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NHL Fortune: $4,316,662

Description

Phil Esposito’s net worth / earnings / salary history. He made US $4,316,662 (US $14,994,857 in today's dollars), ranking #1766 in NHL / hockey career earnings.

Birthdate: February 20, 1942

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Salary History
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.
Season   Salary
(US$)
In today's
US$
NHL
Rank
+/-
(US$)
+/-
(%)
1961-62 $1,362 $12,317
Contract in Canadian currency: $1,380. At age 19, played most of the season with the St. Catharines Teepees, of the Ontario Hockey Association, earning $C57.50 per week ($60 per week minus $2.50 because he was a pound over his target weight of 200 pounds) for 6 months
Source: Phil Esposito on Cam & Strick podcast
1963-64 $5,800 $51,200
His first season in the NHL. During the summer, until his first big contract at age 30 in 1972, worked at a steel plant earning $10,000 for the summer.
Source: SportingNewsRadio interview
1964-65 $10,000 $87,137
Signed a two-year, one-way contract with the Chicago Blackhawks for $8,500 and $10,000. Regular season bonuses for 1964-65 included $500 for 40 points or more, $500 for 15 goals or more, another $500 for 20 goals or more. Regular season bonuses for 1965-66 included $500 for 15 goals or more, another $500 for 20 goals or more. Got 23 goals and 55 points, earning a bonus of $ 1,500. (According to Phil Esposito on Pioneers on NHL Network, he earned $6,500)
Source: Copy of contract
1965-66 $11,000 $94,361
Scored 27 goals, earning a bonus of $ 1,000 (Earned $6,500 according to the book Hockey Night Fever: Mullets, Mayhem and the Game's Coming of Age in the 1970s.)
Source: Copy of contract
1966-67 $16,000 $133,276
Signed a two-year, one-way contract with the Chicago Blackhawks for $16,000 and $17,000. Regular season bonuses included $1,000 for scoring over 30 goals in the season. Did not earn the bonus.
Source: Copy of contract
1967-68 $18,000 $145,845
Earned $1,000 bonus with 35 goals. (According to Phil Esposito on Pioneers on NHL Network, he earned $10,000 base salary plus bonuses based on number of goals: $500 for 20; an additional $1,000 for 25; an additional $1,000 for 30 goals; an additional $2,000 for 35; an additional $5,000 for 40.)
Source: Copy of contract
1968-69 $19,500 $151,548
$10,000 base salary plus bonus based on number of goals: $500 for 20; an additional $1,000 for 25; an additional $1,000 for 30 goals; an additional $2,000 for 35; an additional $5,000 for 40. Scored 49 goals, earning $ 9,500 in bonuses.
Source: Phil Esposito on Pioneers (NHL Network)
1969-70 $20,000 $147,383
Estimated minimum earnings based on documented salary for 1968-69.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1970-71 $20,000 $139,258
Estimated minimum earnings based on documented salary for 1968-69.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1971-72 $20,000 $133,514
Estimated minimum earnings based on documented salary for 1968-69.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1972-73 $100,000 $646,341
Signed his first big NHL contract with the Boston Bruins for $100,000 per year and stopped working at a steel plant during the summer.
Source: Phil Esposito on Cam & Strick Podcast
1973-74 $100,000 $608,784
Estimated minimum earnings based on documented salary for 1972-73.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1974-75 $100,000 $548,165
Estimated minimum earnings based on documented salary for 1972-73.
Source: HockeyZonePlus
1975-76 $200,000 $1,004,459
Prior to the season, met the Vancouver Blazers of the World Hockey Association and was offered a five-year contract for $2.5M plus a $1M signing bonus. He considered it and turned it down out of loyalty for the Bruins. He ultimately signed a four-year contract with the Boston Bruins for $200,000 per season. Twelve game into the season, he was traded to the New York Rangers.
Source: The New York Times / Book: The Hot Line
1976-77 $400,000 $1,899,842
Source: Phil Esposito on Cam & Strick podcast
1977-78 $325,000 $1,449,390
Earned $US 400,000 according to Phil Esposito on the Cam & Strick podcast (and he's not known to exagerate!)
Source: Globe and Mail / The Hockey News 1979 / Book: The Hot Line
1978-79 $400,000 $1,657,520
Source: Phil Esposito on Cam & Strick podcast
1979-80 $400,000 $1,489,667
Source: Phil Esposito on Cam & Strick podcast
1980-81 $400,000 $1,311,977
Retired as a pro-hockey player after the season.
Source: Phil Esposito on Cam & Strick podcast
1991-92 $350,000 $694,655 121
Signed a five-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning to be their General Manager.
Source: Tampa Bay Times
1992-93 $350,000 $674,209 219
As General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Source: Tampa Bay Times
1993-94 $350,000 $654,887 337
As General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Source: Tampa Bay Times
1994-95 $350,000 $638,274 215
Because of the lockout, his NHL salary of $612,500 was prorated for the 48-game season. As General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Source: Tampa Bay Times
1995-96 $350,000 $620,849 499
As General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Source: Tampa Bay Times
2020-21 $0 $0 1263
He receives a $C 32,600/year pension from the NHL. Unclear when the pension kicked in.
Source: Phil Esposito on Cam & Strick podcast
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NHL played a 56-game season instead of 82. Base salaries were not pro-rated but 10% of $0 was deferred and payable in three yearly payments, starting in October 2022, without interests. Escrow for the season was increased to 20% and performance bonuses were pro-rated (amounts and targets to reach).
Career Total: US $4,316,662
(In today's dollars: US $14,994,857)

NHL Rank: 1766
(In today's dollars: 1020)

Contract(s) (click to enlarge)

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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