Monday, January 22, 2018

10 Best/Worst NHL Contracts Given to Players 6'5 or Taller

What have been the 10 best and 10 worst non-entry level contracts given out to tall players (at least 6'5) in the salary cap era? Yes 6’4 is also “tall”, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. This was originally planned to be just players >= 6’6, but the sample size was too limited. When Brian Boyle made the Best Contracts list twice, I knew it was time to expand the parameters.

Best

1- Victor Hedman, Tampa Dec 1 2011, 5 years $20M: Signed by Steve Yzerman. This has to be in the top 10 best contracts in the whole NHL under the salary cap era. He had 232 PTS in 335 GP from the blueline.

2- Zdeno Chara, Boston July 2 2006, 5 years 37.5M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. This contract produced a Norris trophy and a Stanley Cup for Boston. Bingo.

3- Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg July 26 2013, 6 years $33.6M: Signed by Kevin Cheveldayoff. Through 4 years Wheeler has not scored less than 61 PTS and reached as high as 78. Solid numbers for under $6M AAV.

4- Chris Pronger, Edmonton Aug 3 2005, 5 years $31.2M: Signed by Kevin Lowe. This is a great “what if” question for Oilers fans, what if Chris Pronger had played out the remaining term on his contract in Edmonton? He won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim on this contract.

5- Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Feb 11 2011, 5 years $26M: This was a huge signing for Winnipeg Jets GM Rick Dudley. He scored 53 PTS the season before signing this contract and hovered around that range for the duration.

6- Brent Burns, San Jose 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.

7- Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg July 15 2011, 2 years $5.1M: Signed by Kevin Cheveldayoff. He scored 105 PTS for $5.1M. That’s a win.  He got his AAV more than doubled on his next contract.

8- Dougie Hamilton, Calgary Jun 30 2015, 6 years $34.5M: Signed by Brad Treliving. By year two he had 50 PTS and 222 shots, which any GM would love to have for under $6M AAV. Those trade rumours that Brian Burke had to refute last year were a bit ridiculous. You don’t trade assets like this….oh wait Boston did…

9- Pekka Rinne, Nashville Feb 24 2010, 2 years $6.8M: At the end of this contract Rinne became the highest paid goalie in the NHL. He had 76 wins, 40 losses, and a Vezina trophy nomination for $6.8M. He also won 11 playoff games.

10- Martin Hanzal, Phoenix 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.

Worst (ranked only by the amount of the contract)

1- Michal Handzus, LA July 2 2007, 4 years $16M: With cap inflation, this is $5.8M AAV in 2017 numbers. That’s way too much for a player who averaged 32 PTS per 82 GP over its span.

2- Derian Hatcher, Philly 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.

3- Jared Cowen, Ottawa Sep 13 2013, 4 years $12.4M: Signed by Brian Murray. I’m not too sure how the wheels fell off this bus, but his career was looking promising before it started to nose dive in 2015. He was eventually dumped on Toronto but played zero games with that team before being bought out.

4- Jeff Schultz, Washington July 7 2010, 4 years $11M: Signed by George McPhee. He scored 23 PTS the season before signing this contract then never approached that point total again, eventually being bought out in year three.

5- Andy Sutton, Islanders Aug 10 2007, 3 years $9M: A 3-year contract for a 32-year-old big slow defenseman will often turn out badly. That AAV is closer to $4.4M after adjusting for cap inflation.

6- Jimmy Hayes, Boston July 6 2015, 3 years $6.9M: Signed by Don Sweeney. I don’t think the Bruins expected 5 PTS in 58 GP in year two of the contract.

7- Darryl Boogaard, Rangers 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.

8- Andy Sutton, Anaheim Aug 2. 2010, 2 years $4.2M: Maybe it wasn’t smart to pass out this kind of money to a 35-year-old with limited offensive upside. He played 91 GP and scored 14 PTS.

9- Hall Gill, Nashville June 28 2012, 2 years $4M: He played 32 games with 0 PTS while only averaging 13min per game of ice time. It’s not a good idea to pay your 7th defenseman this much money, hence why he was bought out after 1 season. He was 6’7 at age 37. Decline was predictable.

