Thursday, June 22, 2017

Los Angeles Kings 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


Here are the 10 best worst non-entry level contracts signed by the LA Kings (and mostly by Dean Lombardi) since the NHL had a salary cap. This is a two time Stanley Cup winning team so extra consideration is given for championship contracts. Conversely, Cup winning contracts are not eligible for the worst list. LA won both Cups on Kopitar’s second contract, his current monstrosity is Cup free.

BEST

1- Drew Doughty, Sep 30 2011, 8 years $56M:LA tried to play hardball and get Doughty to sign a smaller contract. Truth of the matter is he’s worth whatever you pay him. They won 2 Stanley Cups and got a Norris trophy on this contract that’s not even over yet.

2- Anze Kopitar, Oct 11 2008, 7 years $47.6M: This contract produced a Selke trophy, 2 Stanley Cups, and 45 playoff PTS in those two championship seasons. Enough said.

3- Jonathan Quick, Oct 23 2009, 3 years $5.4M: He won a Stanley Cup and was the playoff MVP. Bargain.

4- Justin Williams, Feb 27 2011, 4 years $14.6M: They won 2 Stanley Cups where he scored 19 playoff goals on of this contract. Do his regular season stats even matter?

5- Dustin Brown, Oct 26 2007, 6 years $19M: They won 2 Stanley Cups where he scored 14 playoff goals on of this contract. Do his regular season stats even matter?

6- Jake Muzzin, Oct 16 2014, 5 years $20M: When Muzzin signed this deal, he was 25 years old coming off 40 regular season PTS, 12 playoff PTS and a Stanley Cup. The fact that LA got him to sign for 5 years at this price is a bit remarkable.

7- Jonathan Quick, Jun 28 2012, 10 years $58M: That’s a pretty good price for a goalie who had just won the playoff MVP. They won another Stanley Cup on this contract too.  Even if his skills start to erode in the back half of the contract and he starts to wear down, they have already received good value for their money.

8- Willie Mitchell, Aug 25 2010, 2 years $7M: He helped them win a Stanley cup in 2012. He signed another identical contract after this one and won another Stanley Cup, which we’ll say is tied with this one on the all-time list.

9- Alexander Frolov, Aug 12 2005, 5 years $14.5M: Signed by Dave Taylor. You’d be forgiven if you had forgotten that Alex Frolov scored 302 PTS in 380 GP for LA on this contract.

10- Mike Cammalleri, Aug 7 2007, 2 years $6.7M:  No Stanley Cups but that’s a fantastic price on 129 PTS in 144 GP.

WORST (ordered by total $ spent)

1- Anze Kopitar, Jan 16 2016, 8 years $80M: If you’re making a list why Dean Lombardi got fired, you might want to add this contract to the list. Kopitar’s production plummeted in year 1. He’s still young that he can bounce back and be great again, but there is reason to be worried. $10M AAV is a lot.

2- Dustin Brown, July 18 2013, 8 years $47M: By the end of his last contract his production had declined by half. That’s a lot to pay for a 30 point player. He’s got a lot of hard miles on the odometer. At the right price, he can still make a decent contribution. This isn't it.

3- Michal Handzus, July 2 2007, 4 years $16M: With cap inflation, this is $5.8M AAV in 2017 numbers. That’s way too much for a 40 point player.

4- Tom Preissing, July 2 2007, 4 years $11M: By year 2 of this contract he was playing in the AHL.

5- Patrick O’Sullivan, Oct 7 2008, 3 years $8.7M: He went from 53 PTS (last year entry level) to 43 PTS year one to 34 PTS to bought out.

6- Kyle Calder, July 3 2007, 2 years $5.4M: I think they were planning for more than 47 PTS out of this contracts that was more like $4M AAV accounting for cap inflation.

7- Dan Cloutier, Sep 27 2006, 2 years $6M: He played more AHL than NHL games on this contract.

8- Alexei Ponikarovsky, July 27 2010, 1 year $3.2M: 15 PTS in 61 GP is not what you paid for.

9- Teddy Purcell, July 1st 2016, 1 year $1.6M: He played more games in the AHL than NHL.

