Sunday, June 11, 2017

Vancouver Canucks 15 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era

*UPDATED: JUNE 2018*

What are the 15 best and the 15 worst non-entry level contracts signed by the Vancouver Canucks in the Salary Cap era?  The top 3 spots go to their trophy winners, Henrik winning the Hart and Art Ross, Kesler winning the Selke, and Daniel also winning the Art Ross.

BEST

1- Henrik Sedin, July 1 2009, 5 years $30.5M: Signed by Mike Gillis. Brian Burke was on a plane to Sweden when this contract was signed. I’m sure these guys felt a great loyalty to Brian for what he did to get them together, but they love Vancouver a little bit more. Henrik was the League MVP in year one when he led the league in scoring. Over this contract he scored 382 PTS in 364 GP in the regular season with 44 PTS in 46 GP in the playoffs and came within 1 win of the Stanley Cup.

2- Ryan Kesler, Mar 19 2010, 6 years $30M: Signed by Mike Gillis. Kesler won the Selke Trophy in 2011 and ran away with the vote. He got 104 1st place votes. Toews got 5, Datsyuk got 4, and Bergeron got 3. That’s a great season. Over the whole contract he played 413 regular season games with 278 PTS with 4414 Face-off wins. He also scored 41 PTS in 57 playoff games.

3- Daniel Sedin, July 1 2009, 5 years $30.5M: Signed by Mike Gillis. Brian Burke was on a plane to Sweden when this contract was signed. I’m sure these guys felt a great loyalty to Brian for what he did to get them together, but they love Vancouver a little bit more. Daniel was nominated for the Hart Trophy in year two when he led the league in scoring but was edged out by Corey Perry. Over this contract he scored 343 PTS in 337 GP in the regular season with 39 PTS in 43 GP in the playoffs and came within 1 win of the Stanley Cup.

4- Ryan Kesler, May 24, 2007, 3 years $5.25M: Signed by Dave Nonis. They got 244 GP, 171 PTS, 570 Shots, and 2019 face off wins (54.1% W%) for $5.25M. He was nominated for the Selke Trophy in the final year of this contract. That’s a bargain.

5- Henrik Sedin, Jun 30 2006, 3 years $10.7M: Signed by Dave Nonis. The team got 246 GP and 239 PTS at a bargain price.

6- Daniel Sedin, Jun 30 2006, 3 years $10.7M: Signed by Dave Nonis. The team got 245 GP and 240 PTS at a bargain price.

7- Bo Horvat, Sep 8 2017, 6 years $33M: Signed by Jim Benning. This kid has a bright future in the NHL at the critical center position. With some of the young offensive weapons the Canucks have in their system, we could see a high production ceiling from Horvat going forward. He also won 53% of his Face-offs last season.

8- Henrik Sedin, Aug 10 2005, 1 year $1.2M: Signed by Dave Nonis. The Sedins took a giant leap forward coming out of the lockout. 75 PTS for $1.2M is great value.

9- Daniel Sedin, Aug 10 2005, 1 year $1.2M: Signed by Dave Nonis. The Sedins took a giant leap forward coming out of the lockout. 71 PTS for $1.2M is great value.

10- Alex Burrows, Mar 4 2009, 4 years $8M: Signed by Mike Gillis. The Canucks bought 100 goals for $8M. That’s a great return on a cheap asset. Burrows was underpaid on this deal.

11- Alex Edler, Oct 10 2008, 4 years $13M: Signed by Dave Nonis. The Canucks got 254 GP, 146 PTS, 623 shots, and 68 power play points out of this contract. A top pairing D for $3.2M AAV is great value.

12- Jannik Hansen, July 28 2011, 3 years $4M: Signed by Mike Gillis. The team got 200 GP, 86 PTS, from a strong checking line forward who kills penalties and can fill 2nd unit power play time.  He got a raise on his next contract and even that was still a bargain (until the end).

13- Alex Burrows, Sep 8 2006, 3 years $1.4M: Signed by Dave Nonis. Burrows played 245 games scoring 91 PTS on an annual salary of $483K. That’s a bargain.

14- Anson Carter, Aug 16 2005, 1 year $1M: Signed by Dave Nonis. Anson caught lightning in a bottle being paired with the Sedin twins scoring 33 goals. Then he demanded too much money, left Vancouver, and was out of the league a year later.

