Friday, September 22, 2017

Have NHL Teams Committed Insurance Fraud?

Over the past few NHL seasons, there have been a few suspicious moves involving Long Term Injured Reserve, where some players with bad contracts have been labelled unable to play indefinitely. There has yet to be any actionable evidence of healthy players being placed on LTIR to circumvent the salary cap, until it appeared that Joffrey Lupul was one such case thanks to a social media post. He has since back tracked on his original words in a statement that was likely crafted by lawyers.

If it's true that Lupul is healthy and has been healthy for a while, then he better not have been collecting insurance money. If he was healthy last year and collected any injury insurance, guess what, that's a crime. If he knew he was healthy and collected payouts, Lupul would be guilty of a crime. He made an Instagram post that could have implicated himself in insurance fraud.

I was a bit surprised that the NHL ordered an independent evaluation of Lupul's health. It seemed like something they'd rather just go away, instead of risking Lupul being pronounced fully healthy and exposing one of it's teams possibly being guilty of fraud. Even if it's a small probability he passes the physical, it would open a Pandora's Box. I'd want to be listening to sportstalk radio in Toronto if that news broke.

Ordering Lupul to take a new independent physical is probably the smartest thing for the NHL to do from a legal perspective. If any insurance fraud did take place, the league will not want to seem complicit. If he fails the physical, everything is fine and there's nothing to see here. I'll be fascinated to see how Bettman responds if Lupul is deemed 100% healthy. He'll probably have to punish the Leafs and his old friend Lou Lamoriello...

And please guys, make sure it's a truly independent Doctor who conducts this. Don't send James Woods from Any Given Sunday....

Also, here's something I wrote about Marian Hossa LTIR cap recapture circumvention.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Boston Bruins 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


What are the Boston Bruins 10 best and 10 worst non entry level contracts they have signed since the NHL had a salary cap? They won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and I tried to reward the contracts that helped them win the most. Note that the most recent “best contract” was Tyler Seguin. None signed after made the best list, but a few sure made the worst list.

BEST

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

2- Patrice Bergeron, Aug 22 2006, 5 years $23.7M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. This produced a Stanley Cup and a perennial Selke trophy nominee. Infact they could rename the top defensive forward trophy “the Patrice Bergeron Trophy” 20 years from now and it would make perfect sense.

3- Tim Thomas, Apr 3 2009, 4 years $20M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. Boston won a Stanley Cup, a playoff MVP, and a Vezina trophy on this contract. That’s worth whatever you paid even if he sat out the last year.

4- Tim Thomas, Mar 18 2006, 3 years $3.3M: Signed by Mike O’Connell. He won a Vezina Trophy in year three. That’s a bargain.

5- Tyler Seguin, Sep 11 2012, 6 years $34.5M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. He never played a game in Boston under this contract. He was traded in July 2013 and Bruins fans have not stopped complaining about it since. He scored 84 PTS in year one.

6- Patrice Bergeron, Oct 8 2010, 3 years $15M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. He signed this extension before Boston won their Cup, so they got a discount on a contract that would produce 2 Selke trophies.

7- Milan Lucic, Oct 9 2009, 3 years $12.2M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. Won the Stanley Cup in year one. He was a beast in the playoffs and they don’t win without him.

8- David Krejci, Jun 2 2009, 3 years $11.2M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. Won the Stanley Cup in year two. Incredible bargain for what he provided.

9- Brad Marchand, 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.

10- Brad Marchand, 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.


WORST (ordered by total $ spent)


1- David Backes, July 1 2016, 5 years $30M: Signed by Don Sweeney. In year one of this contract he had his worst season since entry level with 74 GP and 38 PTS. It’s unlikely he’ll get better as he gets older. This is probably only getting worse from here. This one will sting eventually if not already.

2- Matt Beleskey, July 1 2015, 5 years $19M: Signed by Don Sweeney. I can remember a friend of mine predicting in June 2015 that whatever Belesky signs for it will be too much. He was right.

3- Glen Murray, Aug 2 2005, 4 years $16.5M: Signed by Mike O’Connell. When you consider the $39M salary cap when this contract was signed, that’s more like $7.7M AAV. A bit on the expensive side for 128 PTS in 186 GP. He was eventually bought out.

4- Dennis Seidenberg, Oct 7 2013, 4 years $16M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. He got old fast. He was once an effective compliment to Chara, but he quickly bottomed out before being bought out.

