Friday, November 17, 2017

Best NHL Contracts 2011

What players had the best bargain contracts in the NHL in the summer of 2011? This list was compiled in 2017 based on their performance during the 2010/11 season. Free agents signed that summer are eligible for next year’s list, so everyone nominated here has played at least 1 full season under the contract.

We are looking for the best bargains, preferably under 10% of the cap (which in 2011 is $59.4M, so under $6M Average Annual Value). This is not about listing the 15 best players in the game and then saying those are the 15 best contracts. It’s the 15 best bargains. Entry level contracts don’t count, since they all come from a cookie cutter and require no specific bargaining skill. There is a preference for contracts with more than 1 year remaining, except in the case of extreme bargains.


1) Corey Perry, ANA, 2 more yrs @ $5.3M AAV: For a guy who just won the league MVP, that is an incredible bargain of a contract. 82 GP, 96 PTS at age 25.

2) Ryan Kesler, VAN, 5 more yrs @ $5M AAV: He just won the Selke Trophy after carrying the Canucks to the Stanley Cup finals. He almost should have been a finalist for the Hart after a fantastic season at age 26.

3) Kris Letang, PIT, 3 more yrs @ $3.5M AAV: One of the best puck moving defensemen in the NHL. This season he jumped from a 30-point player to 50 PTS at age 23.

4) Milan Lucic, BOS, 2 more yrs @ $4.1M AAV: This physical beast of a man jumped from 9 goals in 2010 to 30 goals in 2011 at age 22. It’s no coincidence that he established himself in the league’s upper class the same season as Boston won a Stanley Cup.

5) Pekka Rinne, NSH, 1 more yr @ $3.4M AAV:  That is a great price to pay for 33 wins, 2.12 GAA and .930 SV%. Rinne has quickly become one of the league’s best goalies and was a close 2nd place in Vezina Trophy voting. The next contract will get expensive.

6) Ryan Getzlaf, ANA, 2 more yrs @ $5.3M AAV: At age 25 he scored 76 PTS in 67 GP and is one of the most feared centers in the league. He’s big, strong, physical (189 hits), and he can score. He probably deserves an assist for Perry’s Hart Trophy.

7) Joe Pavelski, SJ, 3 more yrs @ $4M AAV: He scored 66 PTS in 74 GP at age 26. He won 54% of his face-offs and had a 57% Corsi For. I’m generally skeptical of the Corsi statistic, but I do think it’s important for #1 centers, and Pavelski ranks very well in this category.

8) Dustin Brown, LA, 3 more yrs @ $3.2M AAV: That’s a bargain for a 27-year-old captain who just finished his 4th consecutive season with at least 24 goals. He also chipped in with 300 hits and 228 shots.

9) Alex Edler, VAN, 2 more yrs @ $3.25M AAV: The Canucks got tremendous value from this bridge contract, as Edler logged a ton of minutes in their trip to the championship final.

10) David Krejci, BOS, 1 more yr @ $3.75M AAV: He just won the Stanley Cup. In the regular season he scored 62 PTS in 75 GP at age 24. They’ve got another year of extreme bargain before he gets significantly more expensive.

11) Ryane Clowe, SJ, 2 more yrs @ $3.3M AAV: At age 27 Clowe averaged 18m of ice per game, scoring 24 goals, taking 185 shots, and throwing 153 hits in 75 GP. He’s become a legit power forward who will be in great demand when he goes UFA at the end of this deal.

12) Carey Price, MTL, 1 more yr @ $2.75M AAV: That’s a great price to pay for 38 wins and a .923 SVPCT. Pun intended. He finished 5th in Vezina Trophy voting and is very similar to Rinne in career projection and contract status.

13) Alex Burrows, VAN, 2 more yrs @ $2M AAV: He scored 9 goals and 17 PTS in the playoffs on the way to the Stanley Cup final. Also contributed 26 regular season goals. At 29 years old this contract is expiring at the perfect time, but the Canucks will likely give him an overpriced long-term extension that goes into his mid to late 30s.

14) Loui Eriksson, DAL, 5 more yrs @ $4.3M AAV: After back to back seasons with 70+ PTS, they’ve got the 25-year-old sniper locked in for the prime of his career at a great price.


15) Bryan Little, WPG, 2 more years @ $2.4M AAV: At 22 years old he scored 48 PTS playing over 18m per game. He was also a +11 on a Jets team that gave up the most goals in the league.

Worst NHL Contracts 2011

Here are the worst NHL contracts of 2011. This list was compiled in 2017 based on their performance during the 2010/11 season. Free agents signed that summer are eligible for next year’s list, so everyone nominated here has played at least 1 full season under the contract. There is preference given to contracts with more term remaining.

