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.

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