Thursday, October 04, 2007

The best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees, it's money that I want!

Yesterday's announcement that Dany Heatley had signed a six year contract to collect some 45 million of Eugene Melynk's dollars, adds more ammunition to the argument that cap, or no cap, there is still good money available for those deemed essential to a teams dream of a Stanley Cup.
The Canadian Press had Neil Stevens pull out his abacus to determine which NHL players are the most handsomely compensated for their pursuit of that little black puck.

Three forwards share the top of the cash pile, Thomas Vanek of Buffalo,Daniel Briere now with Philadelphia, and Scott Gomez the newest of Rangers all are earning $10 million in coin for their efforts this season.

On the blue line, Kimmo Timonen of Philadelphia, edged out Nicklas Lidstrom by four hundred thousand dollars, Timonen can take time in the quiet moments of an NHL game to contemplate where to invest his 8 million dollars a season.

The last line of defence finds Nikolai Khabibulin of the Black Hawks just sneaking by Vancouvers' Roberto Luongo, the Chicago netminder pulls in $6.75 million compared to Luongo's $6.5 million.

The top ten lists by position can be found here.

At a base salary of $850,000 Sidney Crosby is the biggest bargain in the NHL, because he's in the third and final year of the entry-level provisions of the NHL-NHLPA collective bargaining agreement. Crosby does top up his take home pay with a number of bonuses and incentives, but he's merely waiting out the calendar until 2008-09. Having recently signed a five year extension, next season will bring Sid the Kid plenty of bills as he skates his way towards 43.5 million dollars.

Stevens charts the peaks and valleys of the NHL salary structures, identifying which players are front loaded or which team is tempting the financial Gods in a bid to win the Cup.

The Canadian teams may find themselves to be in the best position in the current salary battles, while the Canadian dollar rises in value compared to its American counterpart, all salaries will be paid in what is now the lower valued currency. Revenue streams however will be in Canadian dollars, making for an interesting turn of events from as short as three years ago.

Maybe we'll soon hear of Gary Bettman crusading for an American currency stabilization fund, to help protect those poor New York Rangers from falling too far behind in the salary chase.

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