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Player Salaries - circa 1987, 1989, 1990

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08-30-2005, 04:28 AM
  #1
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Player Salaries - circa 1987, 1989, 1990

Sport magazine (unfortunately no longer in print) used to do an annual salary survey. They printed the top earners in each major sport and the top 100 overall. Here are some interesting numbers from the June 1987 issue of Sport magazine:

Top 10 NHL Earners:

1. Wayne Gretzky EDM - $950,000 CDN - converted to $717,250 USD
2. Marcel Dionne NYR - $700,000
3. Mike Bossy NYI - $650,000
4. Bryan Trottier NYI - $625,000
5. Dave Taylor LA - $600,000
6. Mario Lemieux PIT - $550,000
Denis Potvin NYI - $550,000
8. Mike Liut HAR - $450,000
9. Rod Langway WAS - $400,000
10. Barry Pederson VAN - $350,000

Interesting to have 3 Islanders in the top 10. In today's NHL they would be in serious cap trouble - a la the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The top NBA player was Moses Malone of Washington with $2.145 million, the top baseball player was Jim Rice of Boston with $2.4125 million and the top football player was Jim Kelly of Buffalo with $1.4 million.

3 of the top 4 overall that year were boxers: #1 Michael Spinks $4 million, #2 Marvin Hagler $2.45 million and #4 Mike Tyson $2.33 million.

Jim Rice was the top paid team sportsman and no NHL players cracked the top 100.

The highest paid NHL coach was Jacques Demers of Detroit at $240,000 and the lowest was Tom Watt of Vancouver at a paltry $85,000 Canadian or $64,175 US.

The NHL minimum salary was $25,000 and the average salary was $160,000.

That year Michael Jordan made $730,000 but pulled in a colossal $2 million more from endorsements.

Interesting reading. I have the 1989 and 1990 issues as well.


Last edited by Ogopogo*: 08-30-2005 at 01:03 PM.
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08-30-2005, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Interesting reading. I have the 1989 and 1990 issues as well.
Post it. Fine job btw.

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08-30-2005, 06:36 AM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Sport magazine (unfortunately no longer in print) used to do an annual salary survey. They printed the top earners in each major sport and the top 100 overall. Here are some interesting numbers from the June 1987 issue of Sport magazine:

Top 10 NHL Earners:

1. Wayne Gretzky EDM - $950,000 CDN - converted to $717,250 USD
2. Marcel Dionne NYR - $700,000
3. Mike Bossy NYI - $650,000
4. Bryan Trottier NYI - $625,000
5. Dave Taylor LA - $600,000
6. Mario Lemieux PIT - $550,000
Denis Potvin NYI - $550,000
8. Mike Liut HAR - $450,000
9. Rod Langway WAS - $400,000
10. Barry Pederson VAN - $350,000

Interesting to have 3 Islanders in the top 10. In today's NHL they would be in serious cap trouble - a la the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The top NBA player was Moses Malone of Washington with $2.145 million, the top baseball player was Jim Rice of Boston with $2.4125 million and the top football player was Jim Kelly of Buffalo with $1.4 million.

3 of the top 4 overall that year were boxers: #1 Michael Spinks $4 million, #2 Marvin Hagler $2.45 million and #4 Mike Tyson $2.33 million.

Jim Rice was the top paid team sportsman and no NHL players cracked the top 100.

The highest paid NHL coach was Jacques Demers of Detroit at $240,000 and the lowest was Tom Watt of Vancouver at a paltry $85,000 Canadian or $64,175 US.

The NHL minimum salary was $25,000 and the average salary was $160,000.

That year Michael Jordan made $730,000 but pulled in a colossal $2 million more from endorsements.

Interesting reading. I have the 1989 and 1990 issues as well.
Are these numbers adjusted for inflation?

