UPDATED: JULY 2018
What are the Florida Panthers 15 best and 15 worst non-entry level contracts they have signed since the NHL had a salary cap? Whatever you want to say about Tom Rowe as a GM, he has his signature on more good contracts than bad; whereas Dale Tallon has his signature on far more bad contracts than good.
1- Aleksander Barkov, Jan 25 2016, 6 years $35.4M: Signed by Tom Rowe. The kid suffered injury problems in year one but was a bargain by year two. Very skilled center who could probably double his salary if he went on the UFA market tomorrow. He’s played 140 games under this contract and scored 130 PTS.
2- Vincent Trochek, 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. Through the first 164 games of this contract, he has scored 129 PTS.
3- Jonathan 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.
4- 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.
5- 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.
6- 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 big contract from Vancouver and never came close to that goal total again.
7- 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.
8- Jonathan Huberdeau, Sep 6 2016, 6 years $35.4M: Signed by Tom Rowe. In year one at age 24, he scored 69 PTS. He is entering his prime years of production at a good price for what he provides.
9- Jay Bouwmeester, July 28 2006, 2 years $4.4M: Signed by Mike Keenan. In 2 seasons he scored 79 PTS. Florida shipped him out of town because they didn’t want to give him the big ticket long term contract that Calgary did. J-Bo’s next deal can be found on the Calgary Flames worst contracts list.
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.
11- Nathan Horton, July 11 2006, 1 year $1.1M: Signed by Mike Keenan. Not bad for a single season of 62 PTS.
12- Evgeni Dadonov, July 1 2017, 3 years $12M: Signed by Dale Tallon. Dadonov’s return to Florida was a resounding success, scoring 65 PTS in 74 GP. If he can continue this scoring pace over the remainder, he’s a bargain.
13- 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).
14- Mike Santorelli, Aug 13 2010, 1 year $600K: Signed by Dale Tallon. That’s a great price for 20 Goals and 193 Shots. This was the only season that Santorelli came close to this level of production.
15- Reilly Smith, July 3 2016, 5 years $17.1M: Signed by Tom Rowe. In year one he scored 37 PTS in 80 GP and Florida traded him to Las Vegas for a 4th round pick. In year two he scored 60 PTS in 67 GP and made Tallon look bad for dumping him. If he can replicate his early success in Vegas, this is a steal.
1- 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 was bought out. That trade turned out to be a heist.
2- 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.
3- 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.
4- 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 hasn’t played since.
5- 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.
6- 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.
7- 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.
8- 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.
9- 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.
10- Alex Auld, July 14 2006, 1 year $1.5M: Signed by Mike Keenan. Auld played 27 games, winning only 7 of them with a 3.34 GAA and .888 SV%.
11- Kris Versteeg, July 1st 2011, 4 years $17.6M: Signed by Dale Tallon. He had the best season of his career in year one with 54 PTS and never came close to that number again. Florida would eventually trade him to Chicago for Jimmy Hayes.
12- Jacob Markstrom, July 15 2013, 2 years $2.4M: Signed by Dale Tallon. Markstrom was not yet ready for the NHL at this point, playing just 19 games with a 3.36 GAA and .873 SV% over 2 years.
13- Keith Yandle, June 23 2016, 7 years $44.5M: Signed by Tom Rowe. This contract has yet to turn foul, but he’s got 5 years left at age 32. He did manage to score 56 PTS (his 2nd highest career total) at age 31, so age has not yet started to hurt his offense. There are, however, reasons to be concerned about the remaining years on this deal.
14- Bryan Allen, June 13 2007, 5 years $14.5M: Signed by Jacques Martin. He did not do much statistically to earn that money besides hits and blocks. He averaged 12 PTS per season, 19 minutes of ice time with a 46% Corsi For. That AAV would be closer to $4.5M with a $79M salary cap.
15- Willie Mitchell, July 1 2014, 2 years $8.5M: Signed by Dale Tallon. Over these 2 seasons he played 112 games and scored 15 PTS. His Corsi For in year two was 42%.