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NHL Fortune: $3,180,700

Description

Gordie Howe’s net worth / earnings / salary history: Earned US $3,180,700 (US $18,867,151 in today's dollars), ranking #2162 in NHL / hockey career earnings.

Birthdate: March 31, 1928
Country of birth: Canada
Position: RW

Did you know that Gary Bettman has accumulated the largest NHL fortune with $167M?

Salary History
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.
Season   Salary
(US$)
In today's
US$
NHL
Rank
1945-46 $2,700 $43,929
As a 17-year-old rookie, signed a contract with the Detroit Red Wings for $2,200 for the season plus a $500 signing bonus to play for their farm club, the Omaha Knights of the United States Hockey League.
Source: Book: Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe / Book: Gordie
1946-47 $5,000 $74,974
Signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Detroit Red Wings: $5,000 for the season in the NHL and $3,500 if he was sent to the minor. He ended up playing the whole season in Detroit. It was the only two-way contract in his career. (According to the book Gordie - The Legend of Mr. Hockey, he earned $6,000 and his signing bonus was a team jacket.)
Source: Book: Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe / Vintage Detroit / Book: Gordie
1947-48 $6,000 $78,683
Estimated salary based on documented salaries for 1946-47 and 1954-55, and knowing that he would often settle for a modest $1,000 raise from year to year.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1948-49 $7,000 $85,193
Estimated salary based on documented salaries for 1946-47 and 1954-55, and knowing that he would often settle for a modest $1,000 raise from year to year.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1949-50 $8,000 $98,345
Estimated salary based on documented salaries for 1946-47 and 1954-55, and knowing that he would often settle for a modest $1,000 raise from year to year.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1950-51 $9,000 $109,443
Estimated salary based on documented salaries for 1946-47 and 1954-55, and knowing that he would often settle for a modest $1,000 raise from year to year.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1951-52 $10,000 $112,750
Estimated salary based on documented salaries for 1946-47 and 1954-55, and knowing that he would often settle for a modest $1,000 raise from year to year.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1952-53 $11,000 $121,269
Estimated salary based on documented salaries for 1946-47 and 1954-55, and knowing that he would often settle for a modest $1,000 raise from year to year.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1953-54 $12,000 $131,256
Estimated salary based on documented salaries for 1946-47 and 1954-55, and knowing that he would often settle for a modest $1,000 raise from year to year.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1954-55 $16,000 $174,421
Source: Book: Gordie
1955-56 $17,000 $185,807
Estimated salary based on documented salaries for 1954-55 and 1957-58, and knowing that he would often settle for a modest $1,000 raise from year to year.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1956-57 $18,000 $193,841
Estimated salary based on documented salaries for 1954-55 and 1957-58, and knowing that he would often settle for a modest $1,000 raise from year to year.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1957-58 $28,000 $291,762
Earned $20,000 in base salary and various bonuses of approximately $8,000.
Source: Book: Gordie
1958-59 $22,000 $223,125
Estimated salary based on documented salaries for 1957-58 and 1959-60, and knowing that he would often settle for a modest $1,000 raise from year to year.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1959-60 $25,000 $251,029
Assumed/estimated salary based on article
Source: Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / Detroit Free Press
1960-61 $25,000 $247,380
Assumed/estimated salary based on article
Source: Sports Extra Hockey Magazine
1961-62 $25,000 $244,814
Assumed/estimated salary based on article
Source: Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / The Sporting News
1962-63 $38,500 $372,527
Base salary of $29,000 plus $9,500 awards and playoff bonuses. (Per The Sporting News and Sports Extra Hockey Magazine, base salary was around $25,000; per the book Gordie, his base salary was about $28,000 with additional bonuses of $9,000.)
Source: The Hockey News
1963-64 $31,000 $296,332
Signed a contract with the Detroit Red Wings for $31,000. According to The Hockey News and The Sporting News, he was the best-paid NHL player. Also signed a ten-year deal, for $10,000 annually, with the Eaton department store to endorse its Truline sports equiment. (According to The Sporting News, he signed for $32,000. According to the magazine Sports - Le hockey et ses vedettes, he earned $37,500.)
