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Mario Lemieux - Wayne Gretzky - Mark Messier

In 1989-1990, the Edmonton Oilers won their 5th Stanley Cup in 7 years -- their first one without Wayne Gretzky who was now with the Los Angeles Kings, leading the NHL with 142 points. While Mario Lemieux officially had the highest NHL base salary, Wayne Gretzky was by far making more money with numerous very lucrative endorsement deals. They were the only 2 NHLers making over a million a year in base salary.

Rank Player NHL Salary ($US) In today's  $
1 Mario Lemieux $2,000,000 $4,360,732
2 Wayne Gretzky $1,720,000 $3,750,230
3 Chris Chelios $929,500 $2,026,650
4 Mark Messier $837,142 $1,825,275
5 Bryan Trottier $800,000 $1,744,293
6 Steve Yzerman $700,000 $1,526,256
7 Larry Robinson $550,000 $1,199,201
8 Denis Savard $525,000 $1,144,692
9 Michel Goulet $507,000 $1,105,446
10 Doug Wilson $500,000 $1,090,183
10 Dave Taylor $500,000 $1,090,183
10 Raymond Bourque $500,000 $1,090,183
10 Ron Hextall $500,000 $1,090,183
10 Tim Kerr $500,000 $1,090,183
15 Paul Coffey $450,000 $981,165
16 Mike Liut $445,000 $970,263
17 Borje Salming $435,000 $948,459
18 Mark Howe $425,000 $926,656
19 Jari Kurri $422,500 $921,205
20 Tomas Sandstrom $410,000 $893,950
21 Peter Stastny $405,600 $884,357
22 Al MacInnis $401,375 $875,144
23 Jimmy Carson $400,000 $872,146
23 Mike Gartner $400,000 $872,146
23 Pat LaFontaine $400,000 $872,146
23 Bernie Nicholls $400,000 $872,146

 Photo credit: Upper Deck 1990-91