Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will be the NHL’s highest-paid player for the second straight year with total estimated income of $16 million, according to Forbes. His two-year run comes after eight straight years where Sidney Crosby was the highest-paid hockey player in the world.
Toews is currently earning a base salary of $13.8 million in the third year of the eight-year, $84 million extension he signed with the Blackhawks in 2014. His $10.5 million annual cap hit is tied for the largest in the league with teammate Patrick Kane, who is third on the list of highest-paid players behind Toews and Crosby.
In addition to his substantial salary, Toews also receives $2.2 million in endorsements. Only Crosby and Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin will earn more money off the ice than the Hawks captain this year.
Add it all up and Toews takes home more money than any other player in the NHL. Crosby is second at $15.7 million, and Kane is third at $14.8 million. Ovechkin ($14.5 million), Anze Kopitar ($13.1 million), Jamie Benn ($13.1 million), P.K. Subban ($12.5 million), Shea Weber ($12.1 million), Steven Stamkos ($11 million), and Corey Perry ($10.2 million) round out the top 10.
It’s fair to wonder how the Blackhawks feel about Toews being up there. The beloved captain has won three Stanley Cups, but his production has dipped over the past few years. This season, he has just seven goals and 11 assists in 27 games, putting him on pace for a 54-point season.
In terms of league rankings, Toews is tied for 97th in goals, tied for 104th in assists, and tied for 93rd in points. The Blackhawks are just as middling with a 12-10-5 record, good for sixth in the division.
So to some degree, this fact merely underscores that Toews is not producing enough to justify his salary. The player with the highest income in the league shouldn’t have any trouble cracking the top 100 in points. If anything, he should be near the absolute top like Crosby was during his run. But the Blackhawks are committed to Toews on that big, front-loaded deal, and no player in the league is earning more this season.