Comparing the New Jersey Devils to Shohei Ohtani's new contract

The New Jersey Devils have a lot of players making more than Shohei Ohtani, including Cory Schneider's cap hit from his buyout.
Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani (17)
Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani (17) / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils are not a cheap NHL team. They just went through a rebuild that saw them shed a lot of salary and make high draft picks, but they have proven that they will spend now that the team is ready to win. They made big-time free-agent acquisitions like Dougie Hamilton and Ondrej Palat. They have also made a few trades for players that would cost some money, like Timo Meier, Erik Haula, and John Marino.

When the time came to pay Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Jesper Bratt, they did not hesitate. Not everyone was fully proven yet either. Some of the contracts look like bargains now but that is just the organization being smart. They are far from cheap.

Usually, hockey players don't come close to the highest-paid MLB players in terms of salary. However, the brand new Shohei Ohtani contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers is very interesting when comparing it to other sports.

Ohtani's deal is worth $700 million and will keep him a Dodger for 10 years. However, $680 million of it is deferred until after the contract is over. He will only be making $two million from the Dodgers each year.

The Devils' contracts next to Shohei Ohtani's are very interesting

The Devils pay Cory Schneider $2 million of dead cap money this season, which equals what Ohtani is going to get annually for the next ten years in terms of actual money paid. This season, Timo Meier, Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier, Ondrej Palat, Tyler Tofolli, Erik Haula, Dougie Hamilton, John Marino, Jonas Siegenthaler, and Vitek Vanecek will all make more than Ohtani's $2 million.

For those who don't know, Ohtani is the most talented baseball player who ever lived. He is a top-five hitter and a top-five pitcher at the same time which is incredibly rare. Imagine if Jack Hughes suited up and played goalie at a high level every 5th game. Ohtani is now the 17th highest-paid player for the Dodgers in 2024 (again, in terms of salary paid), and he would be the 12th highest-paid Devil if his 2 million dollars were his salary this year. The Dodgers will be able to build even more around him, which is insane to think about with the talent that they already have.

For the most part, New Jersey is doing just fine with their economics as they have to deal with a hard salary cap unlike the Dodgers (or any MLB team). Hopefully, this means that the Devils can continue to build a winning team around their higher-paid players.

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