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08-30-2005, 08:12 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Sport magazine (unfortunately no longer in print) used to do an annual salary survey. They printed the top earners in each major sport and the top 100 overall. Here are some interesting numbers from the June 1987 issue of Sport magazine:

Top 10 NHL Earners:

1. Wayne Gretzky EDM - $950,000 CDN - converted to $717,250 USD
2. Marcel Dionne NYR - $700,000
3. Mike Bossy NYI - $650,000
4. Bryan Trottier NYI - $625,000
5. Dave Taylor LA - $600,000
6. Mario Lemieux PIT - $550,000
Denis Potvin NYI - $550,000
8. Mike Liut HAR - $450,000
9. Rod Langway WAS - $400,000
10. Barry Pederson VAN - $350,000

Interesting to have 3 Islanders in the top 10. In today's NHL they would be in serious cap trouble - a la the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Precisely why I don`t like the cap; Tampa, like the Islanders, didn`t buy success; they earned it with drafting, shrewd trades and player development. They shouldn`t be forced to give up those players to other organizations that don`t know how to build a team.

Interesting work Ogo, thanks for printing it. I vaguely remember Sport doing that survey every year. Did the article mention if those numbers were official? It took the longest time to get the NHL to disclose salaries in public. I didn`t think it happened until Eagleson was gone but I`m not sure.

Barry Pederson`s name on that list makes the Cam Neely trade look even worse if that`s possible.

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08-30-2005, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HABitual
Are these numbers adjusted for inflation?

No. Those are acutal numbers from 1987.

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08-30-2005, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAF
Post it. Fine job btw.
I definitely will, when I get a few minutes.

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08-30-2005, 12:13 PM
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1989 Player Salaries

Top NHL Salaries 1989

1. Gretzky LA - $2 million
2. Lemieux PIT - $1.5 million
3. Trottier NYI - $950,000
4. Taylor LA - $700,000
5. Dionne NYR - $600,000
6. Liut HAR - $550,000
7. Goulet QUE - $510,000
Messier EDM - $510,000
9. Savard CHI - $500,000
10. Coffey PIT - $485,000
11. Duguay LA - $475,000
12. Hawerchuk WPG - $467,500
13. Stastny QUE - $446,250
14. Carpenter BOS - $425,000
15. LaFontaine NYI - $425,000
16. Gustafsson WSH - $410,000
17. Stevens WSH - $400,000
Pederson VAN - $400,000
19. Bourque BOS - $380,000
20. Fuhr EDM - $340,000
Robinson MTL - $340,000


Top MLB - Orel Hershiser LAD - $2.766 million
Top NBA - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar LAL - $3 million
Top NFL - John Elway DEN - $1.828 million


Top Overall
1. Mike Tyson - $22.133 million
2. Michael Spinks - $13.5 million
3. Sugar Ray Leonard - $11.7 million
4. Donnie Lalonde - $$3.846 million

Top NHL Coach - Jacques Demers DET - $240,000
Low NHL Coach - George Armstrong TOR - $85,000 CDN or $72,250 USD

#100 on the overall list was an 11 way tie at $1.3 million. So, Gretzky and Lemieux both cracked the top 100. Gretzky was tied for 26th and Lemieux was tied for 60th.


They also did a nice piece on "minor league" salaries and called Matt Dunigan of the CFL's BC Lions the "Elway of the CFL at one-tenth the price" ($170,000 USD)

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08-30-2005, 12:42 PM
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1990 Player Salaries

NHL Salaries 1990

1. Gretzky LA - $2.72 milion
2. Lemieux PIT - $2.15 million
3. Chelios MTL - $1 million
4. Trottier NYI - $975,000
5. Taylor LA - $950,000
6. Bourque BOS - $925,000
7. Messier EDM - $875,000
8. Nicholls NYR - $725,000
9. Yzerman DET - $700,000
10. Goulet QUE - $600,000
11. Carson DET - $585,000
12. Robinson LA - 550,000
13. Savard CHI - $525,000
14. Dineen HAR - $510,000
15. Wilson CHI - $500,000
Hextall PHI - $500,000
Kerr PHI - $500,000
18. Coffey PIT - $485,000
19. Stastny QUE - $480,000
20. Hawerchuk WPG - $462,000


Top MLB - Robin Yount MIL - $3.2 million
Top NBA - Patrick Ewing NY - $3.575 million
Top NFL - John Elway DEN - $1.853 million

Top Overall
1. Sugar Ray Leonard - $27.45 million
2. Mike Tyson - $11.2 million
3. Roberto Duran $7.572 million
4. Thomas Hearns $6.6 million

Top NHL Coach - Jacques Demers DET - $240,000
Low NHL Coach - Doug Carpenter TOR - $90,000 CDN or $75,600 USD

#100 was Ron Darling NYM - $1.56 million. Gretzky came in at #7 and Lemieux was #27.