10- Patrick Bordeleau, Colorado June 6 2013, 3 years $3M: He played the final year of this contract in the AHL. His next contract would be in England.

10 Biggest NHL Contracts Given To Russian Players (2005-2017)

What have been the 10 biggest NHL contracts given out to Russian players since the league imposed a salary cap? Ovechkin comes in at #1 with his 12 year $114M deal. Malkin made the list twice by signing two shorter term contracts than Ovie, instead of going for just one massive contract.

1- Alex Ovechkin, Wsh, 12 yrs $114.5M: Ovie has already scored more than 400 goals over its span, so that’s a win. As the salary cap has gone up, the AAV has become more reasonable. He’ll go down as one of the greatest goal scorers in NHL history. Any team would love to have this contract, even at age 30.

2- Ilya Kovalchuk, NJ, 15 yrs $100M: He was good for his 3 years in New Jersey, but bolted back to the KHL at age 29. This contract could have been a lot worse, but since he retired so early in the contract, the cap recapture penalty was relatively small. I guess the people who made the formula to punish this contract had not anticipated early retirement.

3- Evgeni Malkin, Pit, 8 yrs $76M: Three seasons into this contract they’ve won 2 Stanley Cups, 249 PTS in 233 GP, 46 playoff PTS and counting. Malkin could have been playoff MVP in 2017 if not for Crosby.

4- Vladimir Tarasenko, Stl, 8 yrs $60M: Back in 2015 this seemed a bit pricey, but after 79 goals over the first 2 seasons it’s looking like a bargain. It’s far below the bar set by the Draisaitl contract. This is the same contract that Kucherov should have received last year.

5- Ilya Bryzgalov, Phi, 9 yrs $51M: He was not able to collect the entire $51M before the contract was bought out, but he did win the “cash for life” lottery.

6- Pavel Datsyuk, Det, 7 yrs $47M: They won a Stanley Cup that they wouldn’t have won without this contract. Also 476 PTS in 461 GP in the regular season is good too. Oh yeah, and he won 3 Selke trophies on this deal.

7- Evgeni Malkin, Pit, 5 yrs $43M: Won the Hart Trophy for league MVP under this contract. It’s hard to put a price on guys this good.

8- Alex Semin, Car, 5 yrs $35M: Washington never gave Semin a long-term contract (his first 7 seasons of non-entry level were all one and two-year deals), until Carolina caved in at age 29. His production declined almost immediately after hitting his big pay day. He had 19 PTS in 57 GP in year two before being bought out.

9- Ilya Kovalchuk, Wpg, 5 yrs $32M: He surpassed 50 goals twice and 40 goals 3 times for 230 goals in those 5 years. That’s a win at any price

10- Sergei Bobrovsky, Cbj, 4 yrs $29.7M: BOBROVSKY! Won the Vezina trophy in year two.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

NHL 2017/18 Week 16 Fantasy Hockey Report

Just a reminder to everyone that the all-star game is this weekend, so it will be a short week. 

Players to watch, all formats:

1) Clayton Keller, PHO, (50% Yahoo ownership): He was red hot in October and ice cold in November, over which time he was dropped in several leagues. Now in his last 12 GP he has scored 10 PTS. This kid can score in bunches and really help your team going forward.

2) Evgenii Dadonov, FLA, (22% Yahoo ownership): Just like Keller this guy was red hot in October then cooled off considerably in November. He missed some time with injury and got dropped in a bunch of leagues. He’s now got 8 PTS in his last 6 GP. If he’s going to return to his October form, he needs to be added.

3) Sami Vatanen, NJ, (26% Yahoo ownership): He arrived in New Jersey with a thud and was mired in a 14-game pointless drought when I traded him away in my 18-team fantasy league in mid December. Since then he’s scored 10 PTS in 13 GP. Nothing brings me more joy than coming on here and recommending players who get hot after I’ve dumped them (I'm looking at you Sam Bennett).

4) David Krejci, BOS, (25% Yahoo ownership): In 9 GP since returning from an injury, Krejci has scored 10 PTS. His PTS per game is up significantly from last season as the Bruins have been a much better team. It’s safe adding him in standard leagues.