Source: The Hockey News
1964-65 $40,000 $377,434
Assumed/estimated salary based on article. Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton. (Earned $30,000 in base salary according to The Sporting News.)
Source: Sports Extra Hockey Magazine
1965-66 $40,000 $371,565
Assumed/estimated salary based on article (Earned $35,000 according to Puckstruck.) Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton.
Source: Sports Extra Hockey Magazine
1966-67 $40,000 $360,801
In October 1966, signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings for $40,000. Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton.
Source: Book: Gordie - The Legend of Mr. Hockey / Sports Extra Hockey Magazine
1967-68 $50,000 $438,699
Prior to the season, signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings for about $50,000 per season. Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton. (Earned a salary of $35,000 according to the book Gordie / Earned $40,000 according to another edition of The Sporting News.)
Source: 50 Years Ago in Hockey / The Sporting News
1968-69 $49,500 $416,580
Earned a salary of $45,000 according to the book Gordie. Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton. (Earned $80,000 according to The Sporting News.)
Source: Gordie: A Hockey Legend / Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / Book: '67 / 50 Years Ago in Hockey
1969-70 $45,000 $359,092
Believing that he was one of the highest-paid player of the NHL, as Detroit's ownership had told him, he discovered while talking to Bobby Baun (teammate and President of the NHLPA) that he was not even the best-paid player for Detroit. For the next season, he asked for a salary raise to $100,000, which the team granted right away. Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton.
Source: Book: Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe
1970-71 $100,000 $753,993
On September 26, 1970, signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings for $100,000 per season, his highest salary in the NHL. Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton. He retired for the first time after the season, leaving on the table $100,000 for 1971-72. (According to the books Golden Oldies and '67, he earned $125,000.)
Source: Book: Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe / Book: The Rebel League / Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / Detroit Free Press / Book: Gordie - The Legend of Mr. Hockey / Book: The Whalers / La Presse / The Sporting News
1971-72 $0 $0
Earned $50,000 as Vice President of Public Relations of the Detroit Red Wings. Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton.
Source: Book: Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe
1972-73 $0 $0
Earned $50,000 as Vice President of Public Relations of the Detroit Red Wings. Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton.
Source: Book: Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe
1973-74 $250,000 $1,648,086
Was offered $500,000 by the NHL to act as a public relations embassador for five year but he turned it down and signed a four-year contract with the Houston Aeros, of the WHA, for $1M overall. Deal also included sons Mark and Marty at $600,000 overall each for 4 years. (According to the book Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe, the overall family deal was worth nearly $2.5M over 4 years, instead of $2.2M)
Source: Book: The Rebel League / The Sporting News
1974-75 $250,000 $1,483,979
Source: Book: The Rebel League
1975-76 $250,000 $1,359,625
(Earned $200,000 according to La Presse.)
Source: Book: The Rebel League
1976-77 $250,000 $1,285,802
Source: Book: The Rebel League
1977-78 $500,000 $2,414,618
Prior to the season, signed a ten-year personal-services contract with the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association for both playing and front-office duties for $5M. Played the whole season with the Whalers. (According to the book The Whalers, it was a ten-year contract for $400,000 per year.)
Source: Book: Gordie
1978-79 $500,000 $2,243,600
Played the whole season with the Whalers.
Source: Book: Gordie
1979-80 $500,000 $2,016,396
Played the whole season with the Whalers, now in the NHL. Retired as a pro hockey player after the season at age 52 and it is unclear if he stayed in the Whalers' organization for the 7 remaining years of his contract. He came back for one game, in the IHL, in 1997-98.
Source: Book: Gordie
Career Total: US $3,180,700
(In today's dollars: US $18,867,151)

NHL Rank: 2162
(In today's dollars: 963)

Guess how much his sons Mark and Marty earned!