Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New York Rangers 10 Best, 20 Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era

What are the New York Rangers 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 overpayment. For the Rangers, the worst contracts list kinda writes itself. Infact I could not restrict their worst contracts to only 10, there were just too many terrible contracts I had to make it the top 20. They have a few of the worst whiffs in NHL salary cap history, including 2 signed on the same day. 

BEST

1- Henrik Lundqvist, Feb 14 2008, 6 years $41.25M: Signed by Glen Sather. This may not be a “bargain”, but he was one of the best goalies in the league over the span of this contract, winning the Vezina trophy in 2012. Almost every team in the league would have happily traded whoever their goalie was to acquire this contract.

2- Brandon Dubinsky, Sep 19 2009, 2 years $3.7M:  Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 20+ goals both seasons of this contract at age 23 & 24, and has never reached that milestone since.

3- Ryan Callahan, July 13 2009, 2 years $4.6M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 85 PTS in 137 GP. The Rangers hit a home run on a 4th round draft pick then hit home runs on his next two contracts after entry level.

4- Ryan Callahan, July 27 2011, 3 years $12.8M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 121 PTS in 186 GP. The Rangers were fortunate to get a player this skilled under $4.5M in his prime years of production. His next contract will be a monster and will probably make Tampa’s worst contracts list when I get to it.

5- Derek Stepan, Sep 26 2013, 2 years $6.2M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 112 PTS in 150 GP, playing 18 minutes per night working both power play and penalty kill. Productive player that can play all situations.

6- Mats Zuccarello, Mar 2 2015, 4 years $18M: Signed by Glen Sather. Getting 60-point players in their late 20s generally costs north of $5M AAV, and the Rangers have a good one locked in at $4.5M. There may yet be a production decline on the back end of this contract, which has not yet happened.

7- Ryan McDonagh, July 8 2013, 6 years $28M: Signed by Glen Sather. There is some debate about just how effective he is in year 5, but there’s no doubt the Rangers got a workhorse top pairing defenseman for below market price. He’s averaged 38 PTS and his combined +/- under this contract is +80. That’s good and he’s still young.

8- Marc Staal, Sep 15 2010, 6 years $19.9M: Signed by Glen Sather. This was a nice bargain for what Marc Staal provides, but his next contract will prove to be too much. He won’t produce much offense but he’s a decent player. It was good value under $4M AAV.

9- Dan Girardi, July 9 2010, 4 years $13.3M: Signed by Glen Sather. When he was younger, Girardi produced more offense. He averaged around 25 minutes per game on a very good team under this contract. But buyer beware, he’s about to get significantly more expensive and start to see age decline on the next contract below.

10- Chris Kreider, July 22 2016, 4 years $18.5M: Signed by Jeff Gordon. If he continues to produce 30 goals and 50 PTS over the duration of this contract, it will be a great deal for the Rangers. He’s right at the age of peak production and should continue to be a force for a few more years at least.

WORST

1- Brad Richards, July 2 2011, 9 years $60M: Signed by Glen Sather. Richards was quasi productive for the first two years then dropped to 50 PTS in year three at age 33 and was bought out. You shouldn’t give contracts like this to 30 year old players. As much as the Rangers love burning money, you can’t do this in a salary cap world.

2- Henrik Lundqvist, Dec 4 2013, 7 years $59.5M: Signed by Glen Sather. It did not take long on this contract for Lundqvist to get old. Now suddenly he’s mediocre at best and locked in at a lofty price tag. He’s not the King of anything right now.

3- Scott Gomez, July 1st 2007, 7 years $51.5M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 70 PTS in year 1 and it was pretty much all downhill after that. What’s worse is when you account for the smaller cap in 2007, this AAV is more like $10.5M, which is even more ludicrous. There should be more conspiracy theories about how Sather managed to trade this albatross to Montreal for Ryan McDonagh. Did the Montreal GM lose a bet? Was there blackmail involved?

4- Wade Redden, July 1st 2008, 6 years $39M: Signed by Glen Sather. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Wade Redden should be the highest paid player in AHL history (injury rehabs notwithstanding). I sure hope he paid for every single road meal that AHL team ate. He went from 38 PTS the year before signing the contract, down to 26 PTS in year one, 14 PTS by year two, AHL by year three.

