here is some advice. If you don’t follow other teams the way you go your own. That means reading EVERY article, local and national, listening and watching every interview from players, to GM, to the owners. Then you probably shouldn’t go around telling people what is what about their franchise. You’ll never see me doing that, be because there is only one NHL team I follow religiously.

    You are right about one thing. Losing both Suter and Weber would have been rough. But it wasn’t the deciding factor. It played into it sure, but wasn’t the only reason. Read up for yourself if you’d like. Our ownership chairman is named Tom Cigarran.

    Sorry you hate the Preds so much and want the franchise to fail. Hopefully we’ll be pissing you off for many years to come.

  8. bellicosejeff - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Oh one last thing. Boots Del Biaggio (probably spelled that wrong, don’t care if I did), had to be approved by the board of governors. He got approved obviously. That’s what I meant about pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. He was a part owner of the sharks for a while before he even joined our ownership group. Even then he was only part owner here for about half a season.

  9. bellicosejeff - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    OK, one final last thing. You are wrong. It was Jim Ballsilly (Spelled THAT wrong on purpose) that wanted to buy the team. He sold tickets in Hamilton before he got the team. Turned out to be reason he didn’t get the team. Boots wanted to buy the team off what is now our current owners IF things went south. And yes he would have tried to move them to Kansas City had things not worked out here. As far as I know he didn’t sell tickets in Kansas City for a team he didn’t own. He probably wouldn’t have been approved for part ownership here had he done that.

  10. bellicosejeff - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    DanPhipps01: I believe you are correct. I think he already got his first payment though. If not he is getting it, even if we lose the whole season. So he’ll be here for year 1. I hope it’s spent on the ice. The lockout is a bit of a wild card if we lose the whole year but I have to imagine they factored that scenario into the decision to match.

    Now, I’m not just saying this because I’m a die hard Preds fan, but I believe he’ll retire a Pred. That #6 will hang in the rafters one day. I can’t see the future however, but I can be optimistic. These new owners have done wonders for this franchise in a short period of time. Things aren’t perfect here and they know this, but it’s a hell of a lot better than when Liopold almost drove our team into the ground. As long as we can get through the first 4 years of his contract, he’ll likely be here all 14 years.

    If by some chance we did trade him, personally I’d love to see him in Vancouver. I don’t want that to happen though, I want him here haha.

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