Top 3 Fattest NHL Salaries: Are They worth It?

The top 3 fattest NHL salaries belong to an elite group. The question is, are they worth the money? If you are a fan and one of these players is on your team, you will likely have mixed feelings. If the team is doing well, you are probably not even thinking about their salary. If the team stinks, you are likely quoting the fine print on page twenty-five of their contract, and lamenting that they are grossly overpaid. In any event, these are the top 3 fattest NHL salaries for players currently playing in the NHL, and how these players are doing thus far this season. [By the way, if you like this post you can subscribe to our free newsletter to receive others like it]

Number One of the top 3 fattest NHL salaries

Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators is this season’s highest paid player. He is set to make $14,000,000 this year. The team captain and a tremendous defenseman for the Predators, number 6 is number one on our list. He inked a 14-year, $110 million contract in 2012. The 6’4” 233lb Canadian is 29-years old. Does anyone expect him to be crashing the boards at 39 when his contract expires? Apparently the Predators can see that happening.

So far this season Weber has played in 18 games and has 5 goals and 6 assists for a total of 11 points. He is +11 which is 8th in the NHL. “How is his team doing” you ask? Nashville is 12-4-2 with a stout 26 points. They are currently atop the Central Division of the Western Conference. They are on a 2-game winning streak most notably including a 9-2 pounding of the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto.  Weber notched 3 points on 3 assists in that blowout, and registered 4 hits. He is currently 4th in the NHL in TOI (time on the ice) averaging 31.1 shifts and 27:01 minutes per game.

The case can be made that Shea Weber is deserving of his $14 million salary. The team is hot and he is contributing in a big way and playing a lot of minutes. Could he finally capture the elusive Norris Trophy this year? I wouldn’t bet against him. Enjoy some highlights from last year.

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As a fan, do you feel Shea Weber is worth the money?

Number two of the top 3 fattest NHL salaries

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins is this season’s second highest player. “The Kid” is considered by many to be the elite of the elite in the NHL. Can we still call the 27-year old Canadian “The Kid?” The reigning Hart Trophy winner signed a 12-year, $104,400,000 contract last year. He will make $12,000,000 in 2014-15. Is he worth it? At the pace he is accumulating points, some think it’s a matter of time before records fall to Crosby.

Sidney Crosby (Andy from Pittsburgh/Wikimedia)
Sidney Crosby (Andy from Pittsburgh/Wikimedia)

Crosby’s impact on the sport was immediate when he came on the scene in 2005. In this his 10th season with the Penguins, Captain Sidney Crosby is on pace for another solid season. He has 8 goals and 18 assists for 26 points – currently 1st in the NHL. He is a +3 and his team is currently in 1st place in the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference. At 13-3-1 and 27 points, Pittsburgh is leading the way in their division.

Sidney Crosby is on everyone’s list of the “best in the game.” He is still relatively young by NHL standards, but he does have a Stanley Cup under his belt. Pittsburgh Penguins fans are grateful, but some are wondering if or when Crosby will lead their team back to another Cup win. With a surrounding cast of Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury, it is a reasonable question for the fans. So I ask you, is Sidney Crosby worth the $12 million?

Number three of the top 3 fattest NHL salaries

The list of highest paid NHL players differs on number three. lists Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild at number three, as does however lists Ryan Suter as the third of the highest paid NHL players. He, too, plays for the Minnesota Wild. Both players are set to make $11,000,000 this season so does it really matter? We’ll slot them both at number three. Let’s look at both players and see if the Wild are getting their money’s worth.

Zach Parise is a 30-year old from Minnesota. He plays on the wing for the Wild and is widely regarded around the NHL as an elite player. He has only played in 12 games this season but still has managed 6 goals and 6 assists for 12 points. He is a +8 but his team is currently in 4th place in the highly competitive Central Division. Their current 20 points would likely not get them into the playoffs if the brackets were announced today.