5- Marco Sturm, Feb 24 2007, 4 years $14M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. Injuries were partly to blame for the demise of Marco Sturm. The part that probably still stings for Bruins fans is that he was the best piece they got from San Jose in the Joe Thornton trade, one of the all-time terrible trades. He had a decent first year of this contract, but it came off the rails in year two.

6- Alexei Zhamnov, Aug 4 2005, 3 years $12M: Signed by Mike O’Connell. They gave a 33 years old player a contract equivalent to $7.5M AAV in 2017 dollars (there was a $39M cap). An injured ankle basically ended his career after 10 PTS in 24 GP.  I don’t think many Bruins fans are still asking themselves that great “what if” question, what if Zhamnov never broke his ankle? Bruins saved by LTIR.

7- Chris Kelly, June 11, 2012, 4 years $12M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. He had a career high 39 PTS before signing this contract and never came close to that again.

8- Rich Peverley, Oct 11 2012, 3 years $9.7M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. Peverley got a contract similar to Kelly a season after winning a Stanley Cup. His production diminished before he was thrown into the Seguin trade probably as a salary dump.

9- Jimmy Hayes, 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.

10- Andrew Alberts, June 12 2007, 2 years $2.5M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. His offensive production plummeted in year 1 from bad to worse. Obviously, Boston wasn’t paying for offense, but that didn’t stop them from dumping him on Philly for an ECHL player and a 4th rd pick.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Montreal Canadiens 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era

What are the Montreal Canadiens 10 best and 10 worst non entry level contracts they have signed since the NHL had a salary cap? There are no championships for this team over that period, but there have been some interesting contracts.


BEST

1- PK Subban, Jan 28 2013, 2 years $5.75M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. Won a Norris trophy at a great price. Problem was, he was due a new contract. In a prolonged contract dispute, Subban settled for less term at a smaller salary. Yet it would have been beneficial for the team to give him the 4x4 or 5x5 he was demanding. He jumped to over $9M AAV on the next contract.

2- Carey Price, July 2 2012, 6 years $39M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. He won a Vezina and league MVP on this contract. Those are worth whatever you paid for them.

3- Max Pacioretty, Aug 16 2012, 6 years $27M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. In 316 games he’s scored 141 goals and counting. That’s an amazing price to get a perennial 30+ goal scorer.

4- Tomas Plekanec, June 22 2010, 6 years $30M: Signed by Pierre Gauthier. 450 GP and 299 PTS is production any NHL team would take at that term and price. He was a very effective player on this contract.

5- Brendan Gallagher, 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.

6- Tomas Plekanec, July 5 2007, 2 years $3.2M: Signed by Bob Gainey. 161 GP and 108 PTS is easily worth what the team paid for it. Plekanec keeps getting better.

7- Jaroslav Halak, July 8 2008, 2 years $1.5M: Signed by Bob Gainey. He had a playoff where he personally eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals juggernauts in huge upsets for under $1M AAV.

8- Paul Byron, Feb 23 2016, 3 years $3.5M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. The first year of this contract saw him return the value of a $4M player for $1.2M. 81 GP, 22 goals, 43 PTS. It’s unlikely he’ll sustain his 22% shooting %, but thus far has been a tremendous bargain.

9- Tomas Plekanec, Aug 16 2005, 2 years $900K: Signed by Bob Gainey. He got a basement contract coming out of the lockout and put up 76 PTS in 148 GP.

10- Carey Price, Sep 3 2010, 2 years $5.5M: Signed by Pierre Gauthier. Price had not yet emerged as one of the league’s best goaltenders, but took a large step forward in 2010/11.

WORST (ordered by total $ spent)

1- Jeff Petry, June 2 2015, 6 years $33M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. He is a decent 2nd pairing defenseman who would be welcomed on several NHL rosters at the right price. But $5.5M AAV is too much to pay for that guy. I’m sorry.

2- Erik Cole, June 1 2011, 4 years $18M: Signed by Pierre Gauthier. He had a good first season on this contract before the lockout with 35 goals. He phoned in the rest of it after being a vocal opponent of the NHL during the work stoppage.

3- Tomas Plekanec, Oct 16 2015, 2 years $12M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. Lucky for Habs fans this is only a two year contract. He dropped down to 28 PTS in 78 GP in year 1, the lowest point total of his career at age 33. He might bounce back next season but don’t count on it. His next contract will be much smaller than this.

