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NHL Fortune: $45,079,614

Description

Wayne Gretzky’s net worth / earnings / salary history. He made US$45,079,614 (US$84,250,982 in today's dollars), ranking #215 in NHL / hockey career earnings. He is currently under contract for US$0 which will bring his hockey fortune to US$45,079,614.

Did you know that Gary Bettman accumulated the 4th largest NHL fortune with $120M?

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Salary History
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.
Season   Salary
(US$)
In today's
US$
NHL
Rank
+/-
(US$)
+/-
(%)
1976-77 $0 $0
At age 15, he received two contract offers from teams in the World Hockey Association in which he was interested but his father turned them down as he wanted him to go back to school: $50,000 for three years followed by $150,000 per year for four years and a $25,000 signing bonus from the New England Whalers and $80,000 per year for two years from the Birmingham Bulls.
Source: Book: Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines
1977-78 $1,763 $7,793
Contract in Canadian currency: $1,875. Prior to the season, signed a four-year contract with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, of the Ontario Hockey League (junior), for weekly payments of CAN$25 in salary during the season, CAN$65 during the playoffs, and CAN$40 for accomodation in 1977-78 and 1978-79, and CAN$30 in salary during the season, CAN$65 during the playoffs, and CAN$40 for accomodation in 1979-80 and 1980-81. Played the whole season (approximately 24 weeks) and two playoff rounds (3 weeks), earning approximately CAN$1,875.
Source: Book: Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines
1978-79 $394,650 $1,621,435
Contract in Canadian currency: $450,000. On June 12, 1978, at age 17, in his 1st year as a professional player, signed a 7-year personal services deal with Nelson Skalbania, owner of the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association, for CAN$1.7M overall. After 8 games, Skalbania sold Gretzky to the Edmonton Oilers, of the World Hockey Association. Gretzky played the remainder of the season there and the next season, the WHA folded and Edmonton joined the NHL. On January 26, 1979, signed a 21-year personal services deal with Peter Pocklington for CAN$100,000 in 1978-79 ($15,000 had already been paid by the Racers), CAN$150,000 in 1979-80 and 1980-81, CAN$175,000 in 1981-82, CAN$280,000 from 1982-83 to 1986-87 and a CAN$350,000 signing bonus. A new contract with the Edmonton Oilers ended up superceeding this onr in 1987. In 1978-79, earned the CAN$350,000 bonus and C$100,000 salary.
Source: Books: The Rebel League and Book: Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines
1979-80 $128,100 $473,006
Contract in Canadian currency: $150,000. Also had a $3,000 endorsement deal with the Titan hockey stick company.
Source: Book: Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines / Maclean's
1980-81 $128,250 $417,073
Contract in Canadian currency: $150,000. Had $3,000 endorsement deal with Titan hockey stick company. According to his business manager Gus Badali, in the 1982 Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey, he earned twice as much off-the-ice as on the ice.
Source: Book: Book: Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines / 1982 The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey / Maclean's
1981-82 $145,950 $430,209
Contract in Canadian currency: $175,000. Had $3,000 endorsement deal with Titan hockey stick company.
Source: Book: Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines / Maclean's
1982-83 $227,080 $630,647
Contract in Canadian currency: $280,000.
Source: Book: Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines
1983-84 $227,080 $611,018
Contract in Canadian currency: $280,000.
Source: Book: Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines
1984-85 $216,160 $557,671
Contract in Canadian currency: $280,000. According to The Hockey News 1985 Yearbook, he earned nearly $1,000,000 in salary.
Source: Book: Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines
1985-86 $204,960 $510,638
Contract in Canadian currency: $280,000.
Source: Book: Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines
1986-87 $201,600 $492,919
Contract in Canadian currency: $280,000.
Source: Book: Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines
1987-88 $754,000 $1,778,490
Contract in Canadian currency: $1,000,000. Earned CAN$1M from the Edmonton Oilers, including base salary and bonuses. He also had endorsement deals totalling approximately $1M for the year from companies such as Pro-Stars cereals, Mr. Big chocalate, 7-Up, and GWG jeans.
Source: Edmonton Journal / Maclean's
1988-89 $900,000 $2,039,574
(Gretzky was earning $2.2M according to Luc Robitaille on the Cam & Strick podcast)
Source: NY Daily News
1989-90 $1,720,000 $3,718,319 2
Had a $125,000 endorsement deal with the Titan hockey stick company.
Source: Canadian Press / Mclean's
1990-91 $3,000,000 $6,153,375 1 $1,280,000 74%
One-way contract. In March 1991, along with LA Kings owner Bruce McNall (who in 1993 pleaded guilty to 2 counts of bank fraud and to single counts of conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud 6 banks, 1 securities company and the Kings), Gretzky purchased a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner baseball card for $451,000. In 1995, they sold it for $500,000 to Wal-Mart and Treat Entertainment for use as the grand prize in a promotional contest.
Source: Book: The Card / Associated Press / The Hockey News / Canadian Press
1991-92 $3,000,000 $5,903,517 1
1992-93 $3,000,000 $5,729,761 3
Amount includes salary and any signing bonus paid in 1992-93.
Source: The Hockey News / La Presse
1993-94 $3,000,000 $5,565,554 3
Includes base salary and any signing bonus and deferred payments allocated to the 1993-94 season.
Source: The Hockey News
1994-95 $3,737,159 $6,757,243 1 $737,159 25%
Because of the lockout, his NHL salary of $6,540,028 was prorated for the 48-game season. His portfolio of endorsements and partnerships added $11.9M to his salary for the year. Included deals with Domino's Pizza, Sharp Electronics, Coca-Cola and Zurich Insurance.
Source: Maclean's
1995-96 $6,545,363 $11,511,729 1 $2,808,204 75%
Source: La Presse
1996-97 $5,047,500 $8,624,354 3 -$1,497,863 -23%
Source: La Presse / Guide Hockey RDS
1997-98 $6,500,000 $10,852,230 3 $1,452,500 29%
Includes base salary, signing bonus and bonuses paid in 1997-98.
Source: The Hockey News
1998-99 $6,000,000 $9,864,425 7 -$500,000 -8%
Includes base salary, signing bonus, bonuses paid in 1998-99, and deferred income paid in 1998-99. Retired as a hockey player after the season.
Source: The Hockey News
2021-22 $0 $0 1227
In late May 2021, signed a 5-year contract with Turner Sports to act as an in-studio hockey analyst for $US 3M/season starting with the 2021-22 NHL season.
Source: The Globe and Mail
Career Total: US$45,079,614
(In today's dollars: US$84,250,982)

NHL Rank: 215
(In today's dollars: 81)
Under Contract
2022-23 $0
$US 3M as hockey analyst for Turner Sports
Source: The Globe and Mail
2023-24 $0
$US 3M as hockey analyst for Turner Sports
Source: The Globe and Mail
2024-25 $0
$US 3M as hockey analyst for Turner Sports
Source: The Globe and Mail
2025-26 $0
$US 3M as hockey analyst for Turner Sports
Source: The Globe and Mail
Under contract for: US$0

Projected fortune at end of contract: US$45,079,614

Interesting animated bar chart race showing that 36 players and 1 commissioner appeared, in the past 25 years, in the yearly Top Ten NHL/hockey career earnings. Jaromir Jagr is #1 in total hockey earnings since 2002-03 and will be taken over in 2-3 years by Crosby and Ovechkin. How is your 401k/RSSP doing?

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