5) Antti Raanta, PHO, (20% Yahoo ownership): For a goalie who is only 20% owned, he’s been playing good and often. Over his last 9 GP he’s sporting a 2.27 GAA and .919 SV%. He’s available in a bunch of leagues. He might play for a bad team, but has been providing a high quantity of quality starts.

Going Deep: players owned in 10% of leagues or less:

1) Ryan Spooner, BOS, (7% Yahoo ownership): A once promising prospect got off to a slow start and missed some time earlier in the season. He’s played 17 games since Dec 1 and has scored 14 PTS. That’s good.

2) Jakob Chychrun, PHO, (3% Yahoo ownership): If you’d like to speculate on a good young defenseman with high offensive upside, he’s 19 years old and has 7 PTS in his last 11 GP.

3) Travis Konecny, PHI, (5% Yahoo ownership): Konecny had 3 PTS in his previous 16 GP when I traded him back in mid December. In the 16 games since then, he’s scored 10 PTS. I love it when players heat up right after I trade them. Granted, it also helps show that it wasn’t completely stupid to acquire him in the first place.

4) Calle Jarnkrok, NSH, (5% Yahoo ownership): Since the injury to Forsberg, Jarnkrok has 6 PTS in 8 GP and has done a good job with his increased minutes. It should be at least 2 or more weeks until Forsberg returns to the line-up, at which point CJ will go back to his old role.

5) Michal Neuvirth, PHI, (9% Yahoo ownership): The Brian Elliot hot streak fizzled out as we knew it eventually would. As a result, Neuvirth has started more games and made the most of his opportunity with a 1.36 GAA and .955 SV% over his last 5 starts. He’s the new #1.

The 1%: Top 3 Players to Add that are 1% Owned or Less

1) Ryan Pulock, NYI: The kid was at 1% when I started to write this after a 5-point game last night. That number is going to shoot up.

2) Ryan Dzingel, OTT: Dzingel unchained is a solid top six forward with 6 PTS in his last 12 GP. That’s good production from a 1% player.

3) Brendan Perlini, PHO: Over his last 10 GP the kid has been getting plenty of ice time and has responded with 6 PTS over that span. He’s a young player with upside if you’re playing the long game in a really deep keeper format. And guess what? He was the 3rd player I threw in to the trade where I unloaded Konecny and Vatanen. Maybe I should just stop giving fantasy hockey advice…

Sell High:

1) Ryan Getzlaf, ANA, (90% Yahoo ownership): Getzlaf has been great since returning from his injury. He’s a beast and should finish the season strong. It’s a bit of a different story for people in keeper leagues. The big guy is now 32 years old with quasi regular injuries. This might be the perfect time to trade him for somebody a bit younger.

2) Brandon Saad, CHI, (75% Yahoo ownership): I’m a bit confused how a forward on pace for 40 PTS is 75% owned. 0 PTS in his last 5 GP may not be “selling high”, but that 75% certainly gives the impression that he’s a valuable asset. If I owned him, I’d be trying to sell him.

3) David Backes, BOS, (43% Yahoo ownership): Backes fantasy value may never again be higher than it is right now. He’s done fantastic since recovering from his health issues, but that shouldn’t distract from the fact that he’s over 30 years old with many hard miles on the odometer. I’m not betting on his long-term health.

Buy Low:

1) Zach Werenski, CBJ, (95% Yahoo ownership): The kid has 3 PTS in 9 GP since returning from an injury. It’s an opportunistic time to make a trade offer.

2) James Van Riemsdyk, TOR, (89% Yahoo ownership): Whatever league you play in, he’s probably owned by a Leafs fan, so it may not matter that he’s only scored 2 PTS in his last 9 GP. Otherwise he should be available for a discount.

3) Kyle Turris, NSH, (60% Yahoo ownership): Turris owners may have noticed that he’s scored just 3 PTS in his last 11 GP. It’s an opportunistic time to make a trade offer.

Be concerned:

1) Brandon Montour, ANA, (47% Yahoo ownership): Over the last 30 days Montour is down to averaging 16m of ice time per game and has scored 3 PTS in his last 11 GP. The Mighty Ducks shipped Vatanen and Theodore out of town to make room for this guy and he has disappointed. He should not currently be owned in this many fantasy leagues.