4- Jaroslav Spacek, July 1st 2009, 3 years $11.5M: Signed by Bob Gainey. You thought that you were buying a 45 point defenseman and you got less than half of that. He was eventually shipped out of Montreal for a bad Tomas Kaberle contract (which made Carolina’s worst list).

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

6- Travis Moen, June 29 2012, 4 years $7.4M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. The last two years of this contract were far worse than the first two. That’s a lot to pay a 4th line player. He was shipped out of Montreal in 2014 for a 40 year old washed up Sergei Gonchar in the last year of his career.

7- Sergei Samsonov, 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.

8- Georges Laraque, July 3 2008, 3 years $4.5M: Signed by Bob Gainey. He played 61 games before being bought out.

9- Mike Weaver, July 1st 2014, 1 year $1.75M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. This was the last contract Mike Weaver ever signed. At age 36 He averaged 14 minutes of ice per game, only playing in 31 games scoring 4 PTS. That’s not worth that price.

10- Alex Semin, July 24 2015, 1 year $1.1M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. It was seen as a low risk signing at the time. It couldn’t have been much worse than 15 GP, 4 PTS.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Anaheim Mighty Ducks 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


What are the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 10 best and 10 worst non entry level contracts they have signed since the NHL had a salary cap?  The MDs won a Stanley Cup in 2007, and their playoff MVP was Scott Neidermayer, their #1 best contract. Perry and Getzlaf were on entry level when they won rings, but their 2nd contracts also proved incredibly productive. The Mighty Ducks have been led by astute management over the years and have not passed out too many terrible contracts, certainly nothing paralyzing.

BEST

1- Scott Niedermayer, Aug 4 2005, 4 years $27M: They don’t win a Stanley Cup if they don’t sign this contract. He was the playoff MVP after all. Luring Neidermayer was a huge victory for Burke at the start of his time in Anaheim.

2- Adam Banks, Feb 1992, undisclosed: Won a district Pee Wee hockey championship

2- Corey Perry, July 1 2008, 5 years $26.6M: 366 GP, 342 PTS, 1248 shots, averaging over 20 min per game of ice time. He even had a 50-goal season and was voted league MVP.

3- Ryan Getzlaf, Nov 20 2007, 5 years $26.6M: 340 GP, 342 PTS, 777 shots, 772 hits, and 2635 face off wins. That’s a nice haul for that money.

4- Teemu Selanne, June 13 2006, 1 year $3.7M: He signed a one year contract scoring 109 PTS regular season + playoffs as they won the Stanley Cup. They needed this guy to do that.

5- Samuel Pahlsson, Aug 23 2005, 2 years $1.3M: He had 12 PTS in 21 playoff GP en route to a Stanley Cup victory, and did so for close to the league minimum.

6- Teemu Selanne, Aug 22 2005, 1 year $1M: He scored 90 PTS for $1M exactly. That’s one of the all-time best bargains on one year contracts.

7- Teemu Selanne, Aug 9 2010, 1 year $4.5M: That’s a great price for 80 PTS. Anaheim got substantial production at a bargain price on Selanne for several years.

8- Rickard Rakell Oct 14 2016, 6 years $22.8M: He just scored 33 goals in year one for under $4M AAV. This kid is going to be a really good player and they’ve got him locked up 6 years at a team friendly price.

9- Nick Bonino, Nov 28 2013, 3 years $5.7M: This contract helped Pittsburgh win 2 Stanley Cups, and was used to help Anaheim secure Ryan Kesler. If it produced 2 rings it has to be good, right?

10- Chris Kunitz, Aug 27 2007, 4 years $14.9M: 280 GP and 194 PTS has to be considered good production for that price. Sure, maybe he doesn’t get that many PTS if he’s not traded to the Penguins to play with Sidney Crosby. That might have something to do with it.

WORST (Ordered by total $ spent)

1- JS Giguere, June 21 2007, 4 years $24M: He had a good first year on this contract, then the wheels came off, his GAA ballooned over 3.00 before he was shipped out of Anaheim for 2 of Toronto’s bad contracts (Blake and Toskala). He wasn’t great in Toronto either.

2- Kenny Wu, Feb 1994, undisclosed: converted figure skater had limited offensive upside

2- Clayton Stoner, July 1st 2014, 4 years $13M: I’m not sure what Anaheim was thinking with this one. He had 5 PTS in 63 GP the previous season playing 13 minutes per game. They signed a 3rd pairing D to 2nd pairing money and it’s a bad deal.

