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2016 World Cup of Hockey Rosters by Cap Hit

It's a good thing the salary cap only counts for 95% of the hockey we watch every year

Hockey: World Cup of Hockey-Press Conference Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Part of the fun of big international tournaments is the excitement of seeing the real best-on-best action of national/oddly-amalgamated teams fighting for supremacy outside of the traditional constraints of stupid things like the salary cap. While some teams were limited for other reasons (North American players too young to go to their national clubs or European players too Danish to play for Finland), the general no-limits atmosphere behind building these clubs lets skill rule.

Of course, since we do have a salary cap and since 95% of the players in this tourney will be playing in the NHL next season, it's also fun to look at how these teams were built from a salary standpoint. With that in mind, I've put together the list of all eight teams and ranked them by their cap hits.

Before we get there though, I've got a few notes on some numbers which have been fudged:

  • If a player has a contract for next season, the AAV of that deal is used, otherwise the AAV of the contract which just expired is substituted.
  • For all players on ELCs, the total cap hit is the combination of regular salary (capped at $925K) plus all bonuses, whether earned or not.
  • Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine have been given max-ELC deals because that's what #1 and #2 overall picks get. This matches the deals for McDavid and Eichel. If they somehow sign for less than that this summer, you can scrape my jaw off the floor.
  • KHL salaries are incredibly difficult to find for non-superstar players, so I either used what info I could find or estimated a $925K AAV for them. Some of the salary info is taken from a source almost three years old, so take it with a grain of salt.
  • Until a replacement is named, Slava Voynov is factored into the Russian squad.
  • Thanks very much to Capfriendly and General Fanager for all NHL contract information.

Here we go

#8 - Team Czech Republic

Total AAV - $65,113,333

Biggest Earner - Jakub Voracek ($8.25M)

Lowest-Paid - Michal Jordan ($625,000)

This is the biggest upset of the tournament to-date, as I thought for certain Team "Almost-Entirely Made up of ELCs" North America would be the lowest, but unless Vladimir Sobotka is earning more than anybody thinks in the KHL, the Czechs currently run the all-value team, at least until Jordan, Jaskin and Mrazek get their next deals in place.

Czech Republic
Radek Faksa $1,338,333
Martin Hanzal $3,100,000
Ales Hemsky $4,000,000
Tomas Hertl $1,350,000
Dmitri Jaskin $925,000
David Krejci $7,250,000
Milan Michalek $4,000,000
Ondrej Palat $3,333,333
David Pastrnak $925,000
Tomas Plekanec $5,000,000
Vladimir Sobotka $4,000,000
Jakub Voracek $8,250,000
Michael Frolik $4,300,000
Radko Gudas $991,667
Michal Jordan $625,000
Michal Kempny $1,137,500
Zbynek Michalek $3,200,000
Jakub Nakladal $925,000
Roman Polak $2,750,000
Andrej Sustr $1,450,000
Petr Mrazek $737,500
Michal Neuvirth $1,625,000
Ondrej Pavelec $3,900,000
Total $65,113,333
Average $2,831,014
Goalie Total $6,262,500
Forwards Total $47,771,666
Defense Total $11,079,167

#7 - Team North America

Total AAV - $65,610,833

Biggest Earner - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins & Brandon Saad ($6M)

Lowest-Paid - Matt Murray ($902,500)

Only four players on this entire team make more than four million thanks to the cap system by where you're not even allowed to do so before you're 21 and then have to be incredibly good to even get that good a deal before you're 25. I think this is probably why I'm rooting for Team Doesn't Really Understand Why Ending a Phone Call is Called "Hanging Up" in this tournament.

