Skip to main content

Twelve years ago when the Minnesota Wild entered the league an expansion franchise, you never would have seen the organization sign players to contracts like the $98-million deals Zach Parise and Ryan Suter got on Wednesday.

In fact, the Wild's entire payroll was just under $12-million in their inaugural season – the lowest in the NHL and roughly $300,000 less than Parise and Suter will both receive in each of the first two years of their new deals.

With plenty of the off-season still to play out, the Wild are now the second highest spending team in the NHL, joining the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks in a top five that looks very different than the one on top prior to the 2004-05 lockout.

Now it's the former spending powers in the Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs that have a bit of catching up to do, as they all sit at least $10-million behind Minnesota after GM Chuck Fletcher's big spending spree.

So while the Wild's payroll has increased 2.5 times since the 2003-04 season, those three big spenders have seen theirs drop from an average of $72-million to $55-million this summer (a 24-per-cent drop) in large part due to the salary cap.

Here's a closer look at how the spending has changed for six key teams over the past decade.

Team spending (in millions of U.S. dollars)

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that our commenting partner Civil Comments is closing down. As such we will be implementing a new commenting partner in the coming weeks. As of December 20th, 2017 we will be shutting down commenting on all article pages across our site while we do the maintenance and updates. We understand that commenting is important to our audience and hope to have a technical solution in place January 2018.

Discussion loading… ✨