Goal Scoring ROI: How Much Are NHL Players Paid Per Goal Scored?

The Free Agency period is almost upon us in the NHL and one area seems to be more in focus this offseason: goal scoring. It is very difficult to determine what kind of return a club gets on its financial investment in a hockey player. There are many factors to take into account when looking at the worth and value of NHL players—other than goal scoring.

This article will do none of that. We are only talking about goals, goals, and goals. Got it? Good.

What is a player who scores 50 goals per season worth per year?

$5 Million?
$7 Million?
$10 Million?

At $5 million a year, a player who scores 50 goals gets $100,000 per goal scored. That seems like a huge number, yet a 50 goal player should easily get paid more than $5 million.

At $10 million a year, that's $200,000. Seem ridiculous?

Here is a chart of the most prolific goal scorers of the last three years:


Players averaging 30 or more goals per season over the last three years

This chart is sorted by average goals scored over the past three years. These are the only players to average 30 goals or more within this time. Steven Stamkos and Bobby Ryan are included even though the 2008-2009 season was their first.

The red numbers indicate that the year this total was reached occurred on a previous contract.

I highlighted a few players. Parise, Ryan, and Stamkos are the best bargains of this group. Lecavalier is the highest paid player per goal scored of this group. It sounds cool, but I don't really think anyone wants to be labeled as such.

Also, it is interesting to see that Ovechkin, who is currently the highest paid player in the NHL (based on yearly Cap Hit) is also leading in average goals scored over the past three years. What's more interesting is that he is right in the middle of the pack in this group, in terms of his cost per goal scored per s...

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