10- Tom Gilbert, July 1st 2016, 1 year $1.4M: He played more games in the AHL than NHL.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Marian Hossa Cap Recapture Circumvention Theory

I'm not a Doctor. Let me start there. News broke today that Marian Hossa is allergic to hockey equipment and will eventually be placed on the Chicago Blackhawks long term injured reserve, probably ending his career. Apparantly they can't order special equipment that he's not allergic to. He's allergic to all equipment. Once upon a time I got rashes from hockey equipment. It's called Eczema. It's common and easy to treat. They haven't said what Hossa's condition is, so it could be more severe than what I had.

I'm not disputing that Hossa has a medical condition. I'm sure he does. Everybody has something that can cause discomfort. The part that arouses my suspicion is the timing. Hossa is one of those players who signed a 10+ year contract that was front loaded with a back dive to circumvent the salary cap. The idea is that the player retires when the salary flatlines and he gets paid more for a lower cap hit. It was deemed illegal in the 2013 CBA. That CBA even went so far as to add a significant "cap recapture" penalty to punish all those teams who circumvented the rules. Chicago was one of them. The Blackhawks are jammed tight up against the cap for the next few seasons. Had Hossa retired when he was originally planned to retire at age 38, it would have hurt the team baldly. Hossa going on LTI instead of retiring helps them substantially.

Was Hossa not already planning to retire at age 38 when his actual salary dropped from $7M to $1M? The team would have been painfully aware of what his impending retirement would mean for a roster already projected to be over next year's cap. This is not an injury that is preventing him from playing. He's saying that the discomfort has become too much and it's not worth it to him to continue his career. Isn't that why most athletes retire? Their health starts to falter later in their career and they retire when it's no longer worth it to them. He's already proven he can play just fine despite the ailment. I'm not sure why Chicago should get to circumvent the cap recapture penalty because Hossa is ostensibly retiring.

It's possible that Hossa always intended to play out the back dive and I'm just an insensitive jerk who loves conspiracy theories. Maybe they did not just look for whatever was "most wrong" with him and use it as an excuse to LTI him instead of facing a cap recapture penalty. Maybe it's just me.

Somehow though, I think that the other "back dive" contracts out there that are illegal under today's rules, might produce similar career ending ailments. Let me make a few predictions...

Henrik Zetterberg, 2018 - painful foot blisters
Roberto Luongo 2019 - hurt feelings
Jeff Carter 2020 - virulent jock itch
Duncan Keith 2020 - paralyzing case of athlete's foot
Jon Quick 2020 - sore groin
Shea Weber 2022 - shin splints
Ryan Suter 2022 - hamstring pull
Zach Parise 2022 - aching feet

Monday, June 19, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


When I make best contracts list I prefer rewarding those that produce Stanley Cups. Conversely, I try to avoid championships when making a worst contracts list. If a player gets a ring under that contract while making a contribution in the playoffs, how bad can it be? You’re not getting in a time machine and changing anything. Since Chicago has 3 Stanley Cup victories in the salary cap era, this makes their best and worst lists tricky. There are a whole bunch of Cup winning contracts, and a limited number of big money deals that did not get a ring (thank heavens for Khabibulin and Huet).

Entry level contracts not included.

BEST

1- Jonathon Toews, Dec 2 2009, 5 years $31.5M: Signed by Stan Bowman. This contract produced 2 Stanley Cups, a playoff MVP, a Selke trophy, and a regular season stat line of 343 GP, 315 PTS, 946 shots, 4002 face off wins, 16 short handed PTS, and +126 rating. That’s awesome.

2- Duncan Keith, July 13 2006, 4 years $5.9M: Signed by Dale Tallon. This contract won a Stanley Cup and a Norris trophy. The regular season stat line of 323 GP, 176 PTS, 656 shots, and +84 for under $6M is incredible.

3- Patrick Kane, Dec 2 2009, 5 years $31.5M: Signed by Stan Bowman. They got 332 GP, 327 PTS regular season and 2 Stanley Cups. That’s a win no matter how you keep score. Oh yeah and he was playoff MVP for one of those championships.

4- Marian Hossa, July 1 2009, 12 years $63.3M: Signed by Dale Tallon. They won 3 Stanley Cups on this contract. It doesn’t matter what the cap recapture penalty is, you wouldn’t change anything even if you had access to a time machine.

