The 23 Best NHL Players Earning Less Than $1 Million

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Photo: Flickr/MPR529

To be a successful franchise in any sport it’s imperative that some of your players outperform their contracts.Nowhere is that more true than in than in the cash-constrained NHL.

Every team has superstars earning tens of millions of dollars. And even some emerging favourites like Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty are deserving of the significant raises they’ll soon receive.

But on a 20-man team it’s the little guys — the younger players on entry-level deals; the recycled veterans with one more year left in them; the journeymen earning just a few hundred thousand dollars — that make the difference between Cup contenders and playoff also-rans.

2010 statistics though the games of November 3.

Mark Letestu, Pittsburgh Penguins -- $500,000

Age: 25

4 goals, 3 assists

Frans Nielsen, New York Islanders -- $525,000

Age: 26

2 goals, 5 assists

Matt D'Agostini, St. Louis Blues -- $550,000

Age: 24

4 goals, 2 assists

Kyle Cumiskey, Colorado Avalanche -- $600,000

Age: 23

1 goal, 4 assists

P.A. Parenteau, New York Islanders -- $600,000

Age: 27

3 goals, 6 assists

Brent Johnson, Pittsburgh Penguins -- $600,000

Age: 33

5-1-1, 1.70 GAA, .941 Sv%

Anthony Stewart, Atlanta Thrashers -- $632,500

Age: 25

4 goals, 4 assists

Blake Comeau, New York Islanders -- $650,000

Age: 24

3 goals, 6 assists

Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings -- $716,667

Age: 26

5-0-1, 1.95 GAA, .926 Sv%

Brendan Morrison, Calgary Flames -- $725,000

Age: 35

3 goals, 7 assists

Eric Belanger, Phoenix Coyotes -- $750,000

Age: 32

2 goals, 4 assists

Ville Leino, Philadelphia Flyers -- $800,000

Age: 27

2 goals, 8 assists

Cody Franson, Nashville Predators -- $800,000

Age: 23

2 goals, 3 assists

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers -- $821,667

Age: 22

7 goals, 5 assists

Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars -- $821,667

Age: 21

1 goal, 5 assists

Wayne Simmonds, Los Angeles Kings -- $821,667

Age: 22

3 goals, 3 assists

Artem Anisimov, New York Rangers -- $821,667

Age: 22

3 goals, 6 assists

Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals -- $821,667

Age: 22

8-3-0, 2.31 GAA, .920 Sv%

John Carlson, Washington Capitals -- $845,833

Age: 20

1 goal, 6 assists

P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens -- $875,000

Age: 21

0 goals, 6 assists

Tyler Ennis, Buffalo Sabres -- $875,000

Age: 21

2 goals, 5 assists

Niclas Bergfors, Atlanta Thrashers -- $900,000

Age: 23

4 goals, 4 assists

Avs Forwards

Dainel Winnik -- $950,000

Age: 25

4 goals, 2 assists

Ryan O'Reilly -- $900,000

Age: 19

1 goal, 5 assists

T.J. Galiardi -- $875,000

Age: 22

3 goals, 2 assists

David Jones -- $837,500

Age: 26

4 goals, 2 assists

But there are other ways to pinch pennies in the NHL...

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