3- Bryan Allen, July 1st 2012, 3 years $10.5M: He didn’t have a ton left in the tank at age 32. Did not score a single goal on this contract. Big men tend to age faster than smaller men.

4- Luca Sbisa, Mar 9 2011, 4 years $8.7M: He had 1 decent season on this contract, but later was demoted to the AHL.

5- Goldberg, Jun 1992, undisclosed: Signed a long term deal after the first movie, he lost his starting job by the third movie.

5- Kevin Bieksa, July 1 2015, 2 years $8M: Bieksa has a lot of hard miles on his odometer. He’s not very good anymore and this no trade clause caused problems for Anaheim in the expansion draft costing them Shea Theodore.

6- Andy Sutton, 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.

7- Mark Fistric, Jan 30 2014, 3 years $3.8M: He played 9 games before being bought out.

8- Shawn Horcoff, July 1st 2015, 1 year $1.75M: They probably expected a little bit more than 59 GP and 15 PTS. This was the end of Horcoff’s career.

9- Nick Boynton, July 9 2009, 1 year $1.5M: 49 GP, 8 PTS, and just over 16 minutes per game of ice time. He had a freakish career year the season before signing this contract.

10- Dany Heatley, July 9 2014, 1 year $1M: Played more games in the AHL than NHL under this contract.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Los Angeles Kings 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


Here are the 10 best worst non-entry level contracts signed by the LA Kings (and mostly by Dean Lombardi) since the NHL had a salary cap. This is a two time Stanley Cup winning team so extra consideration is given for championship contracts. Conversely, Cup winning contracts are not eligible for the worst list. LA won both Cups on Kopitar’s second contract, his current monstrosity is Cup free.

BEST

1- Drew Doughty, Sep 30 2011, 8 years $56M: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.

2- Anze Kopitar, Oct 11 2008, 7 years $47.6M: This contract produced a Selke trophy, 2 Stanley Cups, and 45 playoff PTS in those two championship seasons. Enough said.

3- Jonathan Quick, Oct 23 2009, 3 years $5.4M: He won a Stanley Cup and was the playoff MVP. Bargain.

4- Justin Williams, Feb 27 2011, 4 years $14.6M: They won 2 Stanley Cups where he scored 19 playoff goals on of this contract. Do his regular season stats even matter?

5- Dustin Brown, Oct 26 2007, 6 years $19M: They won 2 Stanley Cups where he scored 14 playoff goals on of this contract. Do his regular season stats even matter?

6- Jake Muzzin, Oct 16 2014, 5 years $20M: When Muzzin signed this deal, he was 25 years old coming off 40 regular season PTS, 12 playoff PTS and a Stanley Cup. The fact that LA got him to sign for 5 years at this price is a bit remarkable.

7- Jonathan Quick, Jun 28 2012, 10 years $58M: That’s a pretty good price for a goalie who had just won the playoff MVP. They won another Stanley Cup on this contract too.  Even if his skills start to erode in the back half of the contract and he starts to wear down, they have already received good value for their money.

8- Willie Mitchell, Aug 25 2010, 2 years $7M: He helped them win a Stanley cup in 2012. He signed another identical contract after this one and won another Stanley Cup, which we’ll say is tied with this one on the all-time list.

9- Alexander Frolov, Aug 12 2005, 5 years $14.5M: Signed by Dave Taylor. You’d be forgiven if you had forgotten that Alex Frolov scored 302 PTS in 380 GP for LA on this contract.

10- Mike Cammalleri, Aug 7 2007, 2 years $6.7M:  No Stanley Cups but that’s a fantastic price on 129 PTS in 144 GP.

WORST (ordered by total $ spent)

1- Anze Kopitar, Jan 16 2016, 8 years $80M: If you’re making a list why Dean Lombardi got fired, you might want to add this contract to the list. Kopitar’s production plummeted in year 1. He’s still young that he can bounce back and be great again, but there is reason to be worried. $10M AAV is a lot.

2- Dustin Brown, July 18 2013, 8 years $47M: By the end of his last contract his production had declined by half. That’s a lot to pay for a 30 point player. He’s got a lot of hard miles on the odometer. At the right price, he can still make a decent contribution. This isn't it.

3- Michal Handzus, July 2 2007, 4 years $16M: With cap inflation, this is $5.8M AAV in 2017 numbers. That’s way too much for a 40 point player.

