Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Buffalo Sabres 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era

What are the Buffalo Sabres 10 best and 10 worst non- entry level contracts they have signed since the NHL had a salary cap? The worst contracts are simply ordered by the total amount of money, not the degree to which they are an over-payment.


1- Ryan Miller, July 18 2008, 5 years $31.3M: Signed by Darcy Regier. This is not exactly a bargain, but he won a Vezina in 2010 and that’s usually good for automatic entry to a team’s best contracts list.

2- Jason Pominville, July 27 2006, 3 years $3.1M: Signed by Darcy Regier. They got 214 PTS in 246 GP at a bargain price. In year two he scored a career high 80 PTS at age 24.

3- Brian Campbell, July 11 2006, 2 years $3M: Signed by Darcy Regier. Getting 110 blueline PTS in 141 GP for $3M is unreal. Even after adjusting for a smaller cap in 2006 this is still an incredible bargain. His next contract will be a monster.

4- Derek Roy, July 27 2007, 6 years $24M: Signed by Darcy Regier. They got 327 PTS in 397 GP. Most of that production came over the first 4 seasons and he tailed off in years five and six at age 29 and 30. At that point though, he had already earned the money he made.

5- Ales Kotalik, July 23, 2006, 3 years $7M: Signed by Darcy Regier. They got 124 PTS in 220 GP. His next contract signed at age 30 can be viewed on the New York Rangers worst contracts list.

6- Andrej Sekera, July 19 2011, 4 years $11M: Signed by Darcy Regier. He only scored 25 PTS over the first two seasons, but then was traded to Carolina for Jamie McBain and a 2nd round pick. In Carolina he enjoyed a 44-point season at a great price.

7- Drew Stafford, Sep 13 2009, 2 years $3.8M: Signed by Darcy Regier. He scored 86 PTS on this bridge deal and earned himself a nice 4 year $16M contract after this one.

8- Rasmus Ristolainen, Oct 11 2016, 6 years $32M: Signed by Tim Murray. There are rumblings about Ristolainen’s subpar play early in 2017/18 thus far, but he’s still just 22 and being leaned on to play way too many minutes. There are only six other defensemen since 2005 who have put up at least 45 PTS at age 21.

9- Jochen Hecht, Aug 15 2005, 3 years $6M: Signed by Darcy Regier. That’s a respectable price for 215 GP and 147 PTS, even after accounting for cap inflation. Scroll down to the worst contracts list to see his next deal.

10- Daniel Briere, Aug 3 2006, 1 year $5M: Signed by Darcy Regier. Briere scored 95 PTS and earned himself a monster free agent contract. It was great value for the Sabres, but they ultimately lost the asset.


*- Paul Gaustad, June 30 2008, 4 years $9.2M: Signed by Darcy Regier. In 278 GP they got 103 PTS and over 4000 face-off wins. He had his career year the season before signing this contract, but still was a very useful 3rd line center.


1- Thomas Vanek, July 6 2007, 7 years $50M: Signed by Darcy Regier. This was an offer sheet signed by the Edmonton Oilers and matched by Buffalo. He did score 424 PTS over the span of this contract, but in hindsight the team would have been way smarter to let him go to Edmonton and take the 4 first round picks compensation.

2- Kyle Okposo, July 1 2016, 7 years $42M: Signed by Tim Murray. We may not be having this conversation if not for injury and illness last season, but they did give a 7-year contract to a 28-year-old so a production decline was predictable, it has just happened sooner than expected.

3- Christian Ehrhoff, June 30 2011, 10 years $40M: Signed by Darcy Regier. He scored 50 PTS his last season in Vancouver and has not approached that total since. He was bought out after just three seasons.

4- Ville Leino, July 1 2011, 6 years $27M: Signed by Darcy Regier. He scored 56 PTS the season before signing this contract. In 3 seasons for Buffalo he scored just 46 PTS before being bought out.

5- Matt Moulson, July 1 2014, 5 years $25M: Signed by Tim Murray. His 3 seasons in Buffalo have been the three worst seasons of his career. He hasn’t been bought out yet, but he absolutely should be.

6- Cody Hodgson, Sep 11 2013, 6 years $25.5M: Signed by Darcy Regier. He scored 20 goals and 44 PTS while averaging 18m of ice time per game in year one, then in year two his production completely collapsed down to 13 PTS in 78 GP and was bought out. He retired a year later at age 26.

7- Tyler Ennis, July 16 2014, 5 years $23M: Signed by Tim Murray. He scored 46 PTS in year one. He then scored 24 PTS in 74 GP in year two and three combined before being shipped out of town in the Scandella trade.

8- Brian Gionta, July 1 2014, 3 years $12.8M: Signed by Tim Murray. They gave a multi year contract to a 35-year-old and he averaged 34 PTS per season. He retired at the end of this contract.

9- Jochen Hecht, Oct 16 2007, 4 years $14M: Signed by Darcy Regier. They gave him a 4-year contract at age 31 and his point production immediately dropped from 49 to 27. By year four he scored just 8 PTS.

10- Shaone Morrisonn, Aug 2 2010, 2 years $4.2M: Signed by Darcy Regier. He played the entire 2nd season of this contract in the AHL. What else do I need to say?

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