Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Philadelphia Flyers 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era

What are the Philadelphia Flyers 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. I had a dilemma where I wanted to put the Carter and Richards contracts on the LA Kings best contracts list, but they were signed by Philadelphia so I need to post them here. Just know that they are only on the "best list" because of what they accomplished for another team.

BEST

1- Claude Giroux, Nov 8 2010, 3 years $11.3M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. He scored 227 PTS in 207 GP, which is a steal at that price. They managed to get “Peak Giroux” at a discount, but then over-payed on his next contract.

2- Wayne Simmonds, Aug 16 2012, 6 years $23.9M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. He’s already scored 224 PTS in 320 GP with two seasons left. But buyer beware, he’s about to turn 30. If they over-pay on his next contract to reward him for getting under-paid on this one, it could turn out badly.

3- Jeff Carter, Nov 13 2010, 11 years $58M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. I wanted to put this one on the LA Kings best contracts list because it helped them win 2 Stanley Cups, unfortunately I couldn’t because the contract was signed by the Flyers. The Flyers traded this contract away shortly after signing it.

4- Mike Richards, Dec 13 2007, 12 years $69M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. This contract was eventually bought out, which normally automatically qualifies for the worst contracts list. However, Richards did win 2 Stanley Cups with LA, so I really wanted to put this on LA’s best contracts list. Unfortunately, he signed it in Philly so I’ve got to put it here instead.

5- Jakub Voracek, July 26 2012, 4 years $17M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. The Flyers got 244 PTS in 285 GP at a really good price. Also took 798 Shots on Goal with a 54% Corsi For.

6- Jeff Carter, June 27 2008, 3 years $15M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. He had a career best 84 PTS in year one, with 211 PTS in 236 GP total. $5M wasn’t exactly cheap in 2008, but he was still worth every penny.



7- Sean Couturier, July 20 2013, 2 years $3.5M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. That’s a reasonable price for 76 PTS and 1100 face-off wins. He also played time on the power play and penalty kill.

8- Brayden Schenn, June 26 2014, 2 years $5M: Signed by Ron Hextall. Great value on a bridge deal that produced 106 PTS.

9- Scott Hartnell, June 18 2007, 6 years $25.2M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. In 439 GP he scored 274 PTS, 1040 shots, 776 hits, and 77 power play PTS. Philly followed this up with a mistake you can see on the worst contracts list below.

10- Jaromir Jagr, July 1 2011, 1 year $3.3M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. The old Czeck was very effective in Philly scoring 54 PTS in 73 GP. He sure brought out the best in Claude Giroux.

Honourable Mention:

10- RJ Umberger, July 6 2006, 2 years $2.3M: Signed by Bobby Clarke. That’s a good price for 78 PTS, even after accounting for cap inflation.

WORST  (ranked only by total $ spent)

1- Claude Giroux, July 4 2013, 8 years $66M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. His point total has significantly declined each of the first three years of this contract and now he’s 29 years old with 5 years left. He's had a resurgence in year four. This only ranks #1 because of total dollars spent, most contracts below rank higher in “degree of over-payment”.

2- Daniel Briere, July 1st 2007, 8 years $52M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. This one ranks pretty high on the “what exactly were you thinking” scale, with an AAV that adjusts to $9.4M accounting for cap inflation. An 8-year contract at 29 years old is a big risk. He peaked at 72 PTS under this deal, declining to 16 PTS in 34 GP in year six before being bought out.

3- Ilya Bryzgalov, June 23 2011, 9 years $51M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. He played 110 games for Philly before being bought out after year two. Don’t feel bad for Ilya though, he’ll be collecting $1.6M per year until 2027. Human beings will probably set foot on Mars before Ilya’s Flyers cheques stop coming…

4- Andrew MacDonald, April 15 2014, 6 years $30M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. By year two he scored 44 PTS, unfortunately 36 of those PTS were in the AHL. That’s a mighty big contract to play 43 AHL games in year two.

5- Scott Hartnell, Aug 20 2012, 6 years $28.5M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. A 6-year contract at age 31. That often turns out badly. He scored just 37 PTS in 78 GP in year four before being bought out.

6- Vincent Lecavalier, July 2 2013, 5 years $22.5M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. They overpaid for a 33-year-old forward with declining skills who had just been bought out from his previous terrible contract. By year three he had just 18 PTS in 49 GP and was described by a friend of mine; “watching LeCavalier skate is like watching a baby deer learning how to walk”. He retired with 2 years remaining on the contract.

7- Mike Rathje, Aug 1 2005, 5 years $17.5M: Signed by Bobby Clarke. The AAV is closer to $6.5M when you account for salary cap inflation. He had 24 PTS in 79 GP in year one. Injuries ended his career in year two. You could argue that Philly was saved by LTIR on this one, as he was a big slow over 30 defenseman.

8- Derian Hatcher, Aug 1st 2005, 4 years $14M: Signed by Bobby Clarke. Signed on the same day as Rathje, the Flyers really couldn’t read the tea leaves on where the NHL was going after the lockout. Hatcher never had the foot speed to play in a world without clutching and grabbing. He was a dinosaur by the time Philly signed him. Philly would eventually be saved by LTIR in year four.

9- Nolan Baumgartner, June 30 2006, 2 years $2.4M: Signed by Bobby Clarke. He played 13 NHL games and 51 AHL games for $2.4M. That’s a fail.

10- Oskar Bartulius, Dec 2 2009, 2 years $2M: He played 36 games in the AHL before being bought out. This is a rare multi-million dollar contract that resulted in zero NHL games.

Honorable mention:

*- Nick Schultz, Feb 20 2015, 2 years $4.5M: Signed by Ron Hextall. That’s a bit expensive for a guy with 14 PTS in 109 GP, playing just 15m a night by year two. Beware multi year contracts to over-30 defensemen.

*Nicklas Grossman, Apr 8 2012, 4 years $14M: Signed by Paul Holmgren. It's doubtful the Flyers were expected PTS, as Grossman has a career high of 12 when he signed this contract. He was deployed in more of a shut down role, which might explain why he averaged under 10 PTS and 45 Shots per season over these 4 years.

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