During the 2010/2011 NHL season, James Neal played left winger for the Pittsburgh Penguins, wearing number 18. His salary for the season was reportedly $2,250,000. The total team salary for the Pittsburgh Penguins was reportedly $67,737,500, so his salary was about 3.3% of the team's total reported payroll. Comparing his salary to the other players on his team, reportedly, the average salary for a player on the Pittsburgh Penguins was $2,605,288, while the median salary was $1,325,000. During the 79 games that he played that season, he scored 22 goals and had 23 assists - a total of 45 points. To find out how much he earned per game played, we can divide his reported salary by the number of games played. He earned $28,481.01 per game. James Neal had a plus/minus of 7, 66 PIM (penalties in minutes), 5 PP (power play goals), 0 SH (short-handed goals), 3 GWG (game winning goals), and took 212 shots. He had a shooting percentage in the 2010/2011 season of 10.40%. If we want to evaluate his performance strictly on offense, we can divide his salary by the number of goals scored, as well as by the number of points (goals plus assists). His salary per goal scored was $102,273 and his salary per point was $50,000.
Don't forget about taxes. Although each NHL season is composed of months two separate calendar years, having a salary in the United States of $2,250,000 we can estimate that he would have to hand over $762,784 in federal income taxes. For comparison, that is about the same amount of tax as the tax paid by 94 median high school teachers, 107 median police officers, or 151 median fire fighters. After paying the federal government, he would have $1,487,216 left over. However, he may still need to use some of that money to pay state or city taxes as well.
Author: Mark McCracken is a corporate trainer and author living in Higashi Osaka, Japan. He is the author of thousands of online articles as well as the Business English textbook, "25 Business Skills in English".