1) Vincent LeCavalier, 9 More yrs @ $7.7M AAV: In 2007 and 2008, LeCavalier scored 200 PTS. It has all been downhill ever since, dropping to a new low of 54 PTS in 2011, his worst performance in the last 9 seasons. His production took a dramatic decline at age 28, and now he’s 30. He’s getting worse each season and he’s under contract for the next decade.

2) Wade Redden, NYR, 3 more yrs @ $6.5M AAV: In 2011 the Rangers had enough of Redden and shipped him down to the minors, where he was the highest paid player in the AHL. Redden is still good enough to play in the NHL, but his cap hit is so much that it made sense for the Rangers to make cap space by eating his contract and demoting him down where he wouldn’t count against the cap.

3) Rick DiPietro, NYI, 10 more yrs @ $4.5M AAV: After 5 GP in 2009 and 8 GP in 2010, DiPietro was finally healthy enough to play 26 games. He won 9 of them with a 3.44 GAA and an .886 SV%. He seems to have reached the end of his usefulness and still has 10 years left on his contract. This highlights the risk of giving extreme term on guaranteed contracts.

4) Scott Gomez, MTL, 3 more yrs @ $7.3M AAV: Last season the Gomez situation went from awful to dreadful. He scored the lowest point total of his career (38) while still playing 80 games. In the first 6 seasons of the salary cap, no healthy forward has been paid more to score less.

5) Mike Komisarek, TOR, 3 more yrs @ $4.5M AAV: It has not taken Komisarek long to fall out of favour with the Leafs. In his second season he dropped down to under 14 minutes per game of ice time and has become a whipping boy for Leafs fans. This contract could yet prove to be the biggest blunder of Brian Burke’s career as a General Manager.

6) Keith Ballard, VAN, 4 more yrs @ $4.2M AAV: I’m not sure what they put in the water in Miami, but Ballard is one of many players to see his point production plummet upon leaving the sunshine state. In 2010 he scored 28 PTS then was traded to Vancouver and scored just 7 PTS in 2011. If he was even close to the player he was in Florida, Vancouver wins the Stanley Cup. Instead he made no meaningful contribution to their run to he final (10 GP, 14m of ice per game in the playoffs).

7) Nikolai Khabibulin, EDM, 2 more yrs @ $3.75M AAV: Nik once again made a great contribution to finishing in dead last, playing 47 games but getting only 10 wins, with a 3.40 GAA, .890 SV%. Since the lockout, Khabibulin has done a great job helping teams secure high draft picks. If that’s your goal, Nik is worth every penny.

8) Shawn Horcoff, EDM, 4 more yrs @ $5.5M: In the second season of a heavily front-loaded contract, Horcoff scored 27 PTS in 47 GP. His points per game and ice time have shrunk each of the past 3 seasons, and now he’s 31 years old with 4 years remaining at a significant cap hit.

9) Rostislav Olesz, FLA, 3 more yrs @ $3.1M AAV: After scoring 17 PTS in 44 GP, Olesz was traded to Chicago for Brian Campbell in what was certainly NOT a hockey trade. This was two teams trading bad contracts, the difference being that Chicago was trying to slide under the cap while Florida was trying to reach the salary floor. Basically, the Hawks gave Campbell away, which is sad considering he helped them win the Stanley Cup recently.

10) Brian Campbell, FLA, 5 more yrs @ $7.1M AAV: You would think that Campbell is a valuable commodity, as he helped Chicago win the Stanley Cup, but this summer his salary was dumped on Florida at age 31 in exchange for another terrible contract. Obviously, there weren’t any teams willing to trade anything of value for Campbell. Ergo, his contract sucks.

11) Anton Volchenkov, NJ, 5 more yrs @ $4.25M AAV: That’s a lot of money for someone who will not impress you on the stat sheet (8 PTS in 59 GP, 18m of ice per game). He’s a good hitter, average defensively, with limited offensive upside. He’s still only 28 years old, but being a heavy hitter may have accelerated his aging process, with his body starting to break down a bit early.

12) Thomas Vanek, BUF, 3 more yrs @ $7.1M AAV: Vanek is the best performing player on this “worst contracts” list with 32 goals and 73 PTS. He’s not here because he sucks, but rather his price tag is just way too high. Kevin Lowe got saved from what should have been the biggest mistake of his career when they matched his offer sheet. Buffalo could have had 4 first round draft picks. Hindsight is 20-20 I guess.

13) Mattias Ohlund, TB, 5 more yrs @ $3.6M AAV: At age 34 he scored 5 PTS in 72 GP playing 18.5 minutes per game. He scored 25 PTS playing 21.6m the season before signing this contract and got old fast. It would be remarkably convenient if some injury could prematurely end his career and save Tampa from the remainder of this terrible contract.