5- Duncan Keith, Dec 3 2009, 13 years $72M: Signed by Stan Bowman. This contract won 2 Stanley Cups and a Norris trophy. This has proven to be a great contract for Chicago.

6- Patrick Sharp, Jan 17 2008, 4 years $15.6M: Signed by Dale Tallon. He won a Stanley Cup with a regular season stat line of 291 GP, 250 PTS, and 1000 shots.

7- Brent Seabrook, Feb 18 2008, 3 years $10.5M: Signed by Dale Tallon. 242 regular season GP, 104 PTS, and a Stanley Cup.

8- Brent Seabrook, Feb 27 2011, 5 years $29M: Signed by Stan Bowman. They won 2 Stanley Cups on this contract. Seabrook could have been the best defenseman on several NHL teams. The Hawks got lucky with two great #1 D-men.

9- Patrick Sharp, Aug 3 2011, 5 years $29.5M: Signed by Stan Bowman. They won 2 Stanley Cups on this contract (where Sharp contributed 15 playoff goals).

10- David Bolland, June 29 2009, 5 years $16.9M: Signed by Dale Tallon. Under this contract the Hawks won 2 Stanley Cups sand got 22 playoff PTS in those championship seasons.

WORST  (Ranked by total $ spent)

1- Nikolai Khabibulin, Aug 5 2005, 4 years $27M: Signed by Dale Tallon. Do the Blackhawks get Patrick Kane if they don’t sign Khabibulin? I’m not sure you change anything with the time machine.

2- Cristobal Huet, July 1st 2008, 4 years $22.5M: Signed by Dale Tallon. He finished this contract being loaned to Europe for salary cap circumvention purposes.

3- Martin Havlat, July 7 2006, 3 years $18M: Signed by Dale Tallon. Let’s not forget that the cap was much smaller in 2006. That’s the equivalent of $10M AAV in today’s money. He was reasonably productive under this contract, but that’s still too much for Havlat. It wasn’t until he left Chicago that they won a Cup.

4- Adrian Aucoin, Aug 2 2005, 4 years $16M: Signed by Dale Tallon. With a $39M salary cap this contract is equivalent to $7.4M AAV in 2017 money. For the first two seasons, he had 22 PTS in 92 GP and was -35. Not what you paid for.

5- Steve Montador, June 30 2011, 4 years $11M: Signed by Stan Bowman. RIP. With all due respect to the dead, this was a terrible contract. It’s possible that head injuries contributed to how much he sucked as a Blackhawk. There just aren’t that many bad contracts to choose from.

6- Cam Barker, July 6 2009, 3 years $9.25M: Signed by Dale Tallon. This contract was bought out. The Blackhawks did not win a Cup until they traded this contract to Minnesota. His career took a steep nose dive almost the moment he left Chicago.

7- Martin Lapointe, Aug 4 2005, 3 years $7.8M: Signed by Dale Tallon. That’s like $4.5M AAV in today’s dollars. He had 1 decent season left in the tank but stayed for 3. Ironically enough he was traded away at the end for a 6th round pick that became Ben Smith. That takes us to…

8- Ben Smith, June 27 2014, 2 years $3M: Signed by Stan Bowman. Shipped to San Jose in year 1 before Chicago won another Cup. Smith ended this contract in the AHL. Note that I rank the worst contracts by total dollars spent, so I did not deliberately rank Smith after the guy he was traded for. That was 100% a coincidence and the first time I’ve observed a “worst contract” being traded for a draft pick that became a “worst contract”. There has to be more.

9- David Rundblad, June 29 2015, 2 years $2M: Signed by Stan Bowman. He played 9 games scoring 2 PTS before “this contract was terminated”. Thanks Cap Friendly Geek.

10- Viktor Tikhonov, July 1 2015, 1 year $1M: Signed by Stan Bowman. Played 50 games and scored 6 PTS. That’s not worth a million dollars dude.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ottawa Senators 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


What are the 10 best and worst non entry level contracts signed by the Ottawa Senators in the salary cap era? Ottawa is a tight budget team so its common for them to squeeze money from their RFAs, but they’ve wiffed a few times on big ticket contracts. That Heatley contract did not end well, Bobby Ryan is way overpaid, etc.