4- Tom Preissing, July 2 2007, 4 years $11M: By year 2 of this contract he was playing in the AHL.

5- Patrick O’Sullivan, Oct 7 2008, 3 years $8.7M: He went from 53 PTS (last year entry level) to 43 PTS year one to 34 PTS to bought out.

6- Kyle Calder, July 3 2007, 2 years $5.4M: I think they were planning for more than 47 PTS out of this contracts that was more like $4M AAV accounting for cap inflation.

7- Dan Cloutier, Sep 27 2006, 2 years $6M: He played more AHL than NHL games on this contract.

8- Alexei Ponikarovsky, July 27 2010, 1 year $3.2M: 15 PTS in 61 GP is not what you paid for.

9- Teddy Purcell, July 1st 2016, 1 year $1.6M: He played more games in the AHL than NHL.

10- Tom Gilbert, July 1st 2016, 1 year $1.4M: He played more games in the AHL than NHL.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Marian Hossa Cap Recapture Circumvention Theory

I'm not a Doctor. Let me start there. News broke today that 38 year old Marian Hossa is allergic to hockey equipment and will eventually be placed on the Chicago Blackhawks long term injured reserve, probably ending his career. Apparently they can't order special equipment that he's not allergic to. He's allergic to all equipment. Once upon a time I got rashes from hockey equipment. It's called Eczema. It's common and easy to treat. They haven't said what Hossa's condition is, so it could be more severe than what I had.

I'm not disputing that Hossa has a medical condition. I'm sure he does. Everybody has something that can cause discomfort. The part that arouses my suspicion is the timing. Hossa is one of those players who signed a 10+ year contract that was front loaded with a back dive to circumvent the salary cap. The idea is that the player retires when the salary flatlines and he gets paid more for a lower cap hit. It was deemed illegal in the 2013 CBA. That CBA even went so far as to add a significant "cap recapture" penalty to punish all those teams who circumvented the rules. Chicago was one of them. The Blackhawks are jammed tight up against the cap for the next few seasons. Had Hossa retired when he originally planned to retire at age 38, it would have hurt the team baldly. Hossa going on LTI instead of retiring helps them substantially.

Was Hossa not already planning to retire at age 38 when his actual salary dropped from $7M to $1M? The team would have been painfully aware of what his impending retirement would mean for a roster already projected to be over next year's cap. This is not an injury that is preventing him from playing. He's saying that the discomfort has become too much and it's not worth it to him to continue his career. Isn't that why most athletes retire? Their health starts to falter later in their career and they retire when it's no longer worth it to them. He's already proven he can play just fine despite the ailment. I'm not sure why Chicago should get to circumvent the cap recapture penalty because Hossa is ostensibly retiring.

It's possible that Hossa always intended to play out the back dive and I'm just an insensitive jerk who loves conspiracy theories. Maybe they did not just look for whatever was "most wrong" with him and use it as an excuse to LTI him instead of facing a cap recapture penalty. Maybe it's just me.

Somehow though, I think that the other "back dive" contracts out there that are illegal under today's rules, might produce similar career ending ailments. Let me make a few predictions...

Henrik Zetterberg, 2018 - painful foot blisters
Roberto Luongo 2019 - hurt feelings
Jeff Carter 2020 - virulent jock itch
Duncan Keith 2020 - paralyzing case of athlete's foot
Jon Quick 2020 - sore groin
Shea Weber 2022 - shin splints
Ryan Suter 2022 - hamstring pull
Zach Parise 2022 - aching feet

Monday, June 19, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


When I make best contracts list I prefer rewarding those that produce Stanley Cups. Conversely, I try to avoid championships when making a worst contracts list. If a player gets a ring under that contract while making a contribution in the playoffs, how bad can it be? You’re not getting in a time machine and changing anything. Since Chicago has 3 Stanley Cup victories in the salary cap era, this makes their best and worst lists tricky. There are a whole bunch of Cup winning contracts, and a limited number of big money deals that did not get a ring (thank heavens for Khabibulin and Huet).

Entry level contracts not included.

BEST

1- Jonathon Toews, Dec 2 2009, 5 years $31.5M: Signed by Stan Bowman. This contract produced 2 Stanley Cups, a playoff MVP, a Selke trophy, and a regular season stat line of 343 GP, 315 PTS, 946 shots, 4002 face off wins, 16 short handed PTS, and +126 rating. That’s awesome.

2- 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.