14) Jeff Finger, Tor, 1 more yr @ $3.5M AAV: He didn’t even play in the NHL last season. The Leafs seem happy to let him finish the contract in the AHL rather than buy him out.

15) Chris Drury, NYR, 1 more yr @ $7M AAV: After 5 PTS in 24 GP (playing an average of 12 minutes per game) at age 34, the Rangers bought out the last year of his contract. This one belongs in the Hall of Fame of Terrible Contracts.


Honorable mentions: Cam Barker, Ron Hainsey, Jay Bouwmeester, Jason Spezza, Ryan Malone, Sergei Gonchar, Jason Blake, Mike Commodore, Sheldon Souray, JP Dumont, Colin White

Thursday, November 16, 2017

10 Worst NHL Contracts Signed After Winning Stanley Cup (since 2005)

It’s not every day that NHL players win the Stanley Cup and immediately hit the free agent market. If you want to build a list of the 10 worst contracts signed in the months following a Stanley Cup win (in the salary cap era), there are limited options to choose from. That being said, it wasn’t all that difficult to build a worst contracts list from that database. Please note that players who had a new contract kick in after winning a Cup, but signed the extension prior to winning the Championship, are excluded. Otherwise the current Toews deal would be here.

1) Marian Gaborik, LA, June 26 2014, 7 years $34M: Signed by Dean Lombardi. It’s an enormous risk signing a 32-year-old player to a 7-year contract, especially one with an injury history. Gaborik’s production has plummeted since winning this Cup in 2014. Now he’s 35, scored 10 goals last season, and has 3.5 years remaining. That’s not good folks.

2) Dustin Penner, Edmonton, Aug 2 2007, 5 years $21.3M: Signed by Kevin Lowe. Brian Burke would be enormously satisfied to see this contract on this list. It was not included on Edmonton’s worst contract list, since he did win a Cup in year five, albeit with LA. However, within the scope of bad contracts signed soon after winning a Cup, he belongs here.

3) Tomas Kaberle, Carolina, July 5 2011, 3 years $12.75M: Signed by Jim Rutherford. The Boston Bruins did not win the Cup because of Kaberle, they won despite Kaberle. In year one he declined from 47 PTS to 31 PTS at age 33. He was dealt to Montreal where he did not play well. He was bought out after year two. His next contract was in Czechoslovakia. Buyer beware on multi-year contracts for over-30 defensemen.

4) Matt Greene, LA, June 26 2014, 4 years $10M: Signed by Dean Lombardi. Greene had just won his 2nd Stanley Cup with the team a few weeks earlier at age 31. His play soon declined, he ran into injury problems and LA bought out the contract in 2017. He retired after the buyout.

5) Nick Bonino, Nashville, July 1 2017, 4 years $16.4M: Signed by David Poile. We are talking about a guy who scored 25 playoff PTS over 2 Stanley Cup winning seasons. Obviously, he does something good. He has started this contract with 2 PTS in 6 GP and will play the last 3 seasons over the age of 30. That’s a bit pricey for a 3rd line center who may only chip in 30 or so PTS per year.

6) Frantisek Kaberle, Carolina, June 27 2006, 4 years $8.8M: Signed by Jim Rutherford. He was valuable in Carolina’s run to the Cup at age 31, and immediately got worse after signing this new deal. He dropped down to 15 minutes of ice per game in year one. After scoring 8 PTS in 30 GP in year three at age 34 Frankenstein was bought out. His next contract would be back in Czechoslovakia.

7) Willie Mitchell, Florida, July 1 2014, 2 years $8.5M: Signed by Dale Tallon. In year one at age 37 his point production dropped to single digits. They signed Mitchell a few days after drafting Aaron Ekblad, so the rationale was probably to pay Willie a premium to come in and mentor their prized rookie. But at this point in his career he probably should have retired.

8) Ben Lovejoy, New Jersey, July 1 2016, 3 years $8M: Signed by Ray Shero. Once again, beware multi-year contracts on defensemen over the age of 30.  Year one at age 32 did not go particularly well. He played 450 more regular season minutes than his Cup winning year and scored 3 fewer points. His Corsi even dropped down to 43%. He’s always been a competent 3rd pairing defensemen. Asking him to be a 2nd pairing D-man is a bit too much.

