Who was the 1st million-dollar hockey player? At the age of 23, Bobby Orr signed the National Hockey League’s first million-dollar contract in 1971. When he agreed to a new contract with the Boston Bruins, he became the league’s first million-dollar player.
Orr was already the highest-paid player in the league. But he makes history by agreeing to a deal with the Bruins that pays him $200,000 for each of the next five seasons, for a total of $1 million.
Thanks to Orr, Boston won the Stanley Cup again the following year.
Orr’s contract was for $200,000 a year for five years, including sponsorship, rather than $1 million a year. Bobby Hull is arguably the first true millionaire hockey player. In 1972, he received $1 million upfront for a 10-year contract worth $2.75 million in the World Hockey Association, the NHL’s short-lived professional rival.
NHL salaries today are much, much greater than they were during the time of Orr. According to Forbes, Sidney Crosby, who plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins, will earn $15.4 million this season, $4.5 million of which will come from endorsement deals.
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