North America
Sean Couturier $4,333,333
Jonathan Drouin $3,194,167
Jack Eichel $3,775,000
Johnny Guadreau $1,850,000
Dylan Larkin $1,425,000
Nathan MacKinnon $3,775,000
Auston Matthews $3,775,000
Connor McDavid $3,775,000
JT Miller $1,244,167
Sean Monahan $1,775,000
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins $6,000,000
Brandon Saad $6,000,000
Mark Scheifele $1,563,333
Aaron Ekblad $3,775,000
Shayne Gostisbehere $1,420,833
Seth Jones $3,225,000
Ryan Murray $2,825,000
Colton Parayko $925,000
Morgan Rielly $5,000,000
Jacob Trouba $1,827,500
John Gibson $2,300,000
Connor Hellebuyck $925,000
Matt Murray $902,500
Total $65,610,833
Average $2,852,645
Goalie Total $4,127,500
Forwards Total $42,485,000
Defense Total $18,998,333

#6 - Team Finland

Total AAV - $69,169,166

Biggest Earner - Tuukka Rask & Pekka Rinne ($7M)

Lowest-Paid - Jyrki Jokipakka ($900,000)

With three KHLers on this squad, this amount could be off by a few million dollars, but it's the fact that Finland gets low-cost deals from being able to take youngsters like Donskoi, Jokipakka, and Teravainen. Finland being ruled in earnings by goalies should be no surprise in North America, as the low-cost powerhouse team has always been known for netminding.

Sebastian Aho $925,000
Aleksander Barkov $5,900,000
Joonas Donskoi $1,137,500
Valtteri Filppula $5,000,000
Mikael Granlund $3,000,000
Erik Haula $1,000,000
Jussi Jokinen $4,000,000
Mikko Koivu $6,750,000
Leo Komarov $2,950,000
Lauri Korpikoski $2,500,000
Patrik Laine $3,775,000
Jori Lehtera $4,700,000
Teuvo Teravainen $1,460,833
Jyrki Jokipakka $900,000
Sami Lepisto $925,000
Esa Lindell $925,000
Olli Maatta $4,083,333
Ville Pokka $1,775,000
Rasmus Ristolainen $1,775,000
Sami Vatanen $1,262,500
Mikko Koskinen $925,000
Tuukka Rask $7,000,000
Pekka Rinne $7,000,000
Total $69,669,166
Average $3,029,094
Goalie Total $14,925,000
Forwards Total $43,098,333
Defense Total $11,645,833

#5 - Team Europe

Total AAV - $88,104,167

Biggest Earner - Anze Kopitar ($10M)

Lowest-Paid - Pierre-Édouard Bellemare ($712,500)

Team Not-From-Those-Other-European-Countries has a good mix of talent from Slovakia, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia, and [assorted], but not much in terms of AAV. With Anze Kopitar taking up more than 11% of their total pay, Team Europe is probably going to be lowest in terms of goalie pay for non-ELC players after Mrazek signs his extension.

Though for what it's worth, Christian Ehrhoff's $1.5M AAV doesn't include the buyout he's being paid for five more years.

P.E. Bellemare $712,500
Mikkel Boedker $3,750,000
Leon Draisaitl $3,400,000
Marian Gaborik $4,875,000
Jannik Hansen $2,500,000
Marian Hossa $5,275,000
Anze Kopitar $10,000,000
Nino Niederreiter $2,666,667
Frans Nielsen $2,750,000
Tobias Rieder $925,000
Tomas Tatar $2,750,000
Thomas Vanek $6,500,000
Mats Zuccarello $4,500,000
Zdeno Chara $6,500,000
Christian Ehrhoff $1,500,000
Roman Josi $4,000,000
Dennis Seidenberg $4,000,000
Andrej Sekera $5,500,000
Luca Sbisa $3,600,000
Mark Streit $5,250,000
Frederik Andersen $1,150,000
Thomas Greiss $1,500,000
Jaroslav Halak $4,500,000
Total $88,104,167
Average $3,830,616
Goalie Total $7,150,000
Forwards Total $50,604,167
Defense Total $30,350,000

#4 - Team Russia

Total AAV - $93,119,254

Biggest Earner - Alex Ovechkin ($9,538,462)

Lowest-Paid - Alexey Marchenko ($791,667)

With four KHLers and one replacement D-man to name, Team Russia could find themselves moving in this ranking, but they're still $5M above their nearest contender and $16M below the next rung. Team Russia is getting good value from ELCs with Forwards, Goalies, and D-men. Whether they'll be more competitive than teams below them on the earnings chart? That's another question.