They also did a piece on historical salaries.

Top NHL Salaries
1940 Eddie Shore - $7,000
1950 Maurice Richard - $10,000
1960 Maurice Richard - $25,000
1970 Bobby Orr - $133,000
1980 Marcel Dionne - $300,000

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08-30-2005, 01:29 PM
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Can someone find some data about with respect to how much $7,000 was worth in 1940? How much was a house and a car and how much did the average person in North America make?

EDIT: And how much do the current lowest and highest NHL coaches make?

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Old
08-30-2005, 01:34 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douggy
Can someone find some data about with respect to how much $7,000 was worth in 1940? How much was a house and a car and how much did the average person in North America make?

EDIT: And how much do the current lowest and highest NHL coaches make?
$7000 in 1940 is worth $93,149.67 in today's dollars.

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08-30-2005, 02:35 PM
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Amazing how Gretzky and Lemieux's salaries almost quadrupled in 3 years. And that Gretzky made almost 3 times as much as the 3rd highest paid player.

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Old
08-31-2005, 02:01 AM
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Great work, Ogopogo. An interesting historical look back into how the salaries started to inflate in the late 1980s. My jaw dropped when I saw Barry Pederson 10th in 1987. Hmmm. Gretzky, Dionne, Bossy, Trottier, Taylor, Lemieux and Pederson. One of these forwards ain't like the other. At least Taylor is considered one of the best players not in the Hall. Pederson was a flop after his first few years with Boston.

It's also interesting to track where players finished on this list. Pederson went from 10th in 1987 to 17th in 1989 to off the list in 1990.

How did Ron Duguay wind up 11th in 1989? Are we sure that's not a misprint on the magazine's part? The guy had the cash and the wife (Kim Alexis). Some guys have all the luck.

By the way, I don't think you'd want to see the 1994 list, with Kelly Miller near the top at $1.8 million.

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08-31-2005, 04:00 AM
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What strikes me the most is how the financial position of the goalie has changed over the years.

1987 - 8. Mike Liut HAR - $450,000
1989 - 6. Mike Liut HAR - $550,000 / 20. Fuhr EDM - $340,000
1990 - 15. Ron Hextall PHI - $500,000

Not only the amount that earn, but the postition that have at these kind of rankings.
Nowadays, guys like Brodeur, Luongo, Theodore, Khabubulin and Giguere are among the top-earners in the league.

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08-31-2005, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
Great work, Ogopogo. An interesting historical look back into how the salaries started to inflate in the late 1980s. My jaw dropped when I saw Barry Pederson 10th in 1987. Hmmm. Gretzky, Dionne, Bossy, Trottier, Taylor, Lemieux and Pederson. One of these forwards ain't like the other. At least Taylor is considered one of the best players not in the Hall. Pederson was a flop after his first few years with Boston.

It's also interesting to track where players finished on this list. Pederson went from 10th in 1987 to 17th in 1989 to off the list in 1990.

How did Ron Duguay wind up 11th in 1989? Are we sure that's not a misprint on the magazine's part? The guy had the cash and the wife (Kim Alexis). Some guys have all the luck.

By the way, I don't think you'd want to see the 1994 list, with Kelly Miller near the top at $1.8 million.
Unfortunately, Pederson had a tumor in his arm that destroyed his career. His first three years in Boston, he was excellent picking up 92 points as a rookie, 106 in his second year and 116 in his third. But, then he had the arm problems and was never the same. Of course, the Canucks traded Cam Neely and 1st round pick (Glen Wesley) for Pederson and that didn't work out too well.

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08-31-2005, 03:50 PM
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This may be of interest to some, the site Hockey Zone Plus has salaries of 2,500 players between 1989-2004.

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