In 2001-12 Parise notched 69 points with the New Jersey Devils and the Minnesota Wild had to have him. They went “wild” in free agency and signed Parise and Suter both to 13-year, $98.000.000 deals. In two seasons with Minnesota, Parise has registered 38 and 56 points respectively. Not bad on the surface, but is it enough to bring a Stanley Cup to Minnesota? He sustained a concussion against the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 3rd and missed five games. Not known as injury-prone, Parise should bring a lot of offense and spark to this Minnesota team that needs to earn a lot points. In the West and especially in the Central, points are at a premium. You tell me, is Parise’s $11 million this season going to be money well-spent? Is he worth it?

Ryan Suter is also US-born

The 29-year old from Wisconsin is also an alternate captain for the Minnesota Wild, and is an excellent defenseman. Thus far he has 1 goal and 8 assists for 9 points in 17 games. He is currently a +10 which is 15th in the NHL. Formerly with the Nashville Predators, Suter was grabbed by the Wild in 2012 along with Parise. Ryan Suter, also, is putting in his time on the ice, currently ranked number one in TOI at an average of 29:13 in 31.2 shifts per game.

As mentioned, he is going to earn $11,000,000 this season. Is he worth it? Craig Custance of ESPN seems to think so, as he wrote on October 28th that losing Ryan Suter would be “devastating for the Wild.” Enjoy this Suter hat trick from January 2014 against the Washington Capitals.

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If you are a Minnesota Wild fan, you are probably excited to see Zach Parise and Ryan Suter on the ice. These are guys who legitimately give your team a chance at getting into the playoffs as they did last year and possibly beyond in the near future. But, at the end of the day, are they worth a combined $22 million?

4 guys making the top 3 fattest NHL salaries

There you have it, hockey fans. Four guys making the top 3 fattest NHL salaries – a combined $48,000,000 this year. I’d like to know how you feel. Are they worth every penny? Or are they an overpaid bunch who really will not make a difference to their team in the end? Leave a comment below and let me know how you feel.

Mark Shiver is a staff writer for The Hockey Writers  credentialed with the Carolina Hurricanes. You can follow him on Twitter @markshiver

19 thoughts on “Top 3 Fattest NHL Salaries: Are They worth It?”

  1. I am incredibly confused by the numbers the writer has come up with. Crosby signed a 12 year deal paying him 8.7 million a year and Malkin signed long term for 9.5 million per. Is there bonus money I do not know about? Maybe the writer is referring to the contracts Kane and Toews signed?

    • He using actual salary and the numbers you are mentioning are cap hits, which is simply a yearly average of the total value of the contract.

  2. Being an “OLD” hockey player gives me a little bit better perspective as to what players go through to get where they are. So ask your self, An offensive player, 82 games a year (Minus Playoff Games), Probably 5 to 10 “REAL” good hits into the boards every game and doing the math is a tad-bit over 400 solid shots in a regular season. Now most of you arm-chair centers or wingers if YOU could even finish one three period game I am pretty sure that 12-14 million would not be enough money for YOU! So in closing if you have NEVER walked (Or shall I say Skated) an hour in their shoes/skates, Your opinions of their Salaries is meaningless!

    • As per your calculations, there would be between 150 to 300 “REAL” good hits into the board during an NHL game. On average the 2 hardest hitting teams in the NHL combined for 64 hits per game. Being an”OLD” hockey player might give a little better perspective, but it certainly doesn’t give you a math degree!!!

  3. As a Pens fan and a Crosby fan(I wear #87 as well after all) I would say yeah he’s worth it considering Parise is getting 11 mil.

  4. The value of Shea Weber’s contract shouldn’t only be measured in the value of the player himself. You have to look at the way the contract came to be. His contract came by the Predators, which were under a new ownership group and being included in talks about teams moving cities, matched an offer sheet given to Weber by the Flyers. The Flyers purposely structured the offer sheet in a way that they assumed would price Nashville away from being able to match and retain their player.

    By putting up the money to retain Weber, the ownership group proved to the league and the city of Nashville that they were serious about owning the team and were willing to spend the money to keep good people in town. So yeah, that money not only buys one of the best defensemen and leaders in the league, it quite literally MAKES the Nashville Predators.

  5. Weber earns $14 million this season and next season, but only $12 million the following two seasons. In fact, after these next four seasons, Weber will only earn $6 million per year (or less). Yes it’s a bit high, but it’s worth it long-term investment in a Grade A defenseman and franchise cornerstone.

