NHL Lockout: 8 Players with Big Contracts Who Should Be Worried
NHL players may not receive their full salaries this year because a lockout could wipe out some, or all of the 2012-13 season
Players do not get paid in a lockout, and for players with large contracts, this could be trouble.
There are some exceptions, however. Salary bonuses will be paid, so Shea Weber will still make $13 million this season, even if he doesn't play a game for the Nashville Predators. Players who are hurt will also be paid until they are fully healthy again.
For veterans, or any player with a large salary that doesn't include huge bonuses, missing paycheck after paycheck will become frustrating at some point.
Let's look at eight players with big contracts who should be worried over a lockout.
Note: All salary information courtesy of Capgeek.com
Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils star winger Ilya Kovalchuk could earn a paycheck in the KHL this season if there's a long lockout, but to lose some, or most of his $11 million salary from the Devils would hurt.
Kovalchuk is entering the part of his 15-year deal that pays him the most salary, so this isn't the time he wants to be losing this kind of money.
He did make a combined $12 million the last two seasons, so he should be better off than most players that are worried about losing a lot of salary.
Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier is one of the many high-priced forwards on the team that would lose a good amount of money during an NHL lockout.
His salary for next season is $10 million, with no salary bonus.
The good news for Lecavalier is that if he loses a lot of salary this year, he will still earn $10 million for the next three seasons before his salary decreases to $8 million, then down to $1 million by the end of the contract.
Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin
Both Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin can probably afford to lose some of their NHL salary because the KHL is a likely destination for them during any kind of work stoppage, but losing some, or all of $9 million is still a lot of money for both guys.
According to TSN's Darren Dreger, Malkin could be KHL bound very soon.
If, as most expect, there is a lockout annnounced Saturday. Expect Malkin and Gonchar to be ready to play in Magnitigorsk on Sunday.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 12, 2012
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal could lose a portion of his $8.5 million salary this season if there's a lockout.
This is the highest salary figure thus far in the seven-year, $57.75 million deal he signed in Sept. 2008.
Staal will make more than $9 million in each of the the next three years of the deal, and has made $21.25 million in the last three years of his contract.
He has no salary bonus owed to him in this contract.
Mike Richards, Los Angeles Kings
This is the worst possible season for Mike Richards to lose some of his salary.
The $8.4 million he is set to make this season is the highest one-year salary total of his 12-year, $69 million deal that started in the 2008-09 season.
Richards' annual salary will decrease in each year going forward until the last two seasons, when he makes $3 million per year.
Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators forward Jason Spezza has earned $8 million per season for the last four years, but the 2012-13 season is the last year in his current contract that he will earn that salary.
Starting next season, Spezza's salary goes down to $5 million. In the year after that, which is also the final one of his seven-year, $49 million contact, the salary decreases to $4 million.
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
After making $8 million in each of the last two seasons, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith will earn that same amount this year, but $1.5 million of it will be paid to him as a salary bonus.
So Keith could lose up to $6.5 million if there's a lockout.
Next season is the first year that Keith's annual salary decreases from $8 million, and his salary total decreases each year until the contract expires after the 2022-23 season.