Thursday, January 4, 2018

10 Best/Worst NHL 1 Year Contracts

What have been the 10 best and 10 worst 1-year contracts given to NHL hockey players since the salary cap was introduced in 2005? Many of the best one-year contracts were given out immediately after the lost season, the first year of the salary cap. Teams were scrambling to become "cap compliant" in the new CBA, and a bunch of talented veteran free agents got squeezed into tiny, team friendly deals. Furthermore, if you're researching the best performing players on 1-year contracts, the name Teemu Selanne appears several times.


1) Brian Gionta, NJ, $627K, 2005/06: He scored 89 PTS. No player in the NHL salary cap era has scored more PTS for less money (entry level not included). It is the ridiculously low "dollars per point" that puts this number one on the list.

2) Justin Williams, CAR, $1.2M, 2005/06: The Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in part thanks to Williams scoring 76 PTS in the regular season and another 18 in the playoffs.

3) Teemu Selanne, ANA, $3.75M, 2006/07: The Mighty Ducks won the Stanley Cup and Selanne was a key contributor with 94 PTS in the regular season and 15 more in the playoffs.

4) Jason Spezza, OTT, $1.1M, 2005/06: The kid scored 90 PTS in 68 GP for a remarkably low price. This was only possible because of the lockout, the lost season, and the new CBA.

5) Antti Niemi, CHI, $827K, 2009/10: You won't find a cheaper price tag for a goalie who was the primary playoff starter on a Stanley Cup champion.

6) Devan Dubnyk, MIN, $800K, 2014/15: Dubnyk had a win-loss record of 36-14 with a 2.07 GAA and .929 SV%. He was nominated for the Vezina, which at that price is a remarkable feat.

7) Teemu Selanne, ANA, $3.2M, 2010/11: It's rare to see 40-year-old players hit the 80-point plateau, and this was the last time he did so. He did follow this up with a 66-point season.

8) Justin Schultz, PIT, $1.4M, 2016/17: Schultz scored 50 PTS in the regular season and after Letang's injury was the Penguins #1 defenseman for the playoffs winning the Stanley Cup. Not bad.

9) Teemu Selanne, ANA, $1M, 2005/06: Anytime you get 90 PTS for $1M, that's a win.

10) Dominik Hasek, DET, $750K, 2006/07: He signed with Detroit for a discount and finished with a win-loss record of 38-11 with a 2.05 GAA and .913 SV%. Finished 5th in Vezina Trophy voting.


1) Mats Sundin, VAN, $8.2M, 2008/09: The Canucks did finish first in their division and won a playoff series with Sundin getting 8 PTS in 8 postseason GP. That's a big price tag for 41 GP and 28 PTS, prorated or not. It wasn't enough to get them past the Blackhawks. Sundin was never seen in the NHL again. I do actually think the Canucks dodged a bullet here in that Sundin only wanted a 1-year deal. Had this been a multi-year contract, it could have been a disaster.

2) Ilya Bryzgalov, ANA, $2.9M, 2014/15: This was the end of the road for Bryz and a waste of money for Anaheim. He played 8 games with a 4.19 GAA and .847 SV% and was never seen in the NHL again.

3) Bobby Holik, NJ, $2.5M, 2008/09: At age 37 Holik probably should have called it a career and retired. He gave it one more kick at the can and scored 9 PTS in 62 GP averaging 10 minutes of ice time per game and was never seen in the NHL again.

4) Olli Jokinen, NSH, $2.5M, 2014/15: Jokinen played 62 games, scored 10 PTS at age 35, and was never seen in the NHL again.

5) Dwayne Roloson, TB, $3M, 2011/12: They tried to stretch one more year from that career at age 42 and it did not work out well. He played 40 games with a 3.66 GAA and .886 SV% and was never seen in the NHL again.

6) Andrej Meszaros, BUF, $4.1M, 2014/15: By age 28 Meszaros didn't have much left in the tank. He played under 18 minutes per game and scored 14 PTS in 60 GP. And guess what, he was never seen in the NHL can see a theme here.

7) Marco Sturm, VAN, $2.3M, 2011/12: That's expensive for 48 GP and 5 PTS. The Canucks were able to dump this contract on Florida by taking on 2 bad contracts in return. Sturm never played in the NHL again.

8) Jeff Friesen, WSH, $2.3M, 2005/06: This was a big contract in 2006, with a $39M cap and teams scrambling to become cap compliant. Friesen scored 11 PTS in 51 GP. He did get another 1-year contract after this one for $1.6M, but that would be his last NHL deal.

9) Alexei Ponikarovsky, LA, $3.2M, 2010/11: The Kings had to be expecting more than 15 PTS in 61 GP when they gave him this contract.

10) Mike York, NYI, $2.9M, 2006/07: York was not far removed from being a 50-point player, but only managed 21 PTS in 66 GP on this contract. It wasn't a complete loss for the Islanders though, as they managed to trade him to Philly for the draft pick that became Matt Martin.

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