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Hockey Fortune: $3,195,000

Description

Gordie Howe’s net worth / earnings / salary history: Earned US $3,195,000 (US $19,787,501 in today's dollars), ranking #2260 in NHL / hockey career earnings.

Birthdate: March 31, 1928
Country of birth: Canada
Position: RW
Salary History - Gordie Howe
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.
Season   Earnings
(US$)
In today's
US$
Rank
1945-46 $2,700 $45,730
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(s): Book: Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe / Book: Gordie
1946-47 $5,000 $78,048
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(s): Book: Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe / Vintage Detroit / Book: Gordie
1947-48 $6,000 $81,909
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(s): HockeyZonePlus
1948-49 $7,000 $88,686
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(s): HockeyZonePlus
1949-50 $8,000 $102,377
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(s): HockeyZonePlus
1950-51 $9,000 $113,930
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(s): HockeyZonePlus
1951-52 $10,000 $117,373
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(s): HockeyZonePlus
1952-53 $17,000 $195,100
Estimated his base salary at $12,000. Also earned $ 5,000 in NHL bonuses: $1,000 for winning the Art Ross Trophy; $1,000 for the Hart Trophy; $1,000 for making the 1st All Star team; and $2,000 in playoff bonuses as the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup. The Hockey News also speculated that contrary to the previous season, when the team elected not to match the league's bonuses claiming budget issues, his contract might include a clause where the team matched the NHL bonuses for the trophies and All-Star Team, which would add $3,000.
Source(s): The Hockey News
1953-54 $12,000 $136,637
Source(s): The Society for International Hockey Research Newsletter
1954-55 $16,000 $181,572
Source(s): Book: Gordie
1955-56 $17,000 $193,424
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(s): HockeyZonePlus
1956-57 $18,000 $201,788
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(s): HockeyZonePlus
1957-58 $28,000 $303,724
Earned $20,000 in base salary and various bonuses of approximately $8,000.
Source(s): Book: Gordie
1958-59 $22,000 $232,273
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(s): HockeyZonePlus
1959-60 $25,000 $261,321
Assumed/estimated salary based on article
Source(s): Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / Detroit Free Press
1960-61 $25,000 $257,522
(Earned $20,000 according to La Presse.)
Source(s): Sports / Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / The Hockey News
1961-62 $25,000 $254,851
Assumed/estimated salary based on article
Source(s): Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / The Sporting News
1962-63 $39,800 $400,895
Base salary of $29,000 plus $9,500 awards and playoff bonuses. Also had a clause in his contract where he would get a $1,000 bonus if he scored 35 goals and $100 per additional goal. Scored 38 goals, earning an additional $1,300 in 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(s): The Hockey News
1963-64 $31,000 $308,481
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(s): The Hockey News
1964-65 $40,000 $392,908
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(s): Sports Extra Hockey Magazine
1965-66 $37,000 $357,788
Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton. (Assumed/estimated salary of $40,000 based on article in Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / Earned $35,000 according to Puckstruck.)
Source(s): Sports Extra Hockey Magazine
1966-67 $50,000 $469,492
In October 1966, signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings for $40,000 in salary plus $10,000 in potential bonuses. It is assumed that he earned the bonuses. Also earned $10,000 in endorsement from Eaton.
Source(s): Book: Gordie - The Legend of Mr. Hockey / Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / The Hockey Research Journal
1967-68 $50,000 $456,685
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(s): 50 Years Ago in Hockey / The Sporting News
1968-69 $49,500 $433,659
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(s): Gordie: A Hockey Legend / Sports Extra Hockey Magazine / Book: '67 / 50 Years Ago in Hockey
1969-70 $45,000 $373,814
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(s): Book: Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe
1970-71 $100,000 $784,905
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(s): 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 / The Hockey Research Journal
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(s): 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(s): Book: Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe
1973-74 $250,000 $1,715,653
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 $500,000 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(s): Book: The Rebel League / The Sporting News / The Hockey Research Journal
1974-75 $250,000 $1,544,818
Source(s): Book: The Rebel League
1975-76 $250,000 $1,415,366
(Earned $200,000 according to La Presse.)
Source(s): Book: The Rebel League
1976-77 $250,000 $1,338,517
Source(s): Book: The Rebel League
1977-78 $500,000 $2,513,612
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(s): Book: Gordie
1978-79 $500,000 $2,335,582
Played the whole season with the Whalers.
Source(s): Book: Gordie
1979-80 $500,000 $2,099,063
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(s): Book: Gordie
Career Total: US $3,195,000
(In today's dollars: US $19,787,501)

NHL Rank: 2260
(In today's dollars: 1012)

Guess how much his sons Mark and Marty earned!