9) Antoine Vermette, Phoenix, July 1 2015, 2 years $7.5M: Signed by Don Maloney. The Coyotes bought out this contract after just one season at age 33, and this coming from a team that’s millions of dollars in debt and bleeding money on life support. How bad do you have to be for a team with no money to pay you to leave? The old GM had been fired and John Chayka bought out this contract 3 months after taking the job. Must have had a bad Corsi or something…

10) David Rundblad, Chicago, June 29 2015, 2 years $2M: Signed by Stan Bowman. He played 9 games scoring 2 PTS before “this contract was terminated” at age 24. He has not played any NHL games since. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

NHL 2017 Week 6 Fantasy Hockey Report

Players to watch, all formats:

1) Jason Zucker, Minnesota, (43% Yahoo ownership): He’s scored 7 PTS in his last 4 GP and is the most added player in Yahoo fantasy today. He’s certainly ownable in all leagues while this hot streak continues.

2) Charlie Lindgren, Montreal, (36% Yahoo ownership): If you lost Carey Price and picked up his replacement, you might actually be doing better than before. He’s 3-1 with a 1.24 GAA and .964 SV% in 4 GP. He should probably be owned by 100% of Carey Price owners, even if only on a temporary basis until Price returns.

3) Pavel Buchnevich, Rangers, (46% Yahoo ownership): He’s scored 11 PTS in his last 10 GP. He takes lots of shots and picks up a bunch of power play points. He has become standard league relevant.

4) Kyle Palmieri, New Jersey, (60% Yahoo ownership): He recently missed 6 games with a foot injury. If he was dropped in your league, go pick him up. He’s got some talented offensive players to play with, something I didn’t think I’d be saying about the Devils before the season.

5) Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim, (25% Yahoo ownership): He returned from injury 10 games ago and has put up 5 PTS. Coaches have been slowly increasing his ice time, to now where it’s been over 25 minutes the last 2 games. Guys like this who play this much will eventually start scoring in bunches.

Going Deep: players to add in deeper leagues:

1) Alex Kerfoot, Colorado, (9% Yahoo ownership): He’s at 9% owned as of the moment I’m writing this, but that should be rising quickly after scoring 7 PTS in his last 5 GP.

2) Alex Debrincat, Chicago, (9% Yahoo ownership): I’m not keen to buy stock in the Blackhawks right now, but Debrincat anyway has 7 PTS in his last 7 GP. A few analysts liked him as a rookie of the year candidate prior to the season.

3) William Karlsson, Vegas, (9% Yahoo ownership): Karlsson was 0% owned at the beginning of the season but suddenly has 12 PTS in his last 12 GP while playing top line minutes. He’s a borderline player in standard leagues, but a must add in deep leagues.

4) Tanner Pearson, LA, (8% Yahoo ownership): After a terrible start to the season Pearson now has 6 PTS in his last 6 GP. He was dropped in many leagues and may be available in yours. If he continues to produce at this rate he’ll soon be addable in standard leagues.

5) Derek Grant, Anaheim, (1% Yahoo ownership): He recently had a 5-game point streak and has been getting more playing time after the Getzlaf injury. Ride the wave while it lasts. Once he’s back down to 12 minutes or so per game, that’s the time to drop him.

Sell High:

1) Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg, (99% Yahoo ownership): I’m sure there aren’t many Wheeler owners thinking they need to get rid of this player who has scored 15 PTS in his last 7 GP. That pace will eventually slow down, so if you can leverage him to get a higher tier player, there’s no better time than right now.

2) Sean Couturier, Philly, (78% Yahoo ownership): It has been a surprisingly great season so far for Couturier who has 19 PTS in 17 GP. But don’t expect an 80-point season. There will be some regression to the mean coming soon. This is a great time to flip him for a more valuable asset.

3) Patrick Marleau, Toronto (72% Yahoo ownership): He’s got 6 PTS in his last 7 GP at 38 years old. There’s at least one Leafs fan in every fantasy league, and you might be surprised what they’d give you for Marleau…unless you are the Leafs fan in your league who owns him…

4) David Perron, Vegas, (29% Yahoo ownership): He’s got 14 PTS on the season including 9 in his last 8 GP. He’s returning good value for where you drafted him, but still is a piece you can comfortably throw into a trade offer to boost the value.

5) Will Butcher, New Jersey, (67% Yahoo ownership): His scoring has started to cool down and his ice time is lower than most good point producing defensemen. His ownership is too high and he’s borderline ownable in standard leagues. In deeper leagues where he still needs to be owned, now might be the best time to package him into trade offers.

Buy Low:

1) Jack Eichel, Buffalo, (99% Yahoo ownership): The sharp shooting young gun has hit a bit of a cold spell with 3 PTS in his last 8 GP. Now might be a good time to make an offer to the Eichel owner.

2) Dougie Hamilton, Calgary, (94% Yahoo ownership): With just 1 point in his last 7 GP, now might be a good time to make an offer for this kid.

