NHL All-Star Payrolls: The Quarter-Billion-Dollar Hockey Game – TheHockeyNews

SAN JOSE — There will be more than a quarter of a billion dollars in payroll out on the ice Saturday night for the NHL All-Star Game, which makes the cash prize of $1 million to the winning team seem like change-in-the-couch type of money.

The payroll for all four teams would, thankfully, get under the salary cap of $79.5 million, but the Atlantic Division is going to be in some real trouble this summer, after Nikita Kucherov’s salary almost doubles from $4.8 million to $9.5 million and Auston Matthews signs his contract extension/offer sheet that figures to come in at a minimum of $13 million. The Pacific Division, already with the highest payroll in the four-team league, could find itself in a real jam once Elias Pettersson and Clayton Keller negotiate their second contracts (not to mention Drew Doughty’s cap hit going from $7 million to $11 million next season). That’s what happens when eight of the 44 players are still in their entry-level deals.

We joke, of course, because that’s what we do. But when you look at the salaries of the players involved in this event, it’s easy to see why nobody takes this thing very seriously. And as THN colleague Matt Larkin pointed out Friday night during the all-star skills competition, it might cause you to cringe just a little bit when you see these players whipping around the ice without helmets. There’s no way Jim Nill, Jim Montgomery and the entire Dallas Stars fan base did not gasp collectively when defenseman Miro Heiskanen lost an edge and went hurtling into the boards during the fastest-skater competition.

Without further ado, we present the cap hits for each of the four teams in the 2019 NHL All-Star Game. As you can see, the Central Division is giving its management team the best bang for its buck, by far.

ATLANTIC DIVISION
PLAYER                               2018-19 CAP HIT
John Tavares, TOR                 $11,000,000
Jack Eichel, BUF                    $10,000,000
Steven Stamkos, TB               $8,500,000
David Pastrnak, BOS             $6,666,666
Keith Yandle, FLA                 $6,350,000
Jeff Skinner, BUF                   $5,725,000
Jimmy Howard, DET              $5,291,666
Nikita Kucherov, TB              $4,766,666
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB          $3,500,000
Auston Matthews, TOR         $925,000*
Thomas Chabot, OTT             $863,333*
TOTAL                                  $63,588,331

METROPOLITAN DIVISION
PLAYER                               2018-19 CAP HIT
Sidney Crosby, PIT                $8,700,000
Henrik Lundqvist, NYR         $8,500,000
Claude Giroux, PHI                $8,275,000
John Carlson, WSH                $8,000,000
Kris Letang, PIT                     $7,250,000
Brayden Holtby, WSH           $6,100,000
Cam Atkinson, CLB               $5,875,000
Seth Jones, CLB                     $5,400,000
Kyle Palmieri, NJ                    $4,650,000
Sebastian Aho, CAR              $925,000*
Mathew Barzal, NYI              $863,333*
TOTAL                                  $64,538,333

CENTRAL DIVISION
PLAYER                               2018-19 CAP HIT
Patrick Kane, CHI                  $10,500,000
Ryan O’Reilly, STL                $7,500,000
Pekka Rinne, NSH                  $7,000,000
Nathan MacKinnon, COL      $6,300,000
Mark Scheifele, WPG             $6,125,000
Blake Wheeler, WPG              $5,600,000
Gabriel Landeskog, COL       $5,571,429
Devan Dubnyk, MIN              $4,333,333
Roman Josi, NSH                   $4,000,000
Mikko Rantanen, COL           $894,167*
Miro Heiskanen, DAL            $894,166*
TOTAL                                  $58,718,095

PACIFIC DIVISION
PLAYER                               2018-19 CAP HIT
Connor McDavid, EDM         $12,500,000
Leon Draisaitl, EDM              $8,500,000
Brent Burns, SJ                       $8,000,000
Drew Doughty, LA                $7,000,000
Johnny Gaudreau, CGY         $6,750,000
Erik Karlsson, SJ                     $6,500,000
Joe Pavelski, SJ                       $6,000,000
Marc-Andre Fleury, VEG       $5,750,000
John Gibson, ANA                 $2,300,000
Elias Petterson, VAN             $925,000*
Clayton Keller , ARI               $885,883*
TOTAL                                  $65,110,833

* Does not include potential performance bonuses

Ken Campbell

Ken Campbell, The Hockey News’ senior writer, is in his second tour with the brand after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native once tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. Needless to say, it didn’t work out.

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