BEST

1- Dany Heatley, Aug 23 2005, 3 years $13.5M: Signed by John Muckler. The Senators got two 50 goal seasons, 290 PTS in 235 GP, and a Stanley Cup finals appearance on this contract. That’s on the all-time best bargains list.

2- Erik Karlsson, Jun 19 2012, 7 years $45.5M: Signed by Brian Murray. He won a Norris trophy in 2015 and carried his team to a Conference finals in 2017. He’s one of the best defensemen in the NHL. His next contract will be whatever he wants it to be.

3- Mike Fisher, Aug 10 2005, 3 years $4.5M: Signed by John Muckler. That’s a great price for 215 GP, 139 PTS, 558 shots, 1682 face off wins, 538 hits, 16 short handed PTS, and a Stanley Cup finals appearance.

4- Jason Spezza, Aug 12 2005, 1 year $1.1M: Signed by John Muckler. They got 90 PTS in 68 GP for a little over a million dollars. Bargain.

5- Jason Spezza, July 3 2006, 2 years $9M: Signed by John Muckler. They got 179 PTS in 143 GP and a Stanley Cup finals appearance on this contract. That’s well worth the price.

6- Kyle Turris, Aug 29 2012, 5 years $17.5M: Signed by Brian Murray. Kyle obviously did not have an accurate assessment of his self worth when he signed this contract, costing himself millions of potential dollars. Maybe he was just grateful that Ottawa saved him from Phoenix. He began producing at the level of a $4M-$5M AAV player very early in this contract. Ottawa gambled and won.

7- JG Pageau, June 18 2015, 2 years $1.8M: Signed by Brian Murray. When Pageau pulled off his playoff heroics in 2017, he did so making $900K AAV. The team spent $1.8M on 76 regular season PTS, 302 shots, 11 short handed PTS, and 1172 face off wins (53% W%). That’s an unreal bargain. He’s getting a big raise this summer.

8- Antoine Vermette, July 31 2008, 2 years $5.5M: Signed by Brian Murray. That’s a great price for a 26 year old who produced 161 GP, 101 PTS, 330 shots, and 1494 Face off wins (55.6% W%) under this contract.

9- Mark Stone, Jun 25 2015, 3 years $10.5M: Signed by Brian Murray. Through 2 seasons he’s already collected 146 GP, 115 PTS, and 285 shots. Not the best skater in the world, but maybe among the best hands in the world.

10- Colin Greening, May 19 2011, 3 years 2.4M: Signed by Brian Murray. For $2.4M they bought 205 GP, 73 PTS, 372 shots, and 536 hits. That’s a good price.

WORST

1- Bobby Ryan, Oct 2 2014, 7 years $50.7M: Signed by Brian Murray. If he made $4M AAV I’d be thrilled to have him on my team. That’s just too much money. He had some big moments in the 2017 playoffs, but that’s not worth $7M AAV…not even close.

2- Jason Spezza, Nov 2 2007, 7 years $49M: Signed by Brian Murray. He scored 404 PTS in 446 GP, but accounting for cap inflation that’s a $9M AAV in 2017 numbers. Ottawa wanted to dump this contract for a while but had trouble finding a buyer. That’s too much money for Jason Spezza.

3- Dany Heatley, Oct 3 2007, 6 years $45M: Signed by Brian Murray. There were no 50 goal seasons on this contract. He was getting paid that way but his production started to decline until the last year of the deal when he scored 28 PTS in 72 GP for $7.5M AAV. He had a good first year in San Jose, but got considerably worse each season after that.

4- Jared Cowen, Sep 13 2013, 4 years $12.4M: Signed by Brian Murray. I’m not too sure how the wheels fell off this bus, but his career was looking promising before it started to nose dive in 2015. He was eventually dumped on Toronto but played zero games with that team before being bought out.

5- Milan Michalek, July 1 2014, 3 years $12M: Signed by Brian Murray. He was among the highest paid AHL players in 2016/17.

6- Colin Greening, Sep 9 2013, 3 years $8M: Signed by Brian Murray. He played more AHL than NHL games under this contract.