3) Artemi Panarin, Columbus, (99% Yahoo ownership): He has scored 3 PTS in his last 9 GP. I’m not sure if he had a 9-game stretch with that few points the entire time he played with Patrick Kane. There may be reasons to be concerned, but the price to get him in a trade has to have dropped significantly.

4) Matt Murray, Pittsburgh, (100% Yahoo ownership): Over his last 6 starts he is 2-4 with 16 goals against. On the season he’s got a 2.90 GAA with a .906 SV%. He’s a better goalie than that. The Penguins have been struggling over the past few weeks without much offense from Crosby.

5) Colton Parayko, St. Louis, (77% Yahoo ownership): With 2 PTS in his last 10 GP, he’s barely ownable in a standard league. But for those in deep leagues, it might be a good time to buy.


Be concerned:

1) Brent Burns, San Jose, (100% Yahoo Ownership): Not even a year has passed since Burns name was being discussed as a contender to win the scoring title. That’ll never happen again. He had a renaissance around his 30th birthday and now he’s 32 years old. He’s not returning the value of where you drafted him and his ADP (average draft position) will drop significantly next season.

2) Craig Anderson, Ottawa, (81% Yahoo ownership): He’s given up 19 goals in his last 5 starts. He has aged better than most players, but at age 36, time may be starting to catch up with him. If he were my #1 goalie in a keeper league, I’d be desperately trying to trade him.

3) Nicklas Backstrom, Washington, (99% Yahoo ownership): He was featured in my “buy low” section last week, but has been upgraded to “be concerned”. He’s got just one point in Washington’s last 10 games, which has to be bothering his owners who no doubt drafted him very high.

4) Brandon Saad, Chicago, (94% Yahoo ownership): He started the season on fire after being reunited with Jonathon Toews, but now has just 2 PTS in his last 12 GP. That’s not what you drafted him to be. He may be worth dropping in standard leagues.

5) Duncan Keith, Chicago, (97% Yahoo ownership): It looks like all the miles on his odometer are starting to catch up with him. We’re almost ¼ way into the season and he still has not scored a goal. In his last 9 GP he’s got just one assist. I don’t see his future getting brighter anytime soon.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

NHL 2017 Week 5 Fantasy Hockey Report

Players to watch, all formats:

1) Brock Boeser, Vancouver, (35% Yahoo ownership): He scored a hat trick against Pittsburgh yesterday. If there are any Canucks fans in your league, he’s probably already owned.

2) Mikko Rantanen, Colorado, (34% Yahoo ownership): He’s up to 12 PTS on the season, including 5 in his last 4 GP. The kid can score. A must add in dynasty leagues, worth considering in standard leagues. Lots of upside here.

3) Anders Lee, Islanders, (70% Yahoo ownership): I added him this week in a standard league. He’s got 13 PTS in his last 8 GP.

4) Brendan Gallagher, Montreal (50% Yahoo ownership): He’s been on fire with 8 PTS in the last 2 weeks. I’m not sure how long that scoring rate will continue, but he’s a guy to ride while the going is good.

5) Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver, (35% Yahoo ownership): I’m not 100% sold on his viability as a long term #1 starter, but he has been playing very well for his last few games, and for the time being is a decent #2 fantasy option.

Going Deep: players to add in deeper leagues:

1) Mathew Barzal, Islanders, (9% Yahoo ownership): He’s got 10 PTS in his last 5 GP. He’s worth considering even in standard leagues. That ownership should hit 30% at least by the end of the week.

2) Yanni Gourde, Tampa, (4% Yahoo ownership): He’s got 5 PTS in his last 5 GP and was a darkhorse contender for Rookie of the Year by somebody at the Hockey News.

3) Lars Eller, Washington, (2% Yahoo ownership): 6 PTS in his last 4 GP is good for a guy that’s 2% owned. He’s a good target in deep leagues. He’ll eventually go cold again, but ride the wave while it lasts. Not worth considering in standard leagues yet.

4) Tomas Plekanec, Montreal, (3% Yahoo ownership): It was a brutal start to the season but he’s got 4 PTS in his last 4 GP. Worth a shot in deep leagues.

5) Kari Lehtonen, Dallas, (6% Yahoo ownership): Not someone I expected to be adding to the watch list today, but Bishop has been struggling lately and over his last 3 starts Lehtonen is 2-1 with a 1.17 GAA and .959 SV%. Perhaps not a viable long-term option, but he’s the best performing goaltender who is widely available in deep leagues. Worth a shot if you need a few extra starts.

