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NHL Fortune: $56,220,791

Description

Mario Lemieux’s net worth / earnings / salary history. He made US $56,220,791 (US $98,164,660 in today's dollars), ranking #134 in NHL / hockey career earnings.

Birthdate: October 5, 1965
Country of birth: Canada
Position: C
NHL Draft:
  • Year: 1984
  • Round #1
  • Overall Pick: 1
  • By: Pittsburgh Penguins

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Salary History
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.
Season   Salary
(US$)
In today's
US$
NHL
Rank
+/-
(US$)
+/-
(%)
1981-82 $1,301 $3,868
Contract in Canadian currency: $1,560. Earned a stipend of CDN $ 65/week with the Laval Voisins of the Quebec Junior Major Hockey League
Source: Book: Mario Lemieux - Overcoming Adversity
1982-83 $1,265 $3,544
Contract in Canadian currency: $1,560. Earned a stipend of CDN $ 65/week with the Laval Voisins of the Quebec Junior Major Hockey League
Source: Book: Mario Lemieux - Overcoming Adversity
1983-84 $1,265 $3,433
Contract in Canadian currency: $1,560. Earned a stipend of CDN $ 65/week with the Laval Voisins of the Quebec Junior Major Hockey League
Source: Book: Mario Lemieux - Overcoming Adversity
1984-85 $450,000 $1,170,918
As a rookie, signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins for a total of $600,000 plus a one-year option and a $150,000 bonus. (According to the book A Season in Time, he signed a two-year contract for $350,000 per season plus bonus clauses that, if achieved, would add up to $1M. According to the books Mario Lemieux - Overcoming Adversity and Brian McFarlane's History of Hockey, it was a two-year contract for $700,000)
Source: The Hockey News 1985 Yearbook
1985-86 $300,000 $753,835
In early 1986, according to the book Brian McFarlane's History of Hockey, signed a five-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, starting in 1986-87, for $3.25M.
Source: The Hockey News 1985 Yearbook
1986-87 $550,000 $1,356,309
Source: Sport Magazine
1987-88 $550,000 $1,308,440
Estimated minimum salary based on documented salaries for 1986-87 and 1989-90.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1988-89 $550,000 $1,257,103
Estimated minimum salary based on documented salaries for 1986-87 and 1989-90.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1989-90 $2,000,000 $4,360,732 1
Does not include unspecified deferred payments.
Source: Canadian Press / Book: Brian McFarlane's History of Hockey
1990-91 $2,500,000 $5,171,820 2 $500,000 25%
One-way contract. Also got a team bonus of $500,000 for winning the Stanley Cup. (Made $2,177,000 according to the Canadian Press)
Source: The Hockey News
1991-92 $2,338,000 $4,640,292 3 -$162,000 -6%
1992-93 $3,600,000 $6,934,721 1 $1,262,000 54%
Amount includes salary and any signing bonus paid in 1992-93. On October 5, 1992, signed a seven-year guaranteed contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins for $42M weighted to the back end with the largest annual salaries in the final 3 years. There were some deferrals of salary payments that would come due after the actual playing life of the contract.
Source: The Hockey News / Book: Slim and None / Book: A Season in Time / Book: Brian McFarlane's History of Hockey / Book: Mario Lemieux - Overcoming Adversity
1993-94 $5,000,000 $9,355,531 1 $1,400,000 39%
Includes base salary and any signing bonus and deferred payments allocated to the 1993-94 season.
Source: The Hockey News
1994-95 $2,326,531 $4,242,756 5 -$2,673,469 -53%
Because of the lockout, his NHL salary of $4,071,429 was prorated for the 48-game season.
Source: Guide Hockey 1995-1996
1995-96 $4,571,429 $8,109,051 4 $2,244,898 96%
Source: La Presse
1996-97 $11,321,000 $19,509,508 1 $6,749,571 148%
Scheduled to make $15M, including bonuses.
Source: La Presse / Maclean's
1997-98 $0 $0 705 -$11,321,000 -100%
Did not play.
1998-99 $0 $0 793
Did not play.
1999-00 $0 $0 781
Did not play. In September 1999, he acquired about 35% of the bankrupt Pittsburgh Penguins for $5M cash and the $20M he was owed in deferred money. The investment was worth hundreds of millions twenty years later.
Source: Sports Illustrated / The Hockey News
2000-01 $1,410,000 $2,213,258 223 $1,410,000 141000000000000000%
Came out of retirement. As he was now a team owner and technically not a member of the NHL Players Association, it was agreed in negotiations with the players association that he would be paid the league's average salary of $1.41M.
Source: ABC News
2001-02 $5,250,000 $8,014,203 36 $3,840,000 272%
2002-03 $5,250,000 $7,889,009 41
Does not include signing bonuses, performance bonuses and deferred payments.
Source: La Presse
2003-04 $5,250,000 $7,714,041 45
2004-05 NHL lockout year: Season cancelled - no NHL salary paid.
2005-06 $3,000,000 $4,152,286 84 -$2,250,000 -43%
Retired from pro-hockey after the season.
Source: La Presse
Career Total: US $56,220,791
(In today's dollars: US $98,164,660)

NHL Rank: 134
(In today's dollars: 52)

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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