With veterans like Allison and Leetch still on the sidelines, presumably at least in part due to salary demands, I was curious to see what the gap was between the "haves" and the "have nots" in the NHL. The results were quite interesting:NHL player salaries currently total $1,211,013,551, which would make the average salary $1,658,922.67. However, only 1/3 of the league's players are making above the league average (246 players) while 2/3 are making below the average (484 players).
A more telling figure on what the "average" NHL player makes is the median salary of $984,200. It seems like the gap is growing between the rich and the poor, as the average is being driven up by the 120 players making over $3 million. This is something that happened in the NFL when the cap was first put into place - the stars continued to get the big bucks, but the veteran role players were forced to play for the minimum. Of course now there is enough money to go around for everyone in the league, but the NHL is a long way from being in that position. Until the league can grow revenues, we'll likely see this trend continue, and veteran players will not only often have to sign for 1-year but also for under $1 mil if they wish to continue to play into their mid-to-late 30s.
* Data used from NHLPA.com (730 players included)