Sell High:

1) Rick Nash, Rangers, (41% Yahoo ownership): He’s got 5 PTS in his last 4 GP. If you can find a buyer to take him off your hands, now might be the best time to move him.

2) Mike Smith, Calgary, (88% Yahoo ownership): He’s been sensational early this season but I do not expect him to finish with a 2.21 GAA and .933 SV%. There is some regression to the mean coming in the future, especially with the workload he’s getting.

3) Vincent Trochek, Florida, (61% Yahoo ownership): It won’t hurt you to keep Vinny, but he’s got 8 PTS in his last 5 GP and could be used as trade bait to get a better player who’s been slumping.

4) Steven Stamkos, Tamps, (100% Yahoo ownership): He’s been one of the best players in the NHL this season, so Stamkos is due for his annual freak injury/illness. If you’ve been holding him in a keeper league this might be the best time to sell.

5) Max Pacioretty, Montreal, (95% Yahoo ownership): After a terrible start to the season, Maximus has 7 PTS in his last 7 GP. If you were looking to sell, 2 weeks ago was a bad time. You’ll get a better return now.

Buy Low:

1) Fredrick Andersen, Toronto, (91% Yahoo ownership): He’s been struggling lately with a 3.56 GAA and .898 SV% over the last 2 weeks. He should eventually get better, so now might be the time to buy low.

2) Patrick Laine, Winnipeg, (99% Yahoo ownership): He went 4 games without scoring a point and complained to the media that hockey has gotten hard. He’s scored in 2 consecutive games since that admission. He’s off to a bit of a slow start and you may be able to get him from an owner expecting bigger things.

3) Richard Panik, Chicago, (62% Yahoo ownership): He’s gone pointless in 7 games and his owner is probably starting to panic. Probably not worth owning in a standard league, but you may be able to pick him up cheap in a deeper league.

4) Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh, (100% Yahoo ownership): He’s only got 3 PTS in his last 8 GP. If ever there was a good time to make an offer for Sidney Crosby, it’s right now. At some point in the near future he’ll catch fire again.

5) Nicklas Backstrom, Washington, (99% Yahoo ownership): With 1 point in his last 7 games, his trade value might never be cheaper than it is right now. He’ll bounce back soon enough, but in the meantime, pitch an offer and see what happens.

Be concerned:

1) Brent Seabrook, Chicago, (74% Yahoo ownership): He’s gone pointless in 6 straight games and is owned in far too many leagues. If you own Seabrook, in almost any league, there’s a better guy on the waiver wire.

2) Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit, (69% Yahoo ownership): 2 PTS in his last 7 GP, he can be safely dropped in all standard leagues.

3) Nikita Zaitsev, Toronto, (55% Yahoo ownership): He’s got 1 point in his last 11 GP and is owned in too many leagues. Granted if you do own him you're probably a Leafs fan and won't listen to this advice.

4) John Gibson, Anaheim, (95% Yahoo ownership): In his last 4 starts he’s 1-3 with 14 GA. All this after Ryan Miller has come off IR and is playing good. If Gibson continues to have some struggles, he’ll have a short leash with the veteran back-up.

5) Brian Elliott, Philly, (68% Yahoo ownership): He’s been one of the worst performing goalies over 60% ownership, with 14 GA in his last 4 games. His season GAA is 3.11 with an .892 SV%. If he’s the #1 goalie on your team, it’s not looking good.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Phoenix Coyotes 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era

What are the Phoenix Coyotes 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.

BEST

1- Oliver Ekmanlarsson, Mar 15 2013, 6 years $33M: Signed by Don Maloney. He is such a good defenseman on such a bad team. He’s averaged around 25 minutes of ice time per game and twice eclipsed 220 shots on goal in a season. Year three produced his best individual season at 55 PTS.

2- Mike Smith, July 1 2011, 2 years $4M: Signed by Don Maloney. This contract included a run to the Conference finals. These might have been the best two seasons of Mike Smith’s career. Way to capture “Peak Smith” at a bargain price. Scroll down to see his next contract.

3- Ilya Bryzgalov, Jan 22 2008, 3 years $12.8M: Signed by Don Maloney. Over the last 2 seasons of this contract, Bryz had a win-loss record of 78-40. Anytime you get a winning % that high for that price, it must be considered a bargain. He was good. His next contract however, is on the all-time terrible contracts list.

4- Keith Yandle, July 17 2009, 2 years $2.4M: Signed by Don Maloney. He scored 30 PTS in 69 GP in the last year of his entry level before signing this contract. He jumped up to 41 PTS in year one and 59 PTS in year two. That’s a bargain at that price.

