UPDATED: JULY 2018
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.
Entry level contracts not included.
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, 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, although they league did change the rules because of contracts like this.
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- 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.
5- Marian Hossa, July 1 2009, 12 years $63.3M: Signed by Dale Tallon. They won 3 Stanley Cups on this contract (with Hossa contributing 73 playoff PTS). In the regular season he scored 415 PTS in 534 GP. There was going to be a large “cap recapture penalty” when Hossa retired, but the team managed to avoid that because of a skin rash.
6- Brent Seabrook, Feb 27 2011, 5 years $29M: Signed by Stan Bowman. They won 2 Stanley Cups on this contract with a regular season stat line of 370 GP, 175 PTS, 718 Shots, 731 Hits, and a +59. He also contributed 35 PTS in 75 playoff GP.
7- 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.
8- David Bolland, June 29 2009, 5 years $16.9M: Signed by Dale Tallon. Under this contract the Hawks won 2 Stanley Cups and got 22 playoff PTS from Bolland in those championship seasons.
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 on those 2 runs).
10- Brent Seabrook, Feb 18 2008, 3 years $10.5M: Signed by Dale Tallon. 242 regular season GP, 104 PTS, and a Stanley Cup.
11- Johnny Oduya, May 29 2012, 3 years $10.1M: Signed by Stan Bowman. Oduya did not produce much offense on this contract, but he logged significant minutes winning 2 Stanley Cups.
12- Corey Crawford, Sep 2 2013, 6 years $36M: Signed by Stan Bowman. He has run into some injury problems, but when healthy has been a top goaltender. They won a Cup on this contract that’s seen Crawford play 198 regular season games, with 115 Wins, 65 Loses, a 2.38 GAA and .923 SV%.
13- Bryan Bickell, July 28 2010, 3 years $1.6M: Signed by Stan Bowman. In the regular season he scored 84 PTS in 197 GP, then added 34 GP and 23 PTS in the playoffs, winning the Stanley Cup.
14- Patrick Sharp, July 10 2006, 2 years $1.6M: Signed by Dale Tallon. They didn’t win any championships on this one, but they did get 160 GP and 97 PTS at a bargain price.
15- Anti Niemi, June 30 2009, 1 year $827K: Signed by Dale Tallon. Niemi played 22 playoff games on the way to winning a Stanley Cup for a low-price tag.
1- Brent Seabrook, Sep 26 2015, 8 years $55M: Signed by Stan Bowman. He was a decent player in season one, but this got ugly by season two. Now he’s 32 years old with 6 years left and has already been a healthy scratch. Not good.
2- 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. That AAV works out to over $13M when adjusted for a $79M salary cap. That’s way too much to pay for a 2.81 GAA and .904 SV%.
3- 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. That’s a lot to pay for 46 Wins and a .902 SV%.
4- Jonathan Toews, July 9 2014, 8 years $84M: Signed by Stan Bowman. It’s worth pointing out that the Blackhawks haven’t won a playoff series since this contract officially kicked in. Toews is now 30 years old and has 5 years left at a monster price tag. He’s still an effective player, but with a ton of miles on the odometer. This could get much worse in a hurry. I’m debating whether or not the current Kane contract belongs here. It might, but not yet.
5- 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 would be over $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.
6- 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. He did improve in years 3 and 4, which you don’t often see at age 34.
7- Martin Lapointe, Aug 4 2005, 3 years $7.8M: Signed by Dale Tallon. That’s like $4.5M AAV in 2017 dollars. He had 1 decent season left in the tank but stayed for 3. He was traded away at the end for a 6th round pick that became Ben Smith.
8- 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.
9- Markus Kruger, Mar 8 2016, 3 years $9.2M: Signed by Stan Bowman. Thus far Kruger has produced 23 PTS in 118 GP while also spending time in the AHL. That’s an F.
10- 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.
11- Nikolai Khabibulin, July 5 2013, 1 year $1.7M: Signed by Stan Bowman. The Wall played 4 games with a 5.00 GAA and .811 SV%. That’s not a good return on their investment.
12- 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.
13- 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.
14- 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.
15- Kyle Calder, July 27 2006, 1 year $2.9M: Signed by Dale Tallon. This would have been like $5.3M AAV with a $79M cap. Far too much money for 35 PTS.