Artem Anisimov $4,550,000
Evgeny Dadonov $1,600,000
Pavel Datsyuk $7,500,000
Nikita Kucherov $894,167
Nikolay Kulemin $4,187,500
Evgeny Kuznetsov $3,000,000
Evgeni Malkin $9,500,000
Vladislav Namestnikov $874,125
Alex Ovechkin $9,538,462
Artemi Panarin $3,500,000
Vadim Shipachyov $3,000,000
Ivan Telegin $925,000
Vladimir Tarasenko $7,500,000
Alexei Emelin $4,100,000
Dmitry Kulikov $4,333,333
Alexey Marchenko $791,667
Andrei Markov $5,750,000
Dmitry Orlov $2,000,000
Slava Voynov $3,000,000
Nikita Zaitsev $1,775,000
Sergei Bobrovsky $7,425,000
Semyon Varlamov $5,900,000
Andrei Vasilevskiy $1,475,000
Total $93,119,254
Average $4,048,663
Goalie Total $14,800,000
Forwards Total $56,569,254
Defense Total $21,750,000

#3 - Team Sweden

Total AAV - $109,073,928

Biggest Earner - Henrik Lundqvist ($8.5M)

Lowest-Paid - Filip Forsberg ($1,460,833)

The first of our countries who don't have a single person with an AAV below $1M, Team Sweden is full of well-paid players who are experienced enough to be so well-paid. Only Forsberg (who is now an RFA) and Jacob Markstrom are still on the ELC pay scale.

Sweden leaving a few younger players off their roster is earning a few questions about how the team is built and it's definitely a big reason they're so high on this list.

Nicklas Backstrom $6,700,000
Loui Eriksson $4,250,000
Filip Forsberg $1,460,833
Patric Hornqvist $4,250,000
Carl Hagelin $4,000,000
Marcus Kruger $3,083,333
Gabriel Landeskog $5,571,429
Daniel Sedin $7,000,000
Henrik Sedin $7,000,000
Jakob Silfverberg $3,750,000
Carl Soderberg $4,750,000
Alexander Steen $5,800,000
Henrik Zetterberg $6,083,333
Mattias Ekholm $3,750,000
Oliver Ekman-Larsson $5,500,000
Victor Hedman $4,000,000
Niklas Hjalmarsson $4,100,000
Erik Karlsson $6,500,000
Niklas Kronwall $4,750,000
Anton Stralman $4,500,000
Robin Lehner $2,225,000
Henrik Lundqvist $8,500,000
Jacob Markstrom $1,550,000
Total $109,073,928
Average $4,742,345
Goalie Total $12,275,000
Forwards Total $63,698,928
Defense Total $33,100,000

#2 - Team USA

Total AAV - $134,000,730

Biggest Earner - Patrick Kane ($10.5M)

Lowest-Paid - John Carlson ($3,966,666)

Boy howdy, you'd figure the team with the second-highest payroll in the whole tournament wouldn't look like the fourth or fifth-best team, but here we are. Just like the other mega-spenders in North America, Team USA was limited by their inability to have any players on entry-level contracts, so the lowest cap hit you get is for the relatively young 26-year old Caps Blueliner.

