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Examining the NHL’s highest paid players: Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews leads the way following extension

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Analyzing the Salaries of the NHL’s Top-Earning Players: Auston Matthews Takes the Lead with New Deal

Hey there, hockey enthusiasts and contract connoisseurs! The NHL’s money game just got a whole lot more interesting with Auston Matthews sliding right into the top spot of the highest-paid players list. Grab your jerseys, folks, because we’re about to break down the dollars and cents of some of the league’s biggest stars.

You know, it wasn’t long ago when Auston Matthews was just another player in the pack, hockey stick in hand, chasing his NHL dreams. But boy, how the tables have turned! The Toronto Maple Leafs superstar has inked a jaw-dropping four-year contract extension worth a staggering $53 million. That’s right, inking his name in gold, or should I say dollar signs, and securing the title of the NHL’s highest-paid player with an annual average value of $13.25 million.

Let’s rewind a bit. Prior to this grand payday, Matthews was earning his keep as the seventh-highest-paid player, not too shabby with an $11.64 million cap hit per year. But guess what? The Maple Leafs weren’t going to let him slip through their fingers like a puck in overtime. Without this extension, Matthews could’ve been exploring the world of free agency after the 2023-24 season. But Toronto wasn’t about to take that chance, and they opened up their coffers to make sure he stayed put.

Now, let’s skate on over to the newly updated top 10 highest-paid players list. It’s like musical chairs, but instead of music, we’ve got the sweet sound of cash registers ringing. Here’s a closer look at the elite players whose bank accounts are as impressive as their on-ice skills:

1. Auston Matthews: $13.25 million
Matthews isn’t just scoring goals; he’s racking up the zeroes in his bank account. His new deal makes him the cream of the crop, the top dog in the NHL’s salary hierarchy. Winning the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2021-22 and an 85-point season in 2022-23? The Maple Leafs knew they were making an investment in a superstar who delivers.

2. Nathan MacKinnon: $12.6 million
Before Matthews stole the top spot, MacKinnon was the ruler of the earnings realm. With an eight-year, $100.8 million contract, MacKinnon was pulling in an average of $12.6 million a year. Considering he led the Colorado Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup in forever and tallied 111 points in a single season, he’s got the skills and the cash to back it up.

3. Connor McDavid: $12.5 million
Hold on to your hockey helmets, because Connor McDavid is here to remind us that he’s the real deal. Even though he’s the poster boy for the sport, he’s sitting in third place when it comes to the bankroll. His eight-year, $100 million contract extension in 2017 came with a cool average of $12.5 million per year. Oh, and by the way, he just had his best season ever with a mind-blowing 153 points. No biggie.

4. Artemi Panarin: $11.6 million
Artemi Panarin traded his way to a hefty paycheck with a seven-year, $81.5 million deal. His 90-point seasons are like an ATM for the New York Rangers. They’re definitely getting a bang for their buck from this star winger.

5. Erik Karlsson: $11.5 million
The defenseman with the deepest pockets, Erik Karlsson, is hauling in $11.5 million annually thanks to his eight-year, $92 million contract with the San Jose Sharks. He’s switched jerseys and is now hoping to bring the Pittsburgh Penguins some Stanley Cup glory.

6. David Pastrnak: $11.25 million
David Pastrnak strutted his stuff on the ice and cashed in big time with an eight-year, $90 million extension. And hey, why not? He notched 113 points in a single season, helping the Boston Bruins nab the Presidents’ Trophy. That’s some serious hardware on and off the ice.

7. John Tavares: $11 million
The Maple Leafs are spreading the love with not one, not two, but three players in the top 10 earners list. John Tavares is pocketing a cool $11 million a year, and the Leafs are hoping his 80-point season is just a taste of what’s to come.

8. Drew Doughty: $11 million
Defenseman Drew Doughty’s eight-year, $88 million contract extension has him earning $11 million annually. The LA Kings are hoping his experience and point-scoring prowess will lead them back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

9. Mitch Marner: $10.9 million
The Leafs strike again! Mitch Marner’s six-year, $65.358 million contract earns him a spot on this list. With a career-best 99-point season, he’s proving he’s worth every penny.

10. Carey Price: $10.5 million
Rounding out the top 10 is goaltender Carey Price, who signed an eight-year, $84 million extension. Despite his recent absence, Price is still a heavyweight when it comes to earnings.

So there you have it, fellow fans and future contract negotiators. The NHL’s salary cap isn’t just a number; it’s a gateway to some seriously impressive bank statements. From Matthews’ meteoric rise to McDavid’s ongoing reign as the sport’s brightest star, the league’s highest-paid players are definitely bringing their A-game—both on the ice and in the bank. Until next time, keep your sticks sharp and your wallets even sharper!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about salary showdown

What is the average annual value of Auston Matthews’ new contract?

Auston Matthews’ new contract has an average annual value (AAV) of $13.25 million, making him the highest paid NHL player annually.

Who was the highest paid player in the NHL before Auston Matthews’ contract extension?

Before Auston Matthews’ contract extension, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche held the title of the highest paid player in the NHL with an AAV of $12.6 million.

How much did Auston Matthews earn prior to his new contract?

Prior to his new contract, Auston Matthews was earning $11.64 million annually, which made him the seventh highest paid player in the league.

What significant achievements contributed to Auston Matthews’ new contract?

Auston Matthews’ contract negotiations were influenced by his achievements, including winning the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2021-22 and a strong performance with 85 points (40 goals and 45 assists) in the 2022-23 season.

Who were some other top earners in the NHL?

Other top earners in the NHL include players like Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Artemi Panarin, Erik Karlsson, David Pastrnak, John Tavares, Drew Doughty, Mitch Marner, and Carey Price, each with substantial contracts and impressive performances.

What is the significance of Auston Matthews’ contract extension for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Auston Matthews’ contract extension allows the Toronto Maple Leafs to retain a key player and a star performer, giving them stability and a foundation to build upon for future success.

How does Auston Matthews’ contract impact his career and future goals?

With his new contract in hand, Auston Matthews can focus on helping the Maple Leafs advance further, following their first playoff series win since the 2003-04 season. The new deal also reflects the confidence the team has in his abilities.

What is the total value of Auston Matthews’ contract extension?

Auston Matthews’ contract extension is valued at a total of $53 million over four years, marking a significant commitment from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

How did Auston Matthews’ contract extension affect the list of highest paid NHL players?

Auston Matthews’ contract extension caused a shift in the list of highest paid NHL players, pushing him to the top spot and reshuffling the rankings for other players.

Who is the highest paid defenseman on the list of top earners?

Erik Karlsson holds the title of the highest paid defenseman on the list, thanks to his eight-year, $92 million contract extension with the San Jose Sharks.

Is Auston Matthews’ contract a reflection of his skill and performance?

Absolutely! Auston Matthews’ contract extension reflects his outstanding performance, including his league MVP award and impressive point contributions in recent seasons.

What can we expect from the NHL’s highest paid players in the future?

The NHL’s highest paid players are likely to continue raising the bar with their exceptional skills and contributions to their respective teams. Their contracts reflect their value and importance in the world of professional hockey.

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