2) Andre Burakovsky, WSH, (26% Yahoo ownership): The suddenly enigmatic Russian has been having a bad season. He’s got 8 PTS in 22 GP and has been a frequent healthy scratch the last month and should not be owned in any more than 5% of leagues.


3) Oscar Klefbom, EDM, (43% Yahoo ownership): It’s been a rough season but he’s still young. He’s on pace for about half as many PTS as he scored last season. There may still be hope for the future, but you can comfortably drop him this season. It’s possible he could start to explode once Edmonton drops out of the playoff race and the pressure subsides.

Friday, January 19, 2018

10 Best Bargain NHL Contracts Given to Top Pairing Defensemen (2005-2017)

What have been the 10 best bargain contracts given to top pairing NHL defensemen in the salary cap era, excluding entry level contracts. These are defensemen who averaged more than 22 minutes of ice time per game the season before becoming a free agent, and how much they earned on that contract. Almost all of these were signed when the player was a restricted free agent. Getting a top pairing UFA defenseman on a bargain contract is virtually impossible, unless that player signs prior to July 1st at a home town discount. Almost all of these players were signed by the team that drafted them on the first contract after Entry Level.

The moral of the story, if you want a fantastic bargain on a top pairing defenseman, you need to draft and develop them. Then lock them up long-term on their 2nd contract. Just ask Ken Holland...


1- Duncan Keith, July 13 2006, 4 years $5.9M: Signed by Dale Tallon. This contract won a Stanley Cup and a Norris trophy. The regular season stat line of 323 GP, 176 PTS, 656 shots, and +84 for under $6M is incredible.

2- Erik Karlsson, Jun 19 2012, 7 years $45.5M: Signed by Brian Murray. He won a Norris trophy in 2015 and carried his team to a Conference final in 2017. He’s one of the best defensemen in the NHL. His next contract will be whatever he wants it to be.

3- Drew Doughty, Sep 30 2011, 8 years $56M: Signed by Dean Lombardi. LA tried to play hardball and get Doughty to sign a smaller contract. Truth of the matter is he’s worth whatever you pay him. They won 2 Stanley Cups and got a Norris trophy on this contract that’s not even over yet.

4- Kris Letang, Mar 30 2010, 4 years $14M: Signed by Ray Shero. In the first year of this contract Letang nearly doubled his point production up to 50 PTS in 82 GP. Okay so maybe he only averaged 21.6 minutes in the last season of his ELC, but he jumped up quickly averaging close to 24 minutes per game on the new deal, becoming the Penguins best defensemen.

5- Victor Hedman, Dec 1 2011, 5 years $20M: Signed by Steve Yzerman. This has to be in the top 10 best contracts in the whole NHL under the salary cap era. He had 232 PTS in 335 GP from the blueline.

6- Roman Josi, June 10 2013, 7 years $28M: Signed by David Poile. This is one of the best bargains in the NHL right now and probably makes the list for 10 best NHL contracts since 2005. His points per game almost doubled from the last year of his entry level to the 2nd year of this contract. I guess his agent didn’t expect he’d be as good as he’s become. This contract cost his client millions of dollars going 7 years for that low number.

7- John Klingberg, Apr 17 2015, 7 years $29.8M: Signed by Jim Nill. He scored 40 PTS in 65 GP before signing this contract then jumped up to 58 PTS in 76 GP in year one. He’s now among the better offensive defensemen in the league locked in at a good price through what should be the prime of his career. His agent might have screwed up taking that much term.

8- 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. He has been starting to flounder in year five.

9- 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.


10- PK Subban, Montreal Jan 18 2013, 2 years $5.7M: Congrats Marc Bergevin, you played hard ball and denied him the 5-year, $25M deal he was seeking and got him on a low-cost bridge deal. Then he won the Norris trophy and his next contract cost $72M. So, you saved $4.2M on the first 2 years, then paid an extra $12M on the last 3 of his hypothetical 5-year contract. Great you got a great price on that Norris Trophy, but it cost you more down the road.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

10 Biggest Contracts Given to NHL Undrafted Players (2005-2017)

What have been the 10 biggest contracts given out to undrafted players since the NHL had a salary cap? It should be noted that not all these contracts are good, half of them having appeared at some point on my annual Worst NHL Contracts list. Just for the record, none of the contracts below are entry level.  I am describing how they were signed after going undrafted, but all their big pay days happened later.

