Slap Shots and Tax Talks: Shohei Ohtani's Dodger Deal Spices Up the NHL Scene

Explore the financial curveball in Shohei Ohtani's $700 million Dodgers deal and its implications on the hockey landscape.
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Explore the financial curveball in Shohei Ohtani's $700 million Dodgers deal and its implications on the hockey landscape.

If the Los Angeles Dodgers had missed on Shohei Ohtani, imagine the ripple effect it could've had on the NHL. The Dodgers' owners might've redirected that cash to potentially snag any of a handful of struggling NHL teams. It's a joke, of course, but we're just putting Ohtani's 10-year, $700 million deal, the most lucrative deal in sports history, into perspective.
For the next ten seasons, the global baseball stars' earnings break down like this: He'll be raking in around $11.7 million per month, hitting the field at a rate of $432,099 per game. When you break it down further, it's a cool $180,041 for every hour he plays, $108,025 for each at-bat, and $48,011 for every inning he rocks. Zoom in a bit more, and it's a solid $3,001 per minute. Even if you catch a glimpse, that's $50.01 every second.

Breaking Down the Dollars: Ohtani's Deferred Megadeal and Its Impact on the Hockey Money Game:

Last year's Forbes' NHL valuations highlighted six teams (Winnipeg Jets, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, and Arizona Coyotes) with a net worth of less than $700 million. Add the Vegas Golden Knights at $500 million in expansion fees and the Seattle Kraken at $650 million.

Now, let's break it down. Shohei Ohtani's deal rings in at a whopping $70 million AAV. To put things in perspective, the entire first day of NHL free agency in 2023 cost $646 million (as per CapFriendly).

Comparing Ohtani's megadeal to the top (active) earning NHL players is mind-blowing. Sidney Crosby took 18 seasons to make $141.3M. Alex Ovechkin took 18 seasons to make $138.2M. Evgeni Malkin took 17 seasons to make $126.7M.

Considering the max NHL contract is 20% of the cap (say $16.7M) and the max term is eight years, that adds up to $133.6M. Now, Ohtani surpasses the total max contract earnings in less than two seasons.

The cherry on top? Ohtani's deal with the Dodgers is sweetened with a strategic move – it's deferred. It doesn't not only ensures a hefty payday for him but also gives the Dodgers room to snag more players and stay fiercely competitive. However, it's worth noting that the global star and Japanese native won't escape the taxman's grasp. With a 37% federal tax, 13.3% California tax, 2.35% Medicare & Medicare surcharge, and 1.1% SDI, he's looking at around 53.75% in federal, state, and payroll taxes. Eventually, though, he'll get his $700 million.
The Toronto Blue Jays' "wildly expensive pursuit" of Ohtani was all part of Rogers' grand plan. The corporate strategy was to shift gears from being a "hockey network" to a "Blue Jays-first network," coinciding with the end of their hefty 12-year NHL deal. This move aimed to trim costs and boost revenue, with the hope of the Blue Jays making a World Series splash, led by the brilliance of their prize. Unfortunately, that dream disappeared when the 29 year-old announced himself before any insiders did. He was heading to the Dodgers. Talk about a plot twist!