    Similarly, Suter earns $12 million this season and $11 million next season. After that it’s all $9 and $8 million per year.

    Big players are worth big investments – Weber and Suter are fine signings. However, Crosby/Malkin/Parise are not good value signings. Crosby puts up a lot of points every year, but his mammoth contract keeps his team from improving. The Penguins always shatter in the postseason because they are so disproportionate – all offense and no defense. As we’ve seen in the past few years…from the Kings and Blackhawks…defense and goaltending wins championships, not scoring.

    I have no issue with a club investing BIG bucks into a reliable Grade A defenseman.

    • Don’t recall Malkin at all in this discussion, obviously your mention of him and Crosby tells everyone you are just a blind Penguins hater. That aside, you are a stupid hockey fan. To even compare Parise and Crosby is just ludicrous. Two completely different players, and Parise couldn’t even hold Crosby’s jock when it comes to success at every level in hockey. So that little tidbit completely invalidates your whole rambling response. And finally, you obviously don’t watch much hockey, as the Pens has been the best team in the league this year, have beaten all the “top” teams from the West and have a much better and actually experience coach. Bylsma got lucky and rode coat tails and was crap at his job, hence why they lost to worse teams every year. If you think Shea Weber is worth more than Crosby or even Parise for that matter you are nuts. Both of those players have either won or captained their team to the Stanley Cup Finals, Weber has genuinely done nothing to help his team excel. True story, bro;

      • The inclusion of Malkin does imply your point on disliking the pens. But it is totally reasonable to compare Crosby/Parise. They are forwards in the NHL, even if they have different styles, they are by definition NHL forwards who are compared to each other daily. I don’t think it was Bylsma that cost the Pens in the playoffs, indisputably MAF has been brutal in the playoffs, who knows why.

        My biggest issue with your critique is the claim that Weber has done nothing to help his team excel. Your assumption that one player can will a team to win is sort of ridiculous in a game that sees 20 players play as much as 1/6th of the game every night (10 min TOI). Weber can’t control his teammates or his team’s style of play. Weber played on a ridiculously defensive team, with him as the cornerstone of that game plane, that’s not a coincidence. And in addition to that, he lead the Preds in scoring in 12-13, 13-14, and he’s third this year. He even lead the Pens Hornqvist who is having a ridiculous year on a much more offensive team. So I think Weber has done everything in his power to help his team win, the reason they haven’t been winning were things outside of his control (much like Crosby in the last 5 playoffs, whether you think the downfall was MAF or Bylsma).

        To me, the original Brian is very biased in the favor of Defensemen, but it seems that the “more intelligent Brian” is even more biased in favor of Pens and playoff success – something that can’t be contributed to one player. Which he even notes in his defense of the Pens losses being a result of Bylsma. Notice, the Preds are awesome this year with a new coach. Just sayin…

  6. Parise is a nice player but not worth 11 mil. However, the Wild had to signal to the rest of the league’s players that they were serious about competing for the prize, thus the 2-3 mil per year that Parise is overpaid thus becomes worth it.

  7. Ovechkin is a better goal scorer but that’s it. Subban is not better than Suter, neither is Doughty. Also you have to take into account when those deals were signed.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Makes you wonder if Ovechkin ought to be getting more, even though he’s pretty happy I think making $9 million with a bump to ten coming

  8. Other than Sid, this is a joke list since players like Malkin, Ovechkin, Doughty, Subban are better players today but don’t get paid accordingly.

    • Your comment is a joke, Weber had more points then both Doughty and Subban last year, Ovechkin is an overrated scorer who doesn’t know how to win and will evidently move to the KHL later in his career and Malkin has Crosby to thank for all his success. And currently both Sutter and Weber have a +10 and +11 respectively for the 2015 whereas Doughty and Subban are +3 and 0 respectively. And Parise is averaging a point a game, is that good? And all the players you listed get paid very well just not the highest… because they aren’t the best!

      • Malkin has an Art Ross. He won it while Crosby was out with an injury. He is a top 5 forward in the world all on his own. I’m glad we have them both in the Burgh.

      • overrated scorer? Leading the league in goals last year is overrated as a scorer? That’s what he’s paid to do. It would be like Saying Lidstrom was an overrated Defenseman.

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