Soccer Star Says He’ll Play For Free, While Some Guy In The NHL Gets $64 Mil

05.17.10 8 years ago 6 Comments

I don’t claim to know much about the financial side of hockey, only that they decided that canceling an entire season in 2005 would have been better than actually playing it out with the business model that was in place at the time. But after the NHL took its puck and went home, I would have expected the end of big paydays to be over in pro hockey. I was wrong.

Nicklas Backstrom’s contract is another long-term investment for the Washington Capitals: 10 years, $67 million. [The deal is] a reward after a season in which he set career-highs with 33 goals and 68 assists. The 101 points ranked fourth in the NHL.

Backstrom’s contract means the Capitals have locked up two of the league’s young stars for many years to come. Alex Ovechkin is about to enter the third year of a $124 million, 13-year deal. –The AP.

That’s almost $16 million a season–for two players on a team that got bounced in the first round of the playoffs. And then there’s Oguchi Onyewu of AC Milan, who is so desperate to stay on the team that he’s willing to do so for nothing.

Onyewu asked for, and received, a one-year contract extension from Milan, from 30 June 2012 to 30 June 2013. During this extra year, Oguchi Onyewu, by his choice, much appreciated by the Rossoneri club, has asked not to receive any kind of salary. –via Dirty Tackle.

Is this a sweeping generalization of the certainly different economics in two different sports on two different continents? Absolutely, but the disparity is considerable. Partly because Onyewu doesn’t realize his own value, apparently. I haven’t worked for free since I was a caterer on an adult film set. And even then, they’d let me eat whatever I wanted.

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