7- David Legwand, July 5, 2014, 2 years $6M: Signed by Brian Murray. By age 34 Legwand didn’t have a lot left in the tank. His point scoring rate declined by almost half in year 1.

8- Jason Smith, July 8 2008. 2 years $5.2M: Signed by Brian Murray. He scored 1 point in 63 GP before retiring. Ottawa missed the playoffs. He probably should have retired in July of 2008 to save himself some embarrassment.

9- Chris Phillips, Mar 5 2014, 2 years $5M: Signed by Brian Murray. He played 36 games and scored 3 PTS during this “thanks for your service to the organization” contract.

10- Bobby Butler, July 14 2011, 2 years $2.1M: Signed by Brian Murray. He played just 56 games before the contract was bought out.

Detroit Red Wings 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


What are Detroit’s 10 best and worst non entry level contracts signed since 2005? Ken Holland is regarded very highly as a General Manager in the hockey world, and he was signed all Detroit’s contracts and buyouts under the salary cap. He has signed some fantastic contracts, some that won awards and a championship. He’s also wiffed on a few.

BEST

1- Nicklas Lidstrom, June 30 2006, 2 years $15M: A 2 year contract that won 2 Norris trophies and a Stanley Cup. Drop the microphone…

2- Henrik Zetterberg, Sep 7 2005, 4 years $10.6M: The Red Wings got 292 GP, 318 PTS, 1167 shots, +98, 125 power play PTS, 2059 face off wins, and that’s just regular season. He also won a Stanley Cup and a playoff MVP. One of the all-time best bargains in the NHL (even accounting for cap inflation).

3- Nicklas Lidstrom, June 1 2010, 1 year $6.2M: He won the Norris Trophy on a one year contract. He retired next season.

4- Pavel Datsyuk, Apr 6 2007, 7 years $46.9M: They won a Stanley Cup that they wouldn’t have won without this contract. Also 476 PTS in 461 GP in the regular season is good too. Oh yeah, and he won 3 Selke trophies on this deal.

5- Nicklas Lidstrom, Dec 26 2007, 2 years $14.9M: Nick was merely nominated for the Norris trophy under this contract, but still took the team to another Stanley Cup finals.

6- Mikael Samuelsson, Mar 25, 2006, 3 years $3.5M: Here’s what $3.5M can buy you, 207 GP, 114 PTS regular season, a Stanley Cup and 63 playoff games with 34 playoff PTS. That’s a win.

7- Pavel Datsyuk, Sep 26 2005, 2 years $7.8M: They did not win any Cups with this contract, but that’s tremendous value for 154 GP 174 PTS.

8- Tomas Holmstrom, Feb 17 2007, 3 years $6.75M: They got 180 GP and 122 PTS regular season and a Stanley Cup. Also played 56 playoff games with 26 PTS.

9- Niklas Kronwall, Nov 23 2006, 5 years $15M: 352 GP, 181 PTS regular season and a Stanley Cup. He added 15 playoff PTS in their Cup winning season.

10- Justin Abdelkader, Sep 15 2012, 4 years $7.2M: 271 GP, 127 PTS, 552 shots, 652 hits, and that’s just regular season. At that price, that’s a win.

WORST (ordered by total $ spent)

1- Jimmy Howard, Apr 16 2013, 6 years $31.75M: Howard has not played well under this contract, except for small stretches at a time. He had a decent 2017 in limited action, but that doesn't make him worth that money. If any other team wanted this contract, he'd be gone already.

2- Danny DeKeyser, July 26 2016, 6 years $30M: The Red Wings really had no choice but to overpay DeKeyser. They could not afford to lose him to free agency with their shallow blue line. He plays a lot of tough minutes against other team’s top lines, but he’s got limited offensive upside. Not great at getting pucks up to the forwards.

3- Jonathan Ericsson, Nov 27 2013, 6 years $25.5M: This contract is half over and has started to look bad. Ericsson looks slow and is no longer a very effective player. His best days are behind him.

4- Stephen Weiss, July 5 2013, 5 years $24.5M: On a “production per dollar spent” basis this is probably Ken Holland’s worst mistake under the salary cap. He was bought out after two bad seasons.

