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NHL Fortune: $3,180,700

Description

Gordie Howe’s net worth / earnings / salary history. He made US $3,180,700 (US $17,423,270 in today's dollars), ranking #2045 in NHL / hockey career earnings.

Birthdate: March 31, 1928
Country of birth: Canada

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Salary History
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.
Season   Salary
(US$)
In today's
US$
NHL
Rank
+/-
(US$)
+/-
(%)
1945-46 $2,700 $40,568
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 $69,237
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 $72,661
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 $78,674
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 $90,819
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 $101,068
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 $104,122
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 $111,989
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 $121,211
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 $161,073
Source: Book: Gordie
1955-56 $17,000 $171,587
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 $179,007
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 $269,434
Earned $20,000 in base salary and various bonuses of approximately $8,000.
Source: Book: Gordie
1958-59 $22,000 $206,050
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 $231,818
Assumed/estimated salary based on article
Source: Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / Detroit Free Press
1960-61 $25,000 $228,448
Assumed/estimated salary based on article
Source: Sports Extra Hockey Magazine
1961-62 $25,000 $226,079
Assumed/estimated salary based on article
Source: Sports Extra Hockey Magazine
1962-63 $38,500 $344,018
Base salary of $29,000 plus $9,500 awards and playoff bonuses. (Per 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 $273,654
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 $348,549
Assumed/estimated salary based on article. Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton.
Source: Sports Extra Hockey Magazine
1965-66 $40,000 $343,129
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 $333,190
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 $405,126
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 $35,000 according to the book Gordie.)
Source: 50 Years Ago in Hockey
1968-69 $49,500 $384,700
Earned $45,000 according to the book Gordie. Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton.
Source: Gordie: A Hockey Legend / Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / Book: '67 / 50 Years Ago in Hockey
1969-70 $45,000 $331,611
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 $696,291
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 $1,521,959
Signed a four-year contract with the Houston Aeros, of the WHA, for $1M. Deal also included sons Mark and Marty at $600k each for 4 years. (According to the book Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe, the overall deal was worth nearly $2.5M over 4 years, instead of $2.2M)
Source: Book: The Rebel League
1974-75 $250,000 $1,370,412
Source: Book: The Rebel League
1975-76 $250,000 $1,255,574
Source: Book: The Rebel League
1976-77 $250,000 $1,187,401
Source: Book: The Rebel League
1977-78 $500,000 $2,229,830
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 $2,071,899
Played the whole season with the Whalers.
Source: Book: Gordie
1979-80 $500,000 $1,862,083
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 $17,423,270)

NHL Rank: 2045
(In today's dollars: 924)

Guess how much his sons Mark and Marty earned!

Interesting animated bar chart race showing that 36 players and 1 commissioner appeared, from 1995 to 2020, in the yearly Top Ten NHL/hockey career earnings with Jaromir Jagr standing as #1 in total hockey earnings since 2002-03. How is your 401k/RSSP doing?

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