While talking in the Gomez thread and looking up Modano's salary from previous seasons I decided to do some looking.
Found a great site as it has past salaries up until 2007.
In the 1989-1990 season, Mario Lemiuex was the highest paid @ $2m. Gretzky followed at $1.72m, Messier trailed by a wide margin making $ 855,271.
Fast foward 5 years Lindros was the highest paid @ $3.5m.