5- Mike Green, July 1 2015, 3 years $18M: They brought him in on a big price tag to be a power play quarterback, and the PP has mostly sucked since he’s been there, so they did not get what they paid for.

6- Jakub Kindl, June 29 2013, 4 years $9.6M: He’s been a better AHL defenseman than NHL. Except guys making this kind of money aren’t supposed to still be playing in the AHL.

7- Petr Mrazek, July 27 2016, 2 years $8M: Petr had 54 GP with 27 wins, 2.33 GAA,  .921 SV% before signing this contract. That dropped down to 50 GP with 18 wins, 3.04 GAA, .901 SV%. He was among the worst goalies in the league.

8- Mikael Samuelsson, July 1 2012, 2 years $6M: 30 GP 4 PTS is not good. This was one of those “thanks for the memories” contracts.

9- Jordin Tootoo, July 1 2012, 3 years $5.7M: He played 53 games with 9 PTS over 2 seasons before being bought out. He got overpaid coming off a career year with 30 PTS.

10- Carlo Colaiacovo, Sep 16 2012, 2 years $5M: He played 6 regular season games before Detroit bought him out.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


The best and worst non-entry level contracts the Penguins have signed in the salary cap era is all about championships. They’ve won 3 of them, and I don’t like putting contracts that won Cups on the worst contracts lists. If you got paid a good salary and played with Crosby and Malkin in the playoffs, you better have won a Cup. Ron Hainsey, Trevor Dailey, Olli Maatta, Mark Streit, proved in 2017 that you can suck and still win a Cup on a team with Sid and Geno. Ergo, if you played and did not win, you must REALLY suck. That’s my theory anyway.

BEST

1- Sidney Crosby, June 28 2012 12 years $104M: Signed by Ray Shero. This contract has produced 2 Stanley Cup wins and 2 playoff MVPs and it’s not even over yet. Anytime you can get the best player in the world for less than the league maximum, you’re doing great.

2- Sidney Crosby, July 7 2007, 5 years $43M: Signed by Ray Shero. This contract only produced 1 Stanley Cup, but also 371 PTS in 257 GP. That’s well worth whatever the price you paid. When you can get the best player in the world, no price is too high (well under a hard salary cap anyway…not sure he’d be worth a billion dollars, close, but not quite).

3- Evgeni Malkin, July 2 2008, 5 years $43M: Signed by Ray Shero. The Penguins did not get a Cup out of this contract, but they did get a Hart Trophy for league MVP. Anytime you can get one of those, it’s worth whatever the price you paid. It’s hard to put a price on guys this good.

4- Evgeni Malkin, June 13 2013, 8 years $76M: Signed by Ray Shero. Three seasons into this contract they’ve won 2 Stanley Cups, 200 PTS in 188 GP, 46 playoff PTS and counting. They’re not quite finished yet I don’t think. Malkin could have been playoff MVP in 2017 if not for Crosby.

5- Kris Letang, Mar 30 2010, 4 years $14M: Signed by Ray Shero. In the first year of this contract Letang nearly doubled his point production up to 50 PTS in 82 GP. He averaged close to 24 minutes per game, quickly becoming the Penguins best defensemen.

6- Matt Murray, Oct 20 2016, 3 years $11.2M: Signed by Jim Rutherford. This kid won 2 Stanley Cups on his entry level contract. I don’t think any goalie in the salary cap era has managed to do that as the starter. It was a nice run Marc, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

7- Chris Kunitz, Oct 13 2011, 2 years $7.4M: Signed by Ray Shero. No Cups on this contract, but they did get 120 PTS in 126 GP. He was also +55 with 331 shots and 261 hits.

8- Pascal Dupuis, June 28 2011, 2 years $3M: Signed by Ray Shero. No Cups on this contract, but they did get 97 PTS in 130 GP. He was also +49 with 354 shots and 194 hits.

9- Brian Dumoulin, July 9 2015, 2 years $1.6M: Signed by Jim Rutherford. A two-year contract that produced 2 Stanley Cup victories. They leaned heavily on Dumoulin for a ridiculously low price tag.

10- Ian Cole, June 29 2015, 3 years $6.3M: Signed by Jim Rutherford. The first two years of this has produced 2 Stanley Cups, where Cole played an important role. He was very dependable in the playoffs.

