The 25 highest-paid players in the NHL

The NHL is still in a bit of a transition when it comes to how much money their top players are making. 

Prior to the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), teams took advantage of a loophole that allowed players to be paid more than they normally would under the salary cap. That loophole led to some skewed salaries and has since been corrected.

Still, several of the NHL's highest-paid players are playing on deals made under the old rules.

This year's list of the NHL's highest-paid players includes 11 centers, eight wingers, five defensemen, and just one goaltender.

Here are the 25 players who will make at least $8.5 million this season, with data provided by Spotrac.

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The highest-paid players in the NHL
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The highest-paid players in the NHL
25. Patrick Marleau -- $8,500,000

Team: Toronto Maple Leafs

Position: Left Wing

All-Star games: 3 in 19 seasons

Contract: 3 years, $18.75 million

One thing to know: After Marleau spent 18 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, the 38 year old gives Austin Matthews a veteran left winger. While the Leafs did not have to go overboard to get a veteran wing, they did have to commit to three seasons. The good news is the Leafs are only on the hook for $4.3 million in the final season, although his cap hit will still be a little higher at $6.3 million.

(Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
24. Patrice Bergeron -- $8,750,000

Team: Boston Bruins

Position: Center

All-Star games: 2 in 13 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $55 million

One thing to know: Bergeron's 8-year, $55 million contract extension, signed in 2013, means the center will likely play his entire career with the Bruins as he is signed through his age-36 season.

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

t15. Ryan O'Reilly -- $9,000,000

Team: Buffalo Sabres

Position: Center

All-Star games: 1 in 8 seasons

Contract: 7 years, $52.5 million

One thing to know: Just 26 years old, O'Reilly is already entering his 9th NHL season and is already in the second year of his 7-year, $52.5 million extension he signed in 2015. He made $11 million in the first year of that deal, but that will fall to $6 million for each of the final four seasons.

(Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

t15. Henrik Lundqvist -- $9,000,000

Team: New York Rangers

Position: Goaltender

All-Star games: 3 in 12 seasons

Contract: 7 years, $59.5 million

One thing to know: Even with the limitations on contracts in the new CBA — more on that shortly — Lundqvist's new 7-year, $59.5 million contract is proof that teams still like to front-load these deals. Of the nearly $60 million, $39.5 million will be paid in the first four seasons.

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
t15. Zach Parise -- $9,000,000

Team: Minnesota Wild

Position: Left wing

All-Star games: 1 in 12 seasons

Contract: 13 years, $98 million.

One thing to know: Proving the NHL likes to do the teammates-get-equal-pay thing, Suter and teammate Zach Parise signed identical 13-year, $98 million contracts in 2012.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
t15. Ryan Suter -- $9,000,000

Team: Minnesota Wild

Position: Defenseman

All-Star games: 1 in 12 seasons

Contract: 13 years, $98 million.

One thing to know: Like some other players further down this list, Suter and Parise signed front-loaded deals prior to the new CBA which allowed the team to spread out their cap hits. Suter is set to make just $1 million in each of the two last seasons of the deal, when he will be 38 and 39. 

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
t15. Claude Giroux -- $9,000,000

Team:  Philadelphia Flyers

Position: Center

All-Star games: 4 in 10 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $66.2 million

One thing to know: Giroux still has five seasons left on his contract and has a no-move clause in his contract. That means Giroux will be with the Flyers until at least his age-33 season.

(Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
t15. Leon Draisaitl -- $9,000,000

Team: Edmonton Oilers

Position: Center/Right wing

All-Star games: 0 in 3 seasons

Contract: 6 years, $68 million

One thing to know: The Oilers locked up Draisaitl long-term before his 22nd birthday, and after a switch to center in the playoffs last season, he appears to be back on the first line with Conor McDavid for years to come.

(Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
t15. Phil Kessel -- $9,000,000

Team: Pittsburgh Penguins

Position: Right Wing

All-Star games: 3 in 11 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $64 million

One thing to know: This offseason, Kessel spent his day with the Stanley Cup eating hot dogs

(Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)
t15. Brent Seabrook -- $9,000,000

Team: Chicago Blackhawks

Position: Defenseman

All-Star games: 1 in 12 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $55 million

One thing to know: Seabrook still has seven seasons left on his contract and will have a $6.9 million cap hit until his age-38 season.

(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
t15. Aaron Ekblad -- $9,000,000

Team: Florida Panthers

Position: Defenseman

All-Star games: 2 in 3 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $60 million

One thing to knowAn anonymous GM told Sportsnet that Ekblad's contract "screwed up a lot of contracts moving forward" for other defensemen. "It set the bar way too high for some of these guys," the GM said.

(Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
14. Ryan Getzlaf -- $9,025,000

Team: Anaheim Ducks

Position: Center

All-Star games: 3 in 12 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $66 million

One thing to know: Getzlaf's 8-year contract includes a no-move clause, meaning he cannot be traded or sent to the minors.