5- Chris Drury, July 1st 2007, 5 years $35.25M: Signed by Glen Sather. In year one of the contract his point total fell by 11 from the previous season. By year three he dropped to 32 PTS, year four just 5 PTS, and there was no year five. That cap his was more like $10M AAV in today’s numbers when accounting for cap inflation. This qualifies as one of the all-time worst contracts in the salary cap era.

6- Marc Staal, Jan 18 2015, 6 years $34M: Signed by Glen Sather. Through the first two seasons he’s averaging around 19m of ice time per game and scored 25 PTS total with $11.4M already in the bank. That’s a mighty price tag for a guy turning 30 who should not be getting any better.

7- Dan Girardi, Feb 28 2014, 6 years $33M: Signed by Glen Sather. He was a bargain on his last contract, but turned 30 years old when he signed this new deal and started to decline. Once the PTS started to dry up this became a bad contract (which was almost right away). His ice time got smaller and smaller until he was bought out in year three.

8- Michal Rozsival, July 1st 2008, 4 years $20M: Signed by Glen Sather. He got worse every season under this contract that he signed at 30 years old. His next deal will be 1 year $2M. With cap inflation that AAV adjusts to $6.5M. In year 3 he was traded for another bad contract, Wojtek Wolski.

9- Dan Boyle, July 1 2014, 2 years $9M: Signed by Glen Sather. By age 38 Dan Boyle did not have much left in the tank. His offensive production fell to half of what it was when he was 35. That’s not good when you’re supposed to be an offensive specialist. The good news is that he avoided finishing his contract in the minors.

10- Ales Kotalik, July 9 2009, 3 years $9M: Signed by Glen Sather. Prior to signing this contract he scored 43 PTS. In year one he scored 27 PTS. By year two he was a regular AHLer earning $3M AAV, that’s a fail. The Rangers managed to trade this contract to Calgary, who sent him down to Abbotsford.

11- Darryl Boogaard, July 1 2010, 4 years $6.5M: Signed by Glen Sather. I’m not including this contract simply because he passed away, it still would have been a terrible contract had he lived to its end. This is the largest contract you’ll see for a one-dimensional fighter. Ryan Reaves is currently finishing off a 4 year $4.5M deal but is arguably a far better hockey player than the Boogeyman (who never even had more than 82 hits in a season). Boogeyman is in the conversation for worst all around hockey players in league history. He was never even voted MVP of the all-star game.

12- Mike Rupp, July 1 2011, 3 years $4.5M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 17 PTS the season before signing this contract. He had 5 PTS in 67 GP before he was traded to Minnesota for two players who made no impact at the NHL level. Eventually Minnesota sent him to the AHL. A tough guy over the age of 30 when he signed.

13- Tanner Glass, July 1 2014, 3 years $4.4M: Signed by Glen Sather. They gave a $1.4M AAV contract to a 30 year old tough guy who ended up playing 57 AHL games in year three. Millionaire AHLers are always an automatic fail.

14- Petr Prucha, July 5 2007, 2 years $3.2M: Signed by Glen Sather. They paid for a 40-point player and got half of that. He scored 30 goals as a rookie and got worse almost every season thereafter. In year two he was shipped to Phoenix in the Derek Morris trade.

15- Taylor Pyatt, July 3 2012, 2 years $3.1M: Signed by Glen Sather. In the last year of this contract he scored 5 PTS in 56 games and was waived. His next contract would be in the Swiss league.

16- Alex Frolov, July 27 2010, 1 year $3M: Signed by Glen Sather. He played 43 games and scored 16 PTS for $3M. This was his last NHL contract before returning to Russia.

17- Aaron Voros, July 1st 2008, 3 years $3M: Signed by Glen Sather. He played most of the last season of this contract in the AHL, but hey he reportedly had sex with Lindsay Lohan, so take that for whatever it’s worth.

18- Patrick Rissmiller, July 1 2008, 3 years $3M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored an impressive 54 PTS in 66 GP in year one, unfortunately all those points were scored in the AHL.

19- Donald Brashear, July 1 2009, 2 years $2.8M: Signed by Glen Sather. He spent the last year of this contract playing semi-pro in Quebec, probably the highest paid player LNAH history. He scored 17 goals for Riviere Du Loup for $1.4M. Another failed contract for a 30+ year old tough guy.

20- Aaron Asham, July 1 2012, 2 years $2M: Signed by Glen Sather. In year 2 he was playing in the AHL. He was a 34 year old tough guy when the Rangers signed him. See a pattern here?

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