Goaltender is the most important position in hockey. However, some goalies are compensated better than others, taking into consideration their experience and success on the ice. As of the 2010-11 season, the average salary for a National Hockey League (NHL) goaltender is $2.82 million.
As of 2011, the highest-paid goalie in the NHL is Vancouver's Roberto Luongo, 32, with a salary of $10 million. He helped Vancouver capture the Presidents' Trophy as the top team in the regular season.
Rest of Top Five
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is second among goalies, as of 2011, with a $7.75 million contract. Toronto's Jean-Sebastian Giguere and Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff each made $7 million. Thomas Vokoun in Florida rounded out the top five at $6.3 million.
Other Top Salaries
Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom earned $6 million in the 2010-11 season. Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders made $4.5 million, and Edmonton paid Nikolai Khabibulin $3.75 million.
Chicago's Corey Crawford in Chicago played for $850,000. Detroit Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard earned $800,000, and James Reimer made $550,000 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Washington's Michal Neuvirth made $765,000, as did Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason.
Only one of the top five goaltenders in salary has won a Stanley Cup -- Giguere in 2007 with the Anaheim Ducks. Only five of the top 20 goalies in pay have hoisted the NHL's ultimate prize. Three of the five highest-paid goaltenders and 11 of the top 20 failed to make the playoffs in the 2010-11 season.
Michael Leighton and The Philadelphia Flyers went to the Stanley Cup Final last season before losing to Chicago in six games. The Flyers re-signed Leighton to a two-year contract with a $1.5 million salary in 2010-11.
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