15- Cory Schneider, June 28 2013, 3 years $12M: Signed by Mike Gillis. He played 144 games with a 2.14 GAA and .924 SV%. He was traded to New Jersey for the 9th pick overall in the draft, which landed future best contract Bo Horvat.

WORST

1- Loui Eriksson, July 1st 2016, 6 years $36M: Signed by Jim Benning. It seemed odd at the time that the Canucks would add a “big gun” UFA in the off season when nobody had the illusion this team was still a contender. In year 1 he scored 11G, 24 PTS in 65 GP; not worth the $6M AAV it cost.

2- Roberto Luongo, Sep 2 2009, 12 years $64M: Signed by Mike Gillis. This contract sucks. That’s how Roberto Luongo himself described it. The part that still stings for Vancouver is they traded him away to Florida and are still paying a chunk of his salary. Lou is aging well and is a bargain for Florida, but is another tombstone in Vancouver’s goalie graveyard.

3- Alex Burrows, Sep 15 2012, 4 years $18M: Signed by Mike Gillis. Burrows was underpaid on his previous deal, but made up for it on this contract at age 31. He scored half as many goals for twice the price as his previous contract. They were able to salvage some value trading this contract near the trade deadline in the last year for a good prospect.

4- Jason Garrison, July 4 2012, 5 years $27.6M: Signed by Mike Gillis. The man with the booming slapshot scored an improbable 16 goals in 2011/12, cashed in on the free agent market, and never came close to that total again (his goal totals for first 5 years of contract were 8, 7, 4, 5, 1). That’s not what you paid for.

5- Marco Sturm, July 1 2011, 1 year $2.3M: Signed by Mike Gillis. Sturm was dud on arrival in Vancouver. The team would have been better off setting that money on fire.

6- Dan Cloutier, Aug 18 2005, 2 years $5M: Signed by Dave Nonis. Cloutier was not the same goalie coming out of the lost season. For that money, he won 14 games with a 3.70 GAA and .872 SV%.

7- Markus Naslund, Aug 3 2005, 3 years $18M: Signed by Dave Nonis. That $6M AAV is the equivalent of $11.5M in 2018. He had a good first season with 79 PTS, but then dropped down to 60 and 55 PTS over the last 2 years. That's too much money for that kind of production.

8- Marc Chouinard, July 10 2006, 2 years $2.2M: Signed by Dave Nonis. The Canucks got 42 GP and 4 PTS from Chouinard. Enough said.

9- Zack Kassian, July 4 2014, 2 years $3.5M: Signed by Mike Gillis. Zack may have spent too many nights at the Roxy before getting shipped out of Vancouver for another bad contract. He played AHL games and went to rehab in year two.

10- Daniel Sedin, Nov 1 2013, 4 years $28M: Signed by Mike Gillis. Daniel had a decent first 2 years of this contract, but declined significantly in 2017 with his lowest points per game since before the salary cap, and was a -16 as the Canucks finished in 29th place.

11- Henrik Sedin, Nov 1 2013, 4 years $28M: Signed by Mike Gillis. Henrik had a decent first year of this contract with 73 PTS, but has declined significantly ever since. 2017 saw Henrik drop to his lowest points per game since before the salary cap and was a -27 as the Canucks finished in 29th place.

12- Mats Sundin, Dec 18 2008, 1 year $8.6M: Signed by Mike Gillis. The salary was prorated for a short season, minimizing the impact, but he didn’t do much good in Vancouver. Not many people in the Vancouver market look back on the Sundin era as a success. This was the end of his hockey career.

13- Steve Bernier, May 14 2009, 2 years $4M: Signed by Mike Gillis. There were high expectations when Bernier came to town. While he has since proven to be a decent NHL 4th liner, he’s not much more than that. He scored just 15 PTS in 68 GP in the last year of the contract.

14- Chris Higgins, Apr 2 2013, 4 years $10M: Signed by Mike Gillis, bought out Jun 27 2016 by Jim Benning. The first two years of this contract worked out just fine with Higgins scoring 29 goals. Then in year 3 the wheels fell off and he dropped to 4 PTS in 33 GP before being demoted to the AHL and eventually bought out.

15- Luca Sbisa, Apr 8 2015, 3 years $10.8M: Signed by Jim Benning. I keep hearing people talk about this contract like it has value, but I don’t see it. He’s got limited offensive upside and is prone to making defensive mistakes. He hits and blocks shots. Those aren’t stats you need to pay big $ for.

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