The KHL has never been one to disclose salaries, but a new list revealed the top-25 highest-paid players in the league. It’s worth noting that player bonuses are not reflected in the total amounts listed.
Aivis Kalnins released a list of the 25 highest-salaried KHL players and a lot of familiar faces made the list. Checking in first is former New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk ($5.5 million USD), former Red Wing Pavel Datsyuk ($4.5 million USD) and disgraced former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov ($4.5 million USD).
Exclusive – Highest paid players in KHL. Notable that bonuses are not stated here. Notable that KHL has never released player amounts. pic.twitter.com/poWK8HoPdf
— Aivis Kalniņš (@A_Kalnins) October 17, 2016
Notable former NHLers on the list include Vladimir Sobotka ($3 million), Anton Belov ($1.5 million), Alexander Svitov ($1.5 million), Evgeny Dadonov ($1.4 million), Alexander Perezogin ($1.4 million) amd Valeri Nichushkin ($1.21 million). Kalnins also dropped the nugget that Alexander Radulov was offered $7 million USD to stick with CSKA, but opted instead to return to the NHL on a one-year, $5.75 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens.
There’s nothing overly surprising with the amounts, as the top-five is more or less what you’d expect. It pays to be a Russian with NHL experience returning home. I am surprised to see Sobotka up so high on the list, which might help explain why his return to the NHL was never facilitated – with $3 million USD owed his way, Avangard didn’t want to see their investment disappear.
Considering the top 10 features players still making around a million dollars, the list, if anything, proves the NHL is still the place to be to earn big-time money.