1- PK Subban, Jan 28 2013, 2 years $5.75M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. Won a Norris trophy at a great price. Problem was, he was due a new contract. In a prolonged contract dispute, Subban settled for less term at a smaller salary. Yet it would have been beneficial for the team to give him the 4x4 or 5x5 he was demanding. He jumped to over $9M AAV on the next contract.
2- Carey Price, July 2 2012, 6 years $39M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. He won a Vezina and league MVP on this contract. Those are worth whatever you paid for them.
3- Max Pacioretty, Aug 16 2012, 6 years $27M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. In 316 games he’s scored 141 goals and counting. That’s an amazing price to get a perennial 30+ goal scorer.
4- Tomas Plekanec, June 22 2010, 6 years $30M: Signed by Pierre Gauthier. 450 GP and 299 PTS is production any NHL team would take at that term and price. He was a very effective player on this contract.
5- Brendan Gallagher, Nov 29 2014, 6 years $22.5M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. He’s been running into injury problems which is a significant concern, but when he’s in the line-up, he’s a bargain. Solid energy player who contributes offensively.
6- Tomas Plekanec, July 5 2007, 2 years $3.2M: Signed by Bob Gainey. 161 GP and 108 PTS is easily worth what the team paid for it. Plekanec keeps getting better.
7- Jaroslav Halak, July 8 2008, 2 years $1.5M: Signed by Bob Gainey. He had a playoff where he personally eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals juggernauts in huge upsets for under $1M AAV.
8- Paul Byron, Feb 23 2016, 3 years $3.5M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. The first year of this contract saw him return the value of a $4M player for $1.2M. 81 GP, 22 goals, 43 PTS. It’s unlikely he’ll sustain his 22% shooting %, but thus far has been a tremendous bargain.
9- Tomas Plekanec, Aug 16 2005, 2 years $900K: Signed by Bob Gainey. He got a basement contract coming out of the lockout and put up 76 PTS in 148 GP.
10- Carey Price, Sep 3 2010, 2 years $5.5M: Signed by Pierre Gauthier. Price had not yet emerged as one of the league’s best goaltenders, but took a large step forward in 2010/11.
WORST (ordered by total $ spent)
1- Jeff Petry, June 2 2015, 6 years $33M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. He is a decent 2nd pairing defenseman who would be welcomed on several NHL rosters at the right price. But $5.5M AAV is too much to pay for that guy. I’m sorry.
2- Erik Cole, June 1 2011, 4 years $18M: Signed by Pierre Gauthier. He had a good first season on this contract before the lockout with 35 goals. He phoned in the rest of it after being a vocal opponent of the NHL during the work stoppage.
3- Tomas Plekanec, Oct 16 2015, 2 years $12M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. Lucky for Habs fans this is only a two year contract. He dropped down to 28 PTS in 78 GP in year 1, the lowest point total of his career at age 33. He might bounce back next season but don’t count on it. His next contract will be much smaller than this.
4- Jaroslav Spacek, July 1st 2009, 3 years $11.5M: Signed by Bob Gainey. You thought that you were buying a 45 point defenseman and you got less than half of that. He was eventually shipped out of Montreal for a bad Tomas Kaberle contract (which made Carolina’s worst list).
5- Daniel Briere, July 4 2013, 2 years $8M: 126 Signed by Marc Bergevin. GP and 37 PTS. Not what you paid for.
6- Travis Moen, June 29 2012, 4 years $7.4M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. The last two years of this contract were far worse than the first two. That’s a lot to pay a 4th line player. He was shipped out of Montreal in 2014 for a 40 year old washed up Sergei Gonchar in the last year of his career.
7- Sergei Samsonov, July 12 2006, 2 years $7M: Signed by Bob Gainey. Adjusting for a smaller salary cap this was more like a 2 year $12M contract in 2017 dollars. You want more than 124 GP 62 PTS for that kind of money. He was put on waivers in 2007.
8- Georges Laraque, July 3 2008, 3 years $4.5M: Signed by Bob Gainey. He played 61 games before being bought out.
9- Mike Weaver, July 1st 2014, 1 year $1.75M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. This was the last contract Mike Weaver ever signed. At age 36 He averaged 14 minutes of ice per game, only playing in 31 games scoring 4 PTS. That’s not worth that price.
10- Alex Semin, July 24 2015, 1 year $1.1M: Signed by Marc Bergevin. It was seen as a low risk signing at the time. It couldn’t have been much worse than 15 GP, 4 PTS.