1- Mark Giordano, CGY, 6 years $40.5M: Giordano was a late arrival in the OHL and went undrafted. The Flames signed him after his over-age season and he was in the NHL 2 years later. He bloomed late, but bloomed fast once he did.

2- Dan Boyle, SJ, 6 years $40M: He was originally signed as an undrafted college free agent defenseman. He cracked the NHL line-up in under a year. Hit his big pay day at age 32. When teams give that much term to a player of that age, it can be a huge risk. In Boyle's case it worked out alright.

3- David Clarkson, TOR, 7 years $36.8M: CHL tough guy with a scoring touch, signed after his over-age season. He hit the jackpot at age 29, but this contract turned bad fast. 

4- Dan Girardi, NYR, 6 years $33M: He played a full junior career going undrafted, then was signed by the Rangers after playing a season for their minor league affiliate. Hit the jackpot at age 30, but this contract eventually resulted in a buyout.

5- Martin St.Louis, TB, 6 years $31.5M: Marty is by far and away the leading scorer of undrafted players from (2005-2017). He went undrafted simply because of size. The amount he scored in college was obscene. There were greater biases against short players back then.

6- Brian Rafalski, Det, 5 years $30M: This contract helped the Red Wings win a Stanley Cup, and return to the finals the following year. He took an unusual path to the NHL, going undrafted in college, then going to play in Scandinavia for 4 seasons, then signing with New Jersey.

7- Danny DeKeyser, Det, 6 years $30M: This has turned out to be way too much money for level player. He's a good defensive defenseman with limited offensive upside. He was in the undrafted college defenseman category and made a quick jump to the NHL.

8- Jason Garrison, Van, 6 years $27.6M: Another undrafted college free agent defenseman. He cashed in on an improbable career year and never produced at that level again.

9- Ville Leino, Buf, 6 years 27M: He signed as an undrafted European free agent with Detroit at age 25 after dominating the Finland Elite League. He hit the jackpot on is second contract but it would eventually be bought out.


10- Andy Greene, NJ, 5 years 25M: College defenseman gets an NHL contract after going undrafted. We've heard this story before. Greene had a quick path to the big leagues after signing.

10 Best/Worst Contracts Given to NHL Players 5'9 or Shorter

What have been the 10 best and 10 worst non-entry level, non-goalie NHL contracts given out to players who are 5'9 or shorter in the salary cap era? 

Best

1- Brad Marchand, Boston Sep 7 2012, 4 years $18M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. By year four he was in the league MVP conversation. 316 GP and 241 PTS is well worth that price.

2- Cam Atkinson, Columbus Mar 2 2015, 3 years $10.5M: Signed by Jarmo Kekalainen. His production has dipped in year three, but he averaged over 30 goals over the first 2 seasons.

3- Brad Marchand, Boston Sep 14 2011, 2 years $5M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. 121 GP 91 PTS. He was a 20-goal scorer coming off a Stanley Cup win. I’m not sure how they got him this cheap.

4- Jonathon Marchessault, Florida July 1 2016, 2 years $1.5M: Florida took a gamble on a player who scored 18 PTS in 45 GP at a rock bottom price and were rewarded with 30 goals and 51 PTS. Lost him in the expansion draft.

5- Mats Zuccarello, Rangers 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.

6- Martin St. Louis, Tampa Aug 24 2005, 6 years $31.5M: Over these 6 seasons, he played 490 games, scoring 519 PTS. Stayed productive later into his career than most players. 

7- Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Nov 29 2014, 6 years $22.5M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. He’s been running into injury problems which is a significant concern, but when he’s in the line-up, he’s a bargain. Solid energy player who contributes offensively.

8- Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Dec 21 2015, 4 years $20.7M: He has evolved into a 25 minute per game defenseman who has been scoring at close to a 40-point pace over the last 2 seasons.

