Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Florida Panthers 10 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era

What are the Florida Panthers 10 best and 10 worst non entry level contracts they have signed since the NHL had a salary cap? The worst contracts are simply ordered by the total amount of money, not the degree to which they are an overpayment. 


1- Aleksander Barkov, Jan 25 2016, 6 years $35.4M: Signed by Tom Rowe. The kid suffered injury problems in year one, but has already become a bargain by year two. Very skilled center who could probably double his salary if he went on the UFA market tomorrow.

2- Vincent Trocheck, July 2 2016, 6 years $28.5M: Signed by Tom Rowe. If he continues developing at this rate, he’ll be a very effective player right through his years of prime production.

3- Stephen Weiss, Aug 23 2007, 6 years $18.6M: Signed by Jacques Martin. The team was rewarded for taking a risk with the 6 year term, as he was a bargain by the last few seasons. He scored 273 PS in 405 GP. His next deal can be found on the Detroit Red Wings worst contracts list.

4- Nathan Horton, June 21 2007, 6 years $24M: Signed by Jacques Martin. A solid investment that became a better deal each year the cap got higher. He scored 271 PTS in 383 GP and won a Stanley Cup in Boston. If not for some injury issues he could have scored even more.

5- Jonathon Marchessault, July 1 2016, 2 years $1.5M: Signed by Tom Rowe. Florida took a gamble on a player who scored 18 PTS in 45 GP at a rock bottom price and were rewarded with 30 goals and 51 PTS. Lost him in the expansion draft.

6- Jay Bouwmeester, Sep 12 2005, 1 year $946K: Signed by Mike Keenan. He accepted a really cheap contract coming off the lockout and scored 46 PTS. That’s a win.

7- Nathan Horton, July 11 2006, 1 year $1.1M: Signed by Mike Keenan. Not bad for a single season of 62 PTS.

8- Jason Garrison, July 8 2010, 2 years $1.3M: Signed by Dale Tallon. By the second year he exploded to 16 goals at a rock bottom price. He went on to get a nig contract from Vancouver and never came close to that goal total again.

9- Jay Bouwmeester, July 28 2006, 2 years $4.4M: Signed by Mike Keenan. In two seasons he scored 79 PTS. That’s a bargain at that price. Eventually Florida shipped him out of town because they didn’t want to give him the big ticket long term contract that Calgary did.

10- Olli Jokinen, Sep 12 2005, 1 year $2.5M: Signed by Mike Keenan. He wasn’t the only veteran squeezed into a very team friendly 1-year contract coming out of the lost season. He put up 89 PTS that season. Sure, there were a bunch of extra power plays that year and a $39M cap. So, adjusting for 2017 numbers that’s more like 70 PTS for $4.6M, which is still a good deal.

Honourable Mention:

*- Jozef Stumpel, Aug 18 2005, 2 years $3.25M: Signed by Mike Keenan. The Panthers got 109 PTS from this contract at a respectable price. Granted they followed up this bargain with a mistake on the next one (scroll down).

WORST  (ordered by total $ spent)

1- Keith Yandle, June 23 2016, 7 years $44.5M: Signed by Tom Rowe. This is only ranked #1 because of the total dollars. He still scored 40 PTS at age 30, but now has 6 years and a lot of money remaining on an over-30 contract. If he does not show the age-related decline we see in 90% of defensemen I could be proven wrong putting him on this list. Somehow though, I expect to look back on this 4 years from now and be proven exactly right.

2- Dave Bolland, July 1 2014, 5 years $27.5M: Signed by Dale Tallon? He was injury plagued prior to signing this contract, and only played 80 games over two seasons in Florida before trading a top prospect to dump this contract on the Coyotes. He’s been inactive for almost two years with two seasons remaining. I don’t think Phoenix wants him to get healthy and return to the roster. They’d for sure prefer he stays on LTIR.

3- David Booth, July 1st 2009, 6 years $25.5M: Signed by Randy Sexton. He scored 60 PTS the season before earning this contract and never came close to that point total again. They managed to trade him to Vancouver (with a 3rd round pick) for Sturm and Samuelsson in an exchange of bad contracts.

4- Keith Ballard, Sep 9 2008, 6 years $25.2M: Signed by Jacques Martin. He was good on the first two years of this contract, then was traded to the Canucks for Grabner and a 1st round pick. He dropped from 28 PTS in Florida to 7 PTS in Vancouver. Eventually he would be bought out. That trade turned out to be a heist.

5- Rostislav Olesz, June 30 2008, 6 years $18.8M: Signed by Jacques Martin. This was an example of giving a long-term contract to a young unproven player that blew up in their face. He scored 26 PTS in 56 GP the season before signing this contract. He would finish it in the AHL before being bought out.

6- Ed Jovanovski, July 1 2011, 4 years $16.5M: Signed by Dale Tallon. Jovocop was pretty much done when he inked this deal at age 35. It turned out to be a terrible idea, as are many long-term contracts given out to 30+ defensemen. He scored 19 PTS in 109 GP in Florida.

7- Scottie Upshall, July 1 2011, 4 years $14M: Signed by Dale Tallon. 62 PTS in 192 GP can’t be what the Panthers were expecting to get out of him. He did have one good season on this contract, the rest sucked. He followed this up with a 1 year $700K deal with St. Louis, to show how much his value fell.

8- Dmitri Kulikov, July 18 2014, 3 years $13M: Signed by Dale Tallon? He was a decent player for the two seasons played in Florida on this contract. Then he was traded to Buffalo and was below decent.

9- Filip Kuba, July 1 2012, 2 years $8M:  Signed by Dale Tallon. He scored 10 PTS in 44 GP before being bought out. Never played in the NHL again.

10- Jozef Stumpel, June 29 2007, 2 years $4.5M: Signed by Jacques Martin. He scored 20 PTS in 52 GP before being bought out. Never played in the NHL again.

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