3- Patrick Kane, Dec 2 2009, 5 years $31.5M: Signed by Stan Bowman. They got 332 GP, 327 PTS regular season and 2 Stanley Cups. That’s a win no matter how you keep score. Oh yeah and he was playoff MVP for one of those championships.

4- Marian Hossa, July 1 2009, 12 years $63.3M: Signed by Dale Tallon. They won 3 Stanley Cups on this contract. It doesn’t matter what the cap recapture penalty is, you wouldn’t change anything even if you had access to a time machine.

5- Duncan Keith, Dec 3 2009, 13 years $72M: Signed by Stan Bowman. This contract won 2 Stanley Cups and a Norris trophy. This has proven to be a great contract for Chicago.

6- Patrick Sharp, Jan 17 2008, 4 years $15.6M: Signed by Dale Tallon. He won a Stanley Cup with a regular season stat line of 291 GP, 250 PTS, and 1000 shots.

7- Brent Seabrook, Feb 18 2008, 3 years $10.5M: Signed by Dale Tallon. 242 regular season GP, 104 PTS, and a Stanley Cup.

8- Brent Seabrook, Feb 27 2011, 5 years $29M: Signed by Stan Bowman. They won 2 Stanley Cups on this contract. Seabrook could have been the best defenseman on several NHL teams. The Hawks got lucky with two great #1 D-men.

9- Patrick Sharp, Aug 3 2011, 5 years $29.5M: Signed by Stan Bowman. They won 2 Stanley Cups on this contract (where Sharp contributed 15 playoff goals).

10- David Bolland, June 29 2009, 5 years $16.9M: Signed by Dale Tallon. Under this contract the Hawks won 2 Stanley Cups sand got 22 playoff PTS in those championship seasons.

WORST  (Ranked by total $ spent)

1- Nikolai Khabibulin, Aug 5 2005, 4 years $27M: Signed by Dale Tallon. Do the Blackhawks get Patrick Kane if they don’t sign Khabibulin? I’m not sure you change anything with the time machine.

2- Cristobal Huet, July 1st 2008, 4 years $22.5M: Signed by Dale Tallon. He finished this contract being loaned to Europe for salary cap circumvention purposes.

3- Martin Havlat, July 7 2006, 3 years $18M: Signed by Dale Tallon. Let’s not forget that the cap was much smaller in 2006. That’s the equivalent of $10M AAV in today’s money. He was reasonably productive under this contract, but that’s still too much for Havlat. It wasn’t until he left Chicago that they won a Cup.

4- Adrian Aucoin, Aug 2 2005, 4 years $16M: Signed by Dale Tallon. With a $39M salary cap this contract is equivalent to $7.4M AAV in 2017 money. For the first two seasons, he had 22 PTS in 92 GP and was -35. Not what you paid for.

5- Steve Montador, June 30 2011, 4 years $11M: Signed by Stan Bowman. RIP. With all due respect to the dead, this was a terrible contract. It’s possible that head injuries contributed to how much he sucked as a Blackhawk. There just aren’t that many bad contracts to choose from.

6- Cam Barker, July 6 2009, 3 years $9.25M: Signed by Dale Tallon. This contract was bought out. The Blackhawks did not win a Cup until they traded this contract to Minnesota. His career took a steep nose dive almost the moment he left Chicago.

7- Martin Lapointe, Aug 4 2005, 3 years $7.8M: Signed by Dale Tallon. That’s like $4.5M AAV in today’s dollars. He had 1 decent season left in the tank but stayed for 3. Ironically enough he was traded away at the end for a 6th round pick that became Ben Smith. That takes us to…

8- Ben Smith, June 27 2014, 2 years $3M: Signed by Stan Bowman. Shipped to San Jose in year 1 before Chicago won another Cup. Smith ended this contract in the AHL. Note that I rank the worst contracts by total dollars spent, so I did not deliberately rank Smith after the guy he was traded for. That was 100% a coincidence and the first time I’ve observed a “worst contract” being traded for a draft pick that became a “worst contract”. There has to be more.

9- David Rundblad, June 29 2015, 2 years $2M: Signed by Stan Bowman. He played 9 games scoring 2 PTS before “this contract was terminated”. Thanks Cap Friendly Geek.

10- Viktor Tikhonov, July 1 2015, 1 year $1M: Signed by Stan Bowman. Played 50 games and scored 6 PTS. That’s not worth a million dollars dude.