Highest-paid NHL player won $ 45 million in 6 seasons
- Auston Matthews signed $ 58 million contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019
- Ice hockey center earns an average annual salary of $ 11.6 million with the Maple Leafs
- Matthews was named highest-paid NHL player in 2021 after making $ 45 million in six seasons
Auston Matthews is a professional ice hockey center and assistant captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League and was the second highest paid player last year. Despite massive pay cuts in the NHL, the athlete earned a lucrative salary and became the highest paid NHL player in 2021.
While Matthews was supposed to earn $ 15.9 million in base salary and bonuses, his compensation was reduced to $ 13 million net of escrow net of deferrals. His total winnings were raised to $ 16 million after securing $ 3 million in off-the-ice endorsements.
The Maple Leafs center’s most recent salary brought his total career earnings to $ 45 million in six seasons with the NHL. Matthews’ current contract is a five-year extension and worth $ 58 million, which gives him an average annual salary of $ 11.6 million, according to Spotrac.
Brands and marketers are increasingly drawn to Matthews for his potential as he was previously on track to break the record for most goals in a single season for the Maple Leafs in the 2019 season- 2020, according to Complex. However, it was cut short after authorities halted the season in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Matthews is making up for his lost wages through sponsorship deals with Verizon and CCM Hockey that were signed last year. The two companies add to the athlete’s already large list of partners, which includes Nike, Scotiabank and Dream Water.
Last week, the NHL opened its 56-game season with a limited number of fans and using only three arenas. Games with barely any fans have done devastating damage to the league’s finances. Unlike other major American sports leagues, the NHL does not have successful television contracts. The majority of revenue comes from tickets, concessions, sponsorships and parking.
Players will also be hit by financial hardship after agreeing to defer 10% of their total compensation. Their salaries will be reimbursed over three years in equal installments starting in 2024. Athletes will also lose 20% of their salaries due to the NHL’s escrow system due to the league’s financial plunge, according to Forbes.