Saturday, June 17, 2017

Detroit Red Wings 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era

What are Detroit’s 10 best and worst non entry level contracts signed since 2005? Ken Holland is regarded very highly as a General Manager in the hockey world, and he was signed all Detroit’s contracts and buyouts under the salary cap. He has signed some fantastic contracts, some that won awards and a championship. He’s also wiffed on a few.


1- Nicklas Lidstrom, June 30 2006, 2 years $15M: A 2 year contract that won 2 Norris trophies and a Stanley Cup. Drop the microphone…

2- Henrik Zetterberg, Sep 7 2005, 4 years $10.6M: The Red Wings got 292 GP, 318 PTS, 1167 shots, +98, 125 power play PTS, 2059 face off wins, and that’s just regular season. He also won a Stanley Cup and a playoff MVP. One of the all-time best bargains in the NHL (even accounting for cap inflation).

3- Nicklas Lidstrom, June 1 2010, 1 year $6.2M: He won the Norris Trophy on a one year contract. He retired next season.

4- Pavel Datsyuk, Apr 6 2007, 7 years $46.9M: They won a Stanley Cup that they wouldn’t have won without this contract. Also 476 PTS in 461 GP in the regular season is good too. Oh yeah, and he won 3 Selke trophies on this deal.

5- Nicklas Lidstrom, Dec 26 2007, 2 years $14.9M: Nick was merely nominated for the Norris trophy under this contract, but still took the team to another Stanley Cup finals.

6- Mikael Samuelsson, Mar 25, 2006, 3 years $3.5M: Here’s what $3.5M can buy you, 207 GP, 114 PTS regular season, a Stanley Cup and 63 playoff games with 34 playoff PTS. That’s a win.

7- Pavel Datsyuk, Sep 26 2005, 2 years $7.8M: They did not win any Cups with this contract, but that’s tremendous value for 154 GP 174 PTS.

8- Tomas Holmstrom, Feb 17 2007, 3 years $6.75M: They got 180 GP and 122 PTS regular season and a Stanley Cup. Also played 56 playoff games with 26 PTS.

9- Niklas Kronwall, Nov 23 2006, 5 years $15M: 352 GP, 181 PTS regular season and a Stanley Cup. He added 15 playoff PTS in their Cup winning season.

10- Justin Abdelkader, Sep 15 2012, 4 years $7.2M: 271 GP, 127 PTS, 552 shots, 652 hits, and that’s just regular season. At that price, that’s a win.

WORST (ordered by total $ spent)

1- Jimmy Howard, Apr 16 2013, 6 years $31.75M: Howard has not played well under this contract, except for small stretches at a time. He had a decent 2017 in limited action, but that doesn't make him worth that money. If any other team wanted this contract, he'd be gone already.

2- Danny DeKeyser, July 26 2016, 6 years $30M: The Red Wings really had no choice but to overpay DeKeyser. They could not afford to lose him to free agency with their shallow blue line. He plays a lot of tough minutes against other team’s top lines, but he’s got limited offensive upside. Not great at getting pucks up to the forwards.

3- Jonathan Ericsson, Nov 27 2013, 6 years $25.5M: This contract is half over and has started to look bad. Ericsson looks slow and is no longer a very effective player. His best days are behind him.

4- Stephen Weiss, July 5 2013, 5 years $24.5M: On a “production per dollar spent” basis this is probably Ken Holland’s worst mistake under the salary cap. He was bought out after two bad seasons.

5- Mike Green, July 1 2015, 3 years $18M: They brought him in on a big price tag to be a power play quarterback, and the PP has mostly sucked since he’s been there, so they did not get what they paid for.

6- Jakub Kindl, June 29 2013, 4 years $9.6M: He’s been a better AHL defenseman than NHL. Except guys making this kind of money aren’t supposed to still be playing in the AHL.

7- Petr Mrazek, July 27 2016, 2 years $8M: Petr had 54 GP with 27 wins, 2.33 GAA,  .921 SV% before signing this contract. That dropped down to 50 GP with 18 wins, 3.04 GAA, .901 SV%. He was among the worst goalies in the league.

8- Mikael Samuelsson, July 1 2012, 2 years $6M: 30 GP 4 PTS is not good. This was one of those “thanks for the memories” contracts.

9- Jordin Tootoo, July 1 2012, 3 years $5.7M: He played 53 games with 9 PTS over 2 seasons before being bought out. He got overpaid coming off a career year with 30 PTS.

10- Carlo Colaiacovo, Sep 16 2012, 2 years $5M: He played 6 regular season games before Detroit bought him out.

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