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.

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