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
t12. Steven Stamkos -- $9,500,000

Team: Tampa Bay Lightning

Position: Center

All-Star games: 4 in 9 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $68 million

One thing to know: Stamkos signed an extension to stay with the Lightning even though he might have made more in free agency. However, in the first year of the deal, Stamkos played just 17 games before injuring his knee and missing the rest of the season.

(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)'n
t12. Evgeni Malkin -- $9,500,000

Team: Pittsburgh Penguins

Position: Center

All-Star games: 4 in 11 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $76 million

One thing to know: Shortly after Malkin signed his long-term contract with the Penguins, his father caused a bit of a firestorm by claiming that Malkin had rejected a larger offer from the Dallas Starseven though his son was not a free agent. The Stars denied they ever tampered with Malkin.

(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
t8. Alex Ovechkin -- $10,000,000

Team: Washington Capitals

Position: Left Wing

All-Star games: 8 in 12 seasons

Contract: 13 years, $124 million.

One thing to know: The 13-year, $124 million contract signed by Ovechkin in 2008 is still the largest in the NHL. However, unlike some bigger deals signed later, his was not front-loaded to circumvent the salary cap. His $9.5 million cap hit is still the fourth largest in the NHL.

 (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
t8. Evgeny Kuznetsov -- $10,000,000

Team: Washington Capitals

Position: Center

All-Star games: 1 in 4 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $62.4 million

One thing to know: Kuznetsov was a restricted free agent this summer and signed a long-term contract, making him the second-highest paid player on the team. More importantly for the Caps, they now have eight players with a cap hit of at least $5 million. Those eight players are taking up 70% of the $75 million salary cap.

(Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
t8. Jakub Voracek -- $10,000,000

Team: Philadelphia Flyers

Position: Right Wing

All-Star games: 1 in 9 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $66 million

One thing to know: Voracek's $8.25 million cap hit this season is behind only Claude Giroux on the Flyers, who is just a tad higher at $8.275 million.

(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
t8. Corey Perry -- $10,000,000

Team: Anaheim Ducks

Position: Right Wing

All-Star games: 4 in 12 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $69 million

One thing to know: Perry has played all 12 of his seasons with the Ducks and is under contract for four more years until his age-35 season.

 (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
7. Sidney Crosby -- $10,900,000

Team: Pittsburgh Penguins

Position: Center

All-Star games: 6 in 12 seasons

Contract: 12 years, $104.4 million

One thing to know: Crosby was one of the last NHL players to exploit a loophole in the old collective bargaining agreement, signing a $104.4 million contract. The catch is that the deal is 12 years long and heavily front-loaded, not expiring until he is 38 years old. The benefit to the team was to spread the salary cap hit out over many years — his cap hit is always below $9 million. This practice was nixed in the newest CBA, with contracts now limited to eight years.

(Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
6. P.K. Subban -- $11,000,000

Team: Nashville Predators

Position: Defenseman

All-Star games: 2 in 8 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $72 million

One thing to know: Subban's $9.0 million cap hit is the largest for any defenseman and he is the only defenseman among the top 15 cap hits in the NHL.

 (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
5. Shea Weber -- $12,000,000

Team: Montreal Canadiens

Position: Defenseman

All-Star games: 6 in 12 seasons

Contract: 14 years, $110 million.

One thing to know: Like Sidney Crosby, Weber signed his extension just before the new CBA, and his deal is also heavily front-loaded. This is the final season with an elevated salary. Starting next season, Weber's salary starts to shrink, eventually reaching just $1 million in 2023-24, when he will be 38.

(Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
t3. Anze Kopitar -- $13,000,000

Team: Los Angeles Kings

Position: Center

All-Star games: 3 in 11 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $80 million

One thing to know: Kopitar signed a long-term deal during the 2015-16 season, just before he was set to become an unrestricted free agent. While Kopitar has a no-move clause in the first four years of his deal, that becomes a limited no-trade clause starting in 2020.

(Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)
t3. Jamie Benn

Team: Dallas Stars

Position: Left Wing

All-Star games: 2 in 8 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $76 million

One thing to know: Benn's $9.5 million cap hit is the third-highest among wingers, trailing only Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane.

(Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
t1. Jonathan Toews -- $13,800,000

Team: Chicago Blackhawks

Position: Center

All-Star games: 6 in 10 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $84 million

One thing to know: Toews and teammate Patrick Kane signed identical 8-year, $84 million contracts prior to the 2014-15 season. Their $10.5 million cap hits are the largest in the NHL.

(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
t1. Patrick Kane -- $13,800,000

Team: Chicago Blackhawks

Position: Right Wing

All-Star games: 6 in 10 seasons

Contract: 8 years, $84 million

One thing to know: Kane and Toews are the highest-paid players in the NHL for the second straight season. However, that will come to end next season when Conor McDavid's $100 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers kicks in and Carey Price's $84 million deal with the Montreal Canadiens begins.

(Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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