5- Martin Hanzal, Oct 8 2011, 5 years $15.5M: Signed by Don Maloney. He ran into some injury issues on this contract but still managed to produce 167 PTS in 276 GP with 657 shots, 676 hits, and 4755 face-off wins. That’s good.

6- Radim Vrbata, July 1 2011, 3 years $9M: Signed by Don Maloney. In year one of this contract he jumped up to 35 goals and 62 PTS, finishing with 141 PTS in 191 GP. He earned his $9M with that production.

7- Ray Whitney, July 1 2010, 2 years $6M: Signed by Don Maloney. Ray put up 77 PTS in year two at 39 years old. He’s on the list of best performing assets over age 35 in the modern NHL.

8- Radim Vrbata, Aug 16 2016, 1 year $3.3M: Signed by John Chayka. This was signed as $1M base salary and $2.3M in bonuses. He hit all his bonus clauses with 81 GP, 20 goals, 55 PTS. Good season at a fair price.

9- Eric Belanger, Sep 14 2010, 1 year $750K: Signed by Don Maloney. That’s a great price for 40 PTS. This season earned him a big UFA deal with Edmonton that ended in a buyout. For 2010/11 at least, he was good.

10- Martin Hanzal, Sep 10 2010, 2 years $3.6M: Signed by Don Maloney. That’s a good price for 60 PTS. He also contributed 386 hits and over 1000 face off wins.

WORST

1- Mike Smith, June 30 2013, 6 years $34M: Signed by Don Maloney. In years two, three, four of this contract he had 48 wins, 81 loses, 2.95 GAA, .910 SV%, and zero playoff games. That’s not elite goaltending. Perhaps you can blame it on the team, but there were still some good defensemen playing in front of him. He was shipped of to Calgary with 2 years remaining.

2- Ed Jovanovski, July 1 2006, 5 years $32.5M: Signed by Mike Barnett. He was a good defenseman for the first half of this contract, but declined significantly towards the end. His average ice time shrank each year, which is not unexpected on a 5-year deal given to a 30-year-old player. Remember that adjusting for cap inflation that AAV is closer to $10.7M.

3- Alex Goligoski, June 21 2016, 5 years $27.4M: Signed by John Chayka. It may be a bit soon to put this contract here, but they gave a 5-year deal to a 31-year-old defenseman. That often turns out badly, especially when their value is attached to offensive production.

4- Mike Ribeiro, July 5 2013, 4 years $22M: Signed by Don Maloney. He played 1 season scoring 47 PTS and was bought out. What had to happen for a team bleeding money to buy out an expensive contract getting nothing in return? There were some shenanigans in his personal life.

5- Shane Doan, Sep 15 2012, 4 years $21.2M: Signed by Don Maloney. A 4-year deal for a 34-year-old player is a big risk. He scored 157 PTS in 268 GP, which isn’t terrible, but at that price is still expensive.

6- Jamie McGinn, July 1 2016, 3 years $10M: Signed by John Chayka. He had a career year with 39 PTS in 84 GP the season before signing this contract. The Coyotes paid him a good wage to score 17 PTS in 72 GP in year one, then shipped him to Florida for Jason Demers.

7- Nick Boynton, June 28 2006, 3 years $8.9M: Signed by Mike Barnett. The only thing he was good at in Phoenix was taking penalties. That AAV is closer to $5M when accounting for salary cap inflation.

8- Wojtek Wolski, June 24 2010, 2 years $7.6M: Signed by Don Maloney. The Coyotes picked a bad time to invest in the 24-year-old Wolski, who saw his production fall by almost half in year one. They managed to trade him to the Rangers for a 3rd round pick before the bottom really fell out, which was a smart move.

9- Antoine Vermette, July 1 2015, 2 years $7.5M: Signed by Don Maloney. The Coyotes bought out this contract after just one season, and that never made sense to me. Vermette was just as good in 2015/16 as he was in 2014/15, maybe even better. There may be more to this story that we didn’t hear.

10- Zbynek Michalek, July 1 2015, 2 years $6.2M: Signed by Don Maloney. That’s a bit pricey for 7 PTS in 73 GP. There was an injury in there to consider, but he still wasn’t much good when he was healthy.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

San Jose Sharks 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era

What are the San Jose Sharks 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. Every single one of these was signed by Doug Wilson. I've noticed that Doug does not give out many terrible contracts. His strike-outs tend to have a smaller price tag than many General Managers. That might have something to do with why he's kept that job so long.

BEST

1- Marc Vlasic, July 11 2012, 5 years $21.3M: He was never a big point scorer, but still produced a 39-point season in year three. He played some tough minutes for the Sharks and was +62 over this span. This is one of those guys who could play in the top 4 of any team in the league.

