Hockey is a grueling sport that demands immense dedication and perseverance to reach the highest levels of success. What was once a passion becomes a full-time job as players push themselves to the limit each day, honing their craft. While the sacrifices are great, the rewards can be even greater. For the top players, fame and fortune await.
The hockey world rejoices at the achievements of superstars who score goal after goal and win championship after championship. As fans’ excitement grows, so do the players’ bank accounts. Some hockey players have amassed more wealth than most people could imagine. They have become millionaires and billionaires through lucrative endorsement deals, team contracts, and savvy business ventures off the ice.
Here is the list of Richest hockey players in the world in 2023
10. Robert Blake – $60 million
Robert Blake was a defenseman who played 19 seasons in the NHL for multiple teams. Though he never won a championship, Blake was a consistent mainstay on competitive teams like the Kings and Avalanche. His steady play and veteran leadership earned him over $50 million in salary during his career. After retiring in 2006, Blake invested in real estate, amassing millions.
9. Nicklas Lidstrom – $60 million
Nicklas Lidstrom was among one of the greatest defensemen of all time. He won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings. His extraordinary offensive ability and rock-solid defenseman ship made him a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee. Lidstrom parlayed his on-ice success into lucrative sponsorship deals with Audi, Chrysler, and Comcast. His NHL salary and endorsement income topped $60 million over 20 seasons.
8. Paul Tetsuhiko Kariya – $64 million
Paul Kariya was a standout center who played 16 seasons in the NHL for the Avalanche, Ducks, and Blues. Kariya was a supreme playmaker, winning the Art Ross in 2003 after recording 130 points, including 52 goals. During his career, Kariya earned over $100 million in salary and $25 million through endorsements from brands like Molson, Cadillac, and Head. After retiring in 2010, Kariya founded a charity focused on underprivileged youth hockey programs. Though he never won a Stanley Cup, Kariya’s impressive individual accolades and success growing the sport of hockey in North America allowed him to amass a net worth of $64 million.
7. Joe Thornton – $65 million
Joe Thornton is a legendary center who played 22 seasons in the NHL for the Bruins, Flames, Sharks, and Maple Leafs. “Jumbo Joe” Thornton was a supreme playmaker and passer, recording over 1,000 career assists and 1,900 points, ranking third and fourth all-time, respectively. Thornton’s incredible vision, puck-handling skills, and monster frame made him a constant threat. During his career, he won an Art Ross, Hart Trophy, and Hartford Whalers/xD2 Finals MVP award. Thornton earned $160 million in salary alone during his time in the NHL and $25 million in endorsements. After retiring in 2020, Thornton’s net worth remains $65 million.
6. Chris Pronger – $65 million
Chris Pronger was a dominant defenseman and captain who played 19 seasons in the NHL for five teams. Pronger was an exceptional two-way rearguard, winning a Norris Trophy, Stanley Cup, and numerous accolades. His enormous size and reach intimidated opponents, recording over 1,000 career points and 2,000 penalty minutes. Pronger earned $145 million in salary during his NHL career, along with $25 million in endorsements from sponsors like Reebok and Hertz. After retiring in 2012 due to concussion issues, Pronger invested his wealth into the Alberta Oilers franchise, now worth $65 million.
5. Joe Sakic – $65 million
Joe Sakic is one of the greatest centers in NHL history, playing his entire 20-year career with the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche. Sakic was a lethal goal-scorer and playmaker, recording over 1,000 goals and 1,500 assists, good for third in career points. He won two Stanley Cups, an Art Ross and Hart Trophy, and Lester B. Pearson Award with the Avalanche. Over his time in the NHL, Sakic earned $150 million in salary and $25 million through sponsorships from brands like Bauer, Nike, and Honda. After retiring in 2009, Sakic invested in the Avalanche franchise, now worth over $65 million.
4. Pavel Vladimirovich Bure – $70 million
Pavel Bure was endlessly electrifying, a dynamic scoring winger who played 15 successful seasons in the NHL. He was nicknamed “The Russian Rocket” for his blazing speed and lethal shot. Bure led the league in goals twice and points once, winning the Hart Trophy in 1995. During his tenures with the Canucks, Flames, and Rangers, Bure earned over $50 million. After retiring in 2005, he launched a chain of restaurants in Russia called “Bure’s Goal.” The restaurants have been immensely successful, now worth over $20 million combined.
3. Alexander Ovechkin – $80 million
Alexander Ovechkin is undoubtedly the greatest goal-scorer of all time, holding the NHL record for most career regular season and playoff goals. He has won the Hart Trophy thrice and led the Washington Capitals to their first-ever Stanley Cup victory in 2018. Ovechkin’s powerful shot and endless stamina have earned him $93 million in salary over 14 NHL seasons. Off the ice, Ovechkin has endorsement deals with global brands like Nike, CCM, and Gatorade worth $25 million plus annually. His property empire includes luxury condos, apartments, and land across Russia and North America valued at over $20 million.
2. Mario Lemieux – $200 million
Mario Lemieux is widely respected as one of the greatest players ever. He won two Stanley Cups and three Hart Trophies as a standout center for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Lemieux was ahead of his time, using brilliant skill and hockey IQ to dismantle opponents. Over his 20 NHL seasons, Lemieux earned $179 million in salary. His success helped turn the Penguins into a profitable franchise, allowing him to become the majority owner.
1. Wayne Gretzky – $250 million
Wayne Gretzky is “The Great One,” holding many NHL scoring records that may never be broken. He won four Stanley Cups with the Oilers and Kings, including three straight titles with Edmonton. Gretzky earned $118 million in salary during his 21 seasons, with nearly $1 million per point. Off the ice, he has made far more from endorsements, investment ventures, and business partnerships. Gretzky has a stake in Margaritaville Resorts worth $200 million alone. At $250 million and counting, Gretzky’s net worth is a testament to his unmatched brilliance and foresight.
The road to becoming a millionaire hockey player is long and arduous, filled with injury, failure, and setbacks. But for the few who reach the pinnacle, winning championships and hoisting trophies, the rewards of wealth, fame, and prosperity wait. They have sacrificed deeply and triumphed enormously, providing generations of fans with memories and moments that stand the test of time.