WORST (ordered by total $)

1- James Neal, Feb 19 2012, 6 years $30M: Signed by Ray Shero. You can make an argument that this contract doesn’t belong here based on regular season production, but he also played in the playoffs with a healthy Crosby and Malkin twice under this contract and never won a Cup (including 4 PTS in 13 GP in 2014). That’s a fail.

2- Paul Martin, July 1st 2010, 5 years $25M: Signed by Ray Shero. 4 playoff appearances with a healthy Crosby and Malkin and did not win a Stanley Cup. By my criteria that means you suck.

3- Ryan Whitney, July 1st 2007, 6 years $24M: Signed by Ray Shero. Played in the playoffs with a healthy Crosby and Malkin and did not win a Stanley Cup. They shipped him out part way through the 2009 season and the team went on to win the Cup. Addition by subtraction.

4- Zbynek Michalek, July 1st 2010, 5 years $20M: Signed by Ray Shero. Played in the playoffs with a healthy Crosby and Malkin and did not win a Stanley Cup. They did manage to sell him for a 3rd round pick, so the contract did have some value.

5- Rob Scuderi, July 5 2013, 4 years $13.5M: Signed by Jim Rutherford. Two playoff appearances with a healthy Crosby and Malkin under this contract and did not win a Stanley Cup. They dumped him part way through the 2016 season and went on to win the Cup. Addition by subtraction.

6- Darryl Sydor, July 2 2007, 2 years $5M: Signed by Ray Shero. He played with Crosby and Malkin and did not win a Cup. He was shipped out of town early in Crosby’s first championship season. Did not do much for the money he was paid.

7- Tyler Kennedy, July 1st 2011, 2 years $4M: Signed by Ray Shero. Two years of this contract played with Crosby and Malkin healthy in 2 playoffs and did not win a Cup.  He won a Cup on his entry level, but I’m looking at this on a contract by contract basis.

8- Christian Ehrhoff, July 1 2014, 1 year $4M: Signed by Jim Rutherford. He had 14 PTS in 47 GP and did not win a Cup playing on a team with a healthy Crosby and Malkin. Sure he was injured, but even when healthy he was terrible this season.

9- Andre Roy, Aug 4 2005, 3 years $3M: Signed by Craig Patrick. The Pens dumped this contract after 47 games. Not worth a roster spot. Played with Sidney Crosby and missed the playoffs.

10- Marcel Goc, July 1st 2011, 1 year $1.2M: Signed by Ray Shero. 9 PTS in 74 GP is not what they paid for.

Nashville Predators 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


Here are the 10 best and worst non-entry level contracts that the Nashville Predators have signed since the salary cap was introduced in 2005. All of these were signed by David Poile, and all buyouts were also by Poile. The first thing you notice is how good he’s been at getting skilled RFA defensemen to sign low ball contracts coming out of entry level. His best contracts are more good than his worst contracts are bad, which probably has a lot to do with how long Poile has managed to keep his job.

And yes, salary cap inflation is accounted for.

BEST

1- Shea Weber, June 23 2008, 3 years $13.5M: The Preds got roughly $7M AAV of production for $4.5M AAV over 3 seasons. Among the reasons Poile was able to get such a sweet deal, Weber had suffered a series of leg injuries in the last year of his entry level contract.

2- Roman Josi, June 10 2013, 7 years $28M: This is one of the best bargains in the NHL right now and probably makes the list for 10 best NHL contracts since 2005. His points per game almost doubled from the last year of his entry level to the 2nd year of this contract. I guess his agent didn’t expect he’d be as good as he’s become. This contract cost his client millions of dollars going 7 years for that low number.

3- Pekka Rinne, Feb 24 2010, 2 years $6.8M: At the end of this contract Rinne became the highest paid goalie in the NHL. He had 76 wins, 40 losses, and a Vezina trophy nomination for $6.8M. He also won 11 playoff games.

4- Ryan Suter, June 16 2008, 4 years $14M: June 2008 was a good month for David Poile, locking up both Weber and Suter to bargain contracts. They got 167 PTS in 313 GP from the blue line.