Justin Abdelkader $4,250,000
David Backes $4,500,000
Ryan Callahan $5,800,000
Brandon Dubinsky $5,850,000
Patrick Kane $10,500,000
Ryan Kesler $6,875,000
TJ Oshie $4,175,000
Max Pacioretty $4,500,000
Zach Parise $7,538,461
Joe Pavelski $6,000,000
Derek Stepan $6,500,000
James van Riemsdyk $4,250,000
Blake Wheeler $5,600,000
Dustin Byfuglien $7,600,000
John Carlson $3,966,666
Erik Johnson $6,000,000
Jack Johnson $4,357,142
Ryan McDonagh $4,700,000
Matt Niskanen $5,750,000
Ryan Suter $7,538,461
Ben Bishop $5,950,000
Jonathan Quick $5,800,000
Cory Schneider $6,000,000
Total $134,000,730
Average $5,826,119
Goalie Total $17,750,000
Forwards Total $76,338,461
Defense Total $39,912,269

#1 - Team Canada

Total AAV - $148,628,330

Biggest Earner - Jonathan Toews ($10.5M)

Lowest-Paid - Jake Muzzin ($4M)

Even when the salary cap goes up next season, Team Canada will have a total AAV more than doubling that amount. After Muzzin, there's Marc-Eddie Vlasic and Brad Marchand on the roster as the only players who pull in less than $5M per year. Again, they're limited because of the no-ELC nature of the tourney, but Canada spends big-time and you still might be able to say a decent chunk of their roster is made up of guys who are underpaid.

Jamie Benn $5,250,000
Patrice Bergeron $6,875,000
Jeff Carter $5,272,727
Sidney Crosby $8,700,000
Matt Duchene $6,000,000
Ryan Getzlaf $8,250,000
Claude Giroux $8,275,000
Brad Marchand $4,500,000
Tyler Seguin $5,750,000
Steven Stamkos $7,500,000
John Tavares $5,500,000
Jonathan Toews $10,500,000
Joe Thornton $6,750,000
Brent Burns $5,760,000
Drew Doughty $7,000,000
Duncan Keith $5,538,461
Jake Muzzin $4,000,000
Alex Pietrangelo $6,500,000
Marc-Eduoard Vlasic $4,250,000
Shea Weber $7,857,142
Corey Crawford $6,000,000
Braden Holtby $6,100,000
Carey Price $6,500,000
Total $148,628,330
Average $6,462,101
Goalie Total $18,600,000
Forwards Total $89,122,727
Defense Total $40,905,603

- - -

So there we have it, the salaries for all eight World Cup of Hockey teams. We'll be updating this list later in the summer after some new contracts are signed, but I don't think there's going to be a lot of movement. Just three of the teams would be cap compliant in today's NHL, but that's why they don't put a cap on international tourneys.


Total AAV - $133,694,166

Biggest Earner - Ilya Kovalchuk ($15M)

Lowest-Paid - Andre Burakovsky ($894,167)

If you'll remember, this team is made up of the Snubs that I think should get put together and be given a chance to compete. If you're looking for the non-KHL highest salary, you've got PK Subban's $9M AAV. Team Snub would slot in just under Team USA and be the third highest-paid group in the entire tournament.

All the more reason I'd like to see them given a chance.

Team Snub
Phil Kessel $8,000,000
Gustav Nyquist $4,750,000
Taylor Hall $6,000,000
Alex Galchenyuk $2,800,000
Corey Perry $8,625,000
Ryan O'Reilly $7,500,000
Tyler Johnson $3,333,333
Valeri Nichushkin $2,125,000
Ilya Kovalchuk $15,000,000
Alexander Radulov $9,200,000
Andre Burakovsky $894,167
Kyle Okposo $2,800,000
Jason Spezza $7,500,000
PK Subban $9,000,000
John Klingberg $4,250,000
Mark Giordano $6,750,000
Kris Letang $7,250,000
Keith Yandle $5,250,000
Kevin Shattenkirk $4,250,000
Justin Faulk $4,833,333
MA Fleury $5,750,000
Brian Elliott $2,500,000
Roberto Luongo $5,333,333
Total $133,694,166
Average $5,812,790
Goalie Total $13,583,333
Forwards Total $78,527,500
Defense Total $41,583,333