What players have the most valuable contracts in the NHL in 2011? This list is based on best value from a team perspective and the focus was on players aged 30 or younger who have at least 2 years left on their contracts at $4 million dollars or less per season. Young players entering their peak production years at bargain prices. I have compiled a database of 2010/11 statistical performance for all NHL players, including their draft and contract information. The best contract in the league is Kris Letang hands down.
I've picked out my 10 favourite contracts.
1) Kris Letang, Pittsburgh: 3 more years at $3.5 mil. One of the best puck moving defensemen in the NHL. The unsung hero of this Penguins franchise. Only 24 years old with peak performance yet to come. Could max out at 70-80 PTS with a healthy Crosby.
2) Claude Giroux, Philly: 3 more years at $3.75 mil. A 24 year old forward at 80 point calibre for that price is a fantastic bargain.
3) Alex Burrows, Vancouver: 2 more years at $2 mil. If you've been watching the playoffs then you know this is one of the best value contracts in the NHL. It was a bargain at the time it was signed and is still a bargain.
4) Ryane Clowe, San Jose: 2 more years at $3.625 mil. This man is turning into a monster and a fearsome power forward. A bargain at that price.
5) Dustin Brown, LA: 3 more years at $3.175 mil. This is a great contract. Any team in the NHL would take this deal without flinching. LA gambled early with a long term deal which is going to pay off.
6) Alex Edler, Vancouver: 2 more years at $3.25 mil. At 25 years old and already 304 GP, this will be a top 10 D in the NHL for the next 2 years. 60 -70 point potential.
7) Stephen Weiss, Florida: 2 more years at $3.1 mil. Strong performance at a good price. The only reason the Panthers were trying to move him is because he has such an appealing contract at 28 years old and so they were trying to extract a large bounty. Nobody paid the asking price, and I'm sure Florida is happy to keep him for 2 more seasons.
8) Bryan Bickell, Chicago: 2 more years at $575,000. The good news for the Hawks is that you get 2 more years of this emerging 25 year old power forward at a bargain basement price, the bad news is he'll be unrestricted at the end of this deal.
9) Tobias Enstrom, Winnipeg: 2 more years at $3.75 mil. If the Jets don't want this contract, they would be able to find a buyer willing to pay a steep price in a heartbeat. That's a steal of a price for a 50+ point defenseman.
10) Marc Staal, Rangers: 4 more years at $3.95 mil. This 24 year old is quickly turning into an elite shutdown defenseman who has yet to fulfill his offensive upside. If I were Ken Holland, I'd offer 2 first picks and two prospects, but I doubt New York are willing to part with him at any price. He's a keeper.