5- Ryan Ellis, Oct 5 2014, 5 years $12.5M: Poile seems to be getting better at convincing his best RFA defensemen to sign very team friendly contracts coming out of entry level. Ellis has emerged as an unreal bargain for $2.5M AAV scoring 16 regular season goals and helping the Preds advance to the Stanley Cup finals in 2017.

6- Mattias Ekholm, Oct 26 2015, 6 years $22.5M: His production dipped in year 2 of this contract, but he also played 25 minutes a game with 11 PTS in the playoffs to help Nashville advance to the Stanley Cup finals. For $3.5M AAV, that’s awesome.

7- Rich Peverly, July 25 2008, 2 years $975K:  He signed for the basement price of $487K AAV (which has to be close to the league minimum). In year 1 Pev had 9 PTS in 27 GP before being waived. He scored 90 PTS in 121 GP over the remainder of this contract in an Atlanta Thrashers jersey. The year after this contract expired he won a Stanley Cup in Boston. It’s pretty rare to see anyone on a “best contracts” list get waived. Oops. Even Poile makes mistakes sometimes.

8- Dan Hamhuis, Sep 21 2006, 4 years $8M: He played 321 games, scoring 97 PTS, averaging 22 min per game of ice time under this contract. He logged a lot of ice team for a cheap price.

9- David Legwand, July 22 2006, 2 years $3.75M: 143 GP, 107 PTS for under $4M. That’s a bargain price for that kind of production even after being adjusted for inflation.

10- Calle Jarnkrok, July 27 2016, 6 years $12M: This is the lowest AAV on a contract of 6+ years that I have come across in my research. In year 1 at age 23 Jarnkrok produced at the level of a $3.5M AAV player for $2M. His best years should still yet be ahead of him. This is a great contract for Nashville.

WORST (ranked by total $ spent)

1- Shea Weber, July 24 2012, 14 years $110M: This might have been the last monster contract squeezed in before the last lockout. Philadelphia made an offer sheet and David Poile matched. It has returned good value so far, but the back half is going to get ugly.

2- Colin Wilson, July 27 2015, 4 years $15.75M: They’re getting about $2M AAV worth of production for $4M. He had a career year in 2014/15 and got paid for it at age 24. It’s not a terrible contract, but they are overpaying for what they’re getting.

3- Viktor Stalberg, July 5 2013, 4 years $12M: They got 28 PTS in 95 GP on the first 2 years of this contract before buying it out. $6M is a lot to pay for that little production.

4- Matt Lombardi, July 2 2010, 3 years $10.5M: He scored 53 PTS in 78 GP the season before signing this contract. Then he had some injury issues and went on to score 26 PTS in 92 GP over 3 years for $10.5M.

5- Eric Nystrom, July 5 2013, 4 years $10M: They got 185 GP and 40 PTS for $10M. That’s not very good value, but it should have been expected. He was producing at a similar rate prior to this contract. Poile just made a bad decision and ended up buying out this contract.

6- Sergei Kostitsyn, July 23 2012, 2 years $6M: A few months after Sergei’s brother got busted for partying with Radulov before a playoff game, he signed this contract in Nashville. When he returned from the lockout in 2013, he sucked and was bought out after 1 year.

7- Greg De Vries, July 2 2007, 2 years $5M: By the time Nashville signed him at age 34, his career was in decline. In the last year of this contract he played 71 games with 5 PTS, -15, while averaging just 15min per game of ice time.

8- Hall Gill, June 28 2012, 2 years $4M: He played 32 games with 0 PTS while only averaging 13min per game of ice time. It’s not a good idea to pay your 7th defenseman this much money, hence why he was bought out after 1 season. He was 6’7 at age 37. Decline was predictable.

9- Barret Jackman, July 1st 2015, 2 years $4M: Very comparable to the Hall Gill situation except Jackman was 34, so a bit younger. He only averaged 14min per game before being bought out after 1 season.

10- Olli Jokinen, July 2 2014, 1 year $2.5M: They got 10 PTS in 62 GP. It was easily the worst season in Jokinen’s career, but they did manage to sell him off to the Toronto Maple Leafs with a 1st round pick for Cody Franson. The Leafs probably would have taken just the 1st round pick. Jokinen didn’t sway the trade.