Saturday, June 24, 2017

Anaheim Mighty Ducks 15 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era

*UPDATED: June 2018* 

What are the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 15 best and 15 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.


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 Niedermayer was a huge victory for Burke at the start of his time in Anaheim. It’s very difficult to win the Cup in free agency, but this was one example.

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. He’s one of the top Centers in the NHL.

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- John Gibson, Sep 21 2015, 3 years $6.9M: The kid has had some trouble staying healthy, but he’s put up good numbers when he is. Thus far his win-loss record is 56-34 with a 2.33 GAA and .925 SV%.

6- Cam Fowler, Aug 22 2005, 5 years $20M: By year four he scored 39 PTS while averaging 24.8 minutes of ice per game. Talented young defenseman who was an extreme bargain for the second half of this contract.

7- Frederik Andersen, Oct 25 2013, 2 years $2.3M: They got a legit #1 goalie at a great price. He had a win-loss record of 57-21 with a 2.34 GAA and .916 SV%. The bad news is they traded him away.

8- 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.

9- Rickard Rakell, Oct 14 2016, 6 years $22.8M: Over the first 148 GP on this contract, the kid has scored 67 Goals and 120 PTS. He’s going to be a really good player and they’ve got him locked up 4 more years at a team friendly price.

10- 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? Maybe this should be on the Penguins best contracts list, but it was signed by Anaheim, so here it is.

11- Sami Vatanen, July 22 2014, 2 years $2.4M: In 138 GP he scored 75 PTS from the blueline. Averaging over 21 minutes per game under this bargain bridge deal, it’s hard to get that much offense from the defense for such a low-price tag.

12- Kyle Palmieri, July 26 2013, 3 years $4.4M: By year three he scored 30 Goals and 57 PTS at an AAV of $1.47M. His next contract would be 5 years $23M.

13- Chris Kunitz, Mar 8 2007, 2 years $2.1M: Kunitz scored 110 regular season PTS over these 2 seasons, also chipped in 6 playoff PTS on the Ducks Cup run and got his name carved into the trophy.

14- Samuel Pahlsson, Aug 23 2005, 2 years $1.3M: He scored 12 PTS in 21 playoff GP en route to a Stanley Cup victory and did so for close to the league minimum. Easily one of the biggest unsung heroes from that Cup run.

15- 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. This should probably be on the Penguins best contracts list, but it was signed by the Ducks, so here it is.


1- JS Giguere, June 21 2007, 4 years $24M: He signed this a few weeks after winning the Cup, 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- Corey Perry, Mar 18, 2013, 8 years $69M: This contract did pay some dividends early, scoring 110 Goals over the first three seasons. But his production has slowed considerably since he turned 30, scoring just 36 Goals over the last two years. There are now 3 years remaining on expensive contract for a declining asset.

3- Sandis Ozolinsh, July 29 2005, 2 years $5.5M: Sandis played 57 games scoring 23 PTS over a 2-year contract. That works out to $10.6M when accounting for cap inflation, way too much money for what he provided.

4- Viktor Fasth, Feb 20 2013, 2 years $5.8M: He had only played 5 games with Anaheim on this contract when he was traded in March 2014 for a shockingly high return of 3rd and 5th round draft picks. This goalie was awful for the Oilers, finishing the contract with a 3.21 GAA and .893 SV%.

5- Lester Averman, July 1 1991, undisclosed: A somewhat limited depth player. Good dressing room guy with timely comic relief.

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. In year two Bieksa put up 8 PTS in 59 GP, with Theodore scoring more PTS in the playoffs alone (and 38 PTS over his last 80 GP). They could have easily bought out Bieksa and kept Theodore in the expansion draft, but did not.

6- 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 and averaged under 18 minutes per game of ice time. Big men tend to age faster than smaller men.

7- 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, injury or no injury.

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

8- Mathieu Schneider, July 1 2007, 2 years $11.2M: When you adjust this for salary cap inflation, the AAV is closer to $8.4M. He did produce 71 PTS in 132 GP, but that’s low for that price tag.

9 – Ryan Kesler, July 15 2015, 6 years $41M: He had a healthy and productive first season on this contract, but ran into injury problems in year two, playing 44 GP with 14 PTS. That is the danger giving a 6-year contract to a 32-year-old player. They can get old fast and become a huge liability. He may still yet get healthy and return to previous levels, but I’m skeptical.

10- 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, averaging under 16 minutes per game of ice time with a 46% Corsi For %.

11- Ilya Bryzgalov, Dec 9 2014, 1 year $2.9M: Ilya had already won the “cash for life” lottery when he was bought out in Philadelphia, before returning to Anaheim to bank one last big pay day and retiring from the NHL. He played 8 games with a 4.18 GAA and .847 SV%.

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

13- 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.

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

15- Todd Bertuzzi, July 2 2007, 1 year $4M: The big guy had injury problems in 2007 and was never the same player again. He dropped from 71 PTS in 2006 to 40 PTS in 2008. His next contract would be for half this much.

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