2- Logan Couture, Aug 30 2011, 2 years $5.8M: He scored 91 PTS in 113 GP. This price tag was very low considering he was coming off back to back 30 goal seasons on the end of his entry level deal.

3- Martin Jones, July 1 2015, 3 years $9M: They took a gamble on a guy who had mostly just been a really good back-up goalie and instead got a legit #1 who took them to a Stanley Cup final. Not bad.

4- Joe Pavelski, June 25 2008, 2 years $3.3M: He jumped up from 40 to 59 PTS in year one of this contract and finished with 110 PTS for $3.3M. That’s a win.

5- Christian Ehrhoff, July 9 2008, 3 years $9.3M: San Jose practically gave him to the Canucks in a trade I’ll never understand. That’s not a bad price for a 40-point defenseman. He reached 50 PTS in year three and played a big role in Vancouver’s run to the Stanley Cup final.

6- Joe Pavelski, June 24 2010, 4 years $16M: He scored 237 PTS in 286 GP, including a career high 79 PTS in year four (which for 2014 was the 2nd lowest non-entry level AAV of players with over 75 PTS).

7- Joe Thornton, July 1 2007, 3 years $21.6M: This contract isn’t going to make any “best bargain” lists, but they still got 245 PTS in 241 GP and one of the league’s most dominant centers. This would be the highest point per game contract he signed with the San Jose Sharks. The 3 best seasons of his career in San Jose were on a contract signed by the Boston Bruins.

8- Brent Burns, Aug 1 2011, 5 years $28.8M: In the first 2 seasons of this contract he had 68 PTS in 99 GP. By the last year he had 76 PTS in 82 GP and was in the conversation for league MVP. Also played a big role in their run to the Stanley Cup final.

9- Ryane Clowe, July 3, 2009, 4 years $14.5M: Over the first 2 seasons he scored 119 PTS as a power forward. His production started to dip in year three at age 28. His next contract can be found on the New Jersey Devils worst contracts list.

10- Patrick Marleau, Aug 15 2005, 3 years $12.5M: This AAV adjusts to $7.8M with cap inflation, but it’s still the best value the Sharks got out of Marleau in the salary cap era. He was squeezed into a team friendly contract coming out of the lost season when the cap was $39M.

WORST

1- Brenden Dillon, June 29 2015, 5 years $16.4M: Maybe it’s too soon to declare this a bad contract at 25 years old, but over the first two seasons he’s averaging 16 minutes of ice per game. He’s a bit pricey for the role he’s playing. Does not contribute much to the offense.

2- Mikkel Boedker, July 1 2016, 4 years $16M: His production dropped by half in year one of the contract and he was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. He’s young enough there’s still hope he can turn this around, but I’m not optimistic.

3- Jonathon Cheechoo, Feb 7 2006, 5 years $15M: When this contract was first signed, it looked like a tremendous bargain for a 56-goal scorer. But he got worse each season after it was signed, dropping all the way down to 5 goals, 14 PTS in 61 GP in year four. Then he was bought out.

4- Craig Rivet, Jun 22 2007, 4 years $14M: He was waived by the Sharks after 1 season, and went on to Buffalo where he got worse each year. By year four he fell down to 4 PTS in 37 GP at age 36 and never signed another NHL contract.

5- Brad Stuart, June 15 2012, 3 years $10.8M: He signed this 3-year contract at age 32 and saw an immediate decline in his PTS production, going from 21 PTS in 81 GP down to 6 PTS in 48 GP in year one. They were able to trade him after year two to Colorado for 2nd and 6th round draft picks. Not a bad haul for a 34-year-old declining defenseman.

6- Douglas Murray, Sep 24 2008, 4 years $10M: It was a 4-year contract for a 29-year-old player and his average ice time got smaller each season. The first 2 seasons were decent, but he dropped off on the back half.

7- Adam Burish, July 1 2012, 4 years $7.4M: He had a career year of 19 PTS the season before signing this contract at age 29. Over 3 seasons he scored 6 PTS in 81 GP for the Sharks before being bought out.

8- Mark Bell, July 25 2006, 3 years $6.5M: Bell was arrested during this contract, but hey, most folk heroes started out as criminals, right? He scored 48 PTS the season before signing this contract, then dropped to 21 PTS in year one, a trade to Toronto, 10 PTS in year two, AHL by year three.

9- Raffi Torres, Jun 20 2013, 3 years $6M: “He’s not playing, he’s suspended”, eventually San Jose dumped the rest of this contract on the Maple Leafs but he never played in Toronto.

10- Michal Handzus, July 1 2011, 2 years $5M: They gave him this contract at age 34. He scored 32 PTS in 106 GP, which is not worth $5M.