9- Martin St. Louis, Tampa July 1 2010, 4 years $22.5M: The 2nd St.Louis contract under the salary cap was less productive than its predecessor, but also came for a lower % cap hit. 280 GP and scored 255 PTS. He was 36 in the first year of this contract, so going for 4 was a huge risk but he was productive.

10- Derek Roy, Buffalo 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.

Worst

*Ranked only by the total dollar value*

1- Daniel Briere, Philadelphia 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. HockeyDB has him listed at 5'10, HockeyReference has him at 5'9.

2- Mike Cammalleri, New Jersey July 1 2014, 5 years $25M: Signed by Lou Lamoriello. He scored 31 PTS in 61 GP in year three before being bought out. Another cautionary tale of signing an over-30 player to a 5-year contact.

3- Tyler Ennis, Buffalo 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.

4- Brian Gionta, Buffalo 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.

5- Daniel Briere, Montreal July 4 2013, 2 years $8M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. 126 GP and 37 PTS. Not what you paid for.

6- Sergei Samsonov, Montreal July 12 2006, 2 years $7M: Signed by Bob Gainey. Adjusting for a smaller salary cap this was more like a 2 year $12M contract in 2017 dollars. You want more than 124 GP 62 PTS for that kind of money. He was put on waivers in 2007.

7- Jordin Tootoo, Detroit July 1 2012, 3 years $5.7M: Signed by Ken Holland. He played 53 games with 9 PTS over 2 seasons before being bought out. He got overpaid coming off a career year with 30 PTS.

8- Derek Roy, Buffalo July 6 2013, 1 year $4M: Signed by Doug Armstrong. He scored just 37 PTS in 75 GP at age 30 and was out of the league a year later.

9- Nathan Gerbe, Carolina June 24 2014, 2 years $3.5M: Signed by Ron Francis. In year two he dropped to 7 PTS in 47 GP at age 28. His next contract would be in Switzerland.


10- Brett Lebda, Toronto July 7 2010, 2 years $2.9M: Signed by Brian Burke. This contract was bought out after just one season. That was a fail.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

10 Biggest NHL Contracts Given to Players From Finland (2005-2017)

Which 10 hockey players from Finland have signed the biggest contracts in the NHL since the introduction of the salary cap? It should be noted that Selanne is not on this list because he signed a long series of short term deals (see my list of 10 best 1 year contracts). We see this list led by goaltenders, a position the Fins have been well known for producing at the elite level.

1- Tuukka Rask, BOS, 8 yrs $56M: He won the Vezina in year one. That’s a win.

2- Pekka Rinne, NSH, 7 yrs $49M: He was the NHL’s highest paid goalie at the time this was signed, but would eventually be overtaken. Has had a few good seasons, but his play has mostly slipped (2.41 GAA, .914 SV%).

3- Mikko Koivu, MIN, 7 yrs $47M: His offensive production has dropped as he’s gotten older, but he’s always strong in Selke voting.

4- Kimmo Timonen, PHI, 6 yrs $38M: He’s in the conversation for greatest defensemen in the history of Finland.

5- Aleksander Barkov, FLA, 6 yrs $35.4M: In 2017/18 this is currently among the best bargain contracts in the NHL.

6- Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY, 6 yrs $35M: This contract was good at times, bad at times, more often bad than good (2.60 GAA, .910 SV%). He was 32 years old in year one and never finished above 8th in Vezina voting during the 5 years he played under this deal, retiring one year early on the back dive.

7- Rasums Ristolainen, BUF, 6 yrs $32.4M: There are mixed reviews early in his career, but his best production should still be ahead of him.

8- Kari Lehtonen, DAL, 5 yrs $29.5M: He’ put up a 2.73 GAA and .908 SV% under this contract. That’s a bit pricey for that level of goaltending.

9- Ville Leino, BUF, 6 yrs $27M: This was the biggest failure on this list. He scored 56 PTS the season before signing this contract. In 3 seasons for Buffalo he scored just 46 PTS before being bought out.


10- Valteri Filppula, TB, 5 yrs $25M: He was reasonably productive for the Lightning, but a bit pricey for what he contributed.