Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New York Rangers 15 Best, 25 Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


What are the New York Rangers 15 best and 25 worst non entry level contracts they have signed since the NHL had a salary cap? For the Rangers, the worst contracts list kinda writes itself. If you made a list of the 10 worst contracts in NHL salary cap history, at least 3 (arguably 4) of them would be Ranger signings. They whiffed hard on a few smaller contracts as well. If you ranked franchises by “total monies paid out to players playing in the AHL”, the Rangers would be in first place, with the Maple Leafs some distance behind in second. 


1- Henrik Lundqvist, Feb 14 2008, 6 years $41.25M: Signed by Glen Sather. This may not be a “bargain”, but he was one of the best goalies in the league over the span of this contract, winning the Vezina trophy in 2012. Almost every team in the league would have happily traded whoever their goalie was to acquire this contract.

2- Ryan McDonagh, July 8 2013, 6 years $28M: Signed by Glen Sather. There is some debate about just how effective he’s been towards the end of this contract, but there’s no doubt the Rangers got a workhorse top pairing defenseman for below market price. He’s averaged 36 PTS and his combined +/- under this contract is +88. That’s good and he’s still young.

3- Dan Girardi, July 9 2010, 4 years $13.3M: Signed by Glen Sather. When he was younger, Girardi produced more offense. He averaged around 25 minutes per game on a very good team under this contract. But buyer beware, he’s about to get significantly more expensive and start to see age decline on the next contract, which you can see by scrolling down to the worst contracts list below.

4- Mats Zuccarello, Mar 2 2015, 4 years $18M: Signed by Glen Sather. Getting 60-point players in their late 20s generally costs north of $5M AAV, and the Rangers have a good one locked in at $4.5M. That’s a good price for 173 PTS in 241 GP with a year remaining.

5- Ryan Callahan, July 27 2011, 3 years $12.8M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 121 PTS in 186 GP. The Rangers were fortunate to get a player this skilled under $4.5M in his prime years of production. His next contract will be a monster and can be found on the Tampa Bay Lightning worst contracts list.

6- Derek Stepan, Sep 26 2013, 2 years $6.2M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 112 PTS in 150 GP, playing 18 minutes per night working both power play and penalty kill. Productive player that can play all situations.

7- Brandon Dubinsky, Sep 19 2009, 2 years $3.7M:  Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 20+ goals both seasons of this contract at ages 23, 24 and has never reached that milestone since.

8- Chris Kreider, July 22 2016, 4 years $18.5M: Signed by Jeff Gordon. If he continues to produce 30 goals and 50 PTS over the duration of this contract, it will be a great deal for the Rangers. He’s right at the age of peak production and should continue to be a force for a few more years at least.

9- Ryan Callahan, July 13 2009, 2 years $4.6M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 85 PTS in 137 GP. The Rangers hit a home run on a 4th round draft pick then hit home runs on his next two contracts after entry level.

10- Cam Talbot, Feb 18 2013, 2 years $1.1M: Signed by Glen Sather. In 57 GP as Lundqvist’s back-up, he notched 8 shutouts with a 2.00 GAA and .931 SV% for close to the league minimum.

11- Kevin Hayes, July 22 2016, 2 years $5.2M: Signed by Jeff Gordon. That’s a good price for 93 PTS in 152 GP.

12- Antti Raanta, May 5 2016, 2 years $2M: Signed by Jeff Gordon. Another discounted Lundqvist back-up produced 88 GP with a 2.25 GAA and .927 SV%. He played year two on a bad Phoenix team and still put up good numbers.

13- Michal Rozsival, Aug 1 2006, 2 years $4.2M: Signed by Glen Sather. Rozsival averaged over 24 minutes per game of ice time while notching 78 PTS in 160 GP. That price is higher when accounting for cap inflation, but still not unreasonable for blueline PTS production.

14- JT Miller, July 13 2016, 2 years $5.5M: Signed by Jeff Gordon. Miller scored 114 PTS in 164 GP and earned himself a nice pay raise on his next contract in Tampa.

15- Marc Staal, Sep 15 2010, 6 years $19.9M: Signed by Glen Sather. This was a nice bargain for what Marc Staal provides, but his next contract will prove to be too much. He won’t produce much offense but he’s a decent player. It was good value under $4M AAV.


1- Wade Redden, July 1st 2008, 6 years $39M: Signed by Glen Sather. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Wade Redden should be the highest paid player in AHL history (injury rehabs notwithstanding). I sure hope he paid for every single road meal that AHL team ate. He went from 38 PTS the year before signing the contract, down to 26 PTS in year one, 14 PTS by year two, AHL by year three.

2- Scott Gomez, July 1st 2007, 7 years $51.5M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 70 PTS in year 1 and it was pretty much all downhill after that. What’s worse is when you account for the smaller cap in 2007, this AAV is more like $10.5M, which is even more ludicrous. There should be more conspiracy theories about how Sather managed to trade this albatross to Montreal for Ryan McDonagh. Did the Montreal GM lose a bet? Was there blackmail involved?

3- Chris Drury, July 1st 2007, 5 years $35.25M: Signed by Glen Sather. In year one of the contract his point total fell by 11 from the previous season. By year three he dropped to 32 PTS, year four just 5 PTS, and there was no year five. That cap his was more like $10M AAV in 2017 numbers when accounting for cap inflation. This qualifies as one of the all-time worst contracts in the salary cap era.

4- Brad Richards, July 2 2011, 9 years $60M: Signed by Glen Sather. Richards was quasi productive for the first two years then dropped to 50 PTS in year three at age 33 and was bought out. You shouldn’t give contracts like this to 30-year-old players. As much as the Rangers love burning money, you can’t do this in a salary cap world.

5- Henrik Lundqvist, Dec 4 2013, 7 years $59.5M: Signed by Glen Sather. It did not take long on this contract for Lundqvist to get old. Now suddenly he’s mediocre at best and locked in at a lofty price tag. He’s not the King of anything right now.

6- Dan Girardi, Feb 28 2014, 6 years $33M: Signed by Glen Sather. He was a bargain on his last contract, but turned 30 years old when he signed this new deal and started to decline. Once the PTS started to dry up this became a bad contract (which was almost right away). His ice time got smaller and smaller until he was bought out in year three.

7- Marc Staal, Jan 18 2015, 6 years $34M: Signed by Glen Sather. Through the first two seasons he’s averaging around 19m of ice time per game and scored 25 PTS total with $11.4M already in the bank. That’s a mighty price tag for a guy turning 30 who should not be getting any better.

8- Michal Rozsival, July 1st 2008, 4 years $20M: Signed by Glen Sather. He got worse every season under this contract that he signed at 30 years old. With cap inflation that AAV adjusts to $6.5M in 2017 numbers. In year three he was traded for another bad contract, Wojtek Wolski. His next deal would be 1 year $2M.

9- Kevin Weekes, Aug 2 2005, 2 years $3.9M: Signed by Glen Sather. Adjusting for cap inflation, that contract is closer to a $4M AAV in 2018 numbers, which is way too much for the 3.08 GAA and .890 SV% that he produced under this contract.

10- Ales Kotalik, July 9 2009, 3 years $9M: Signed by Glen Sather. Prior to signing this contract, he scored 43 PTS. In year one he scored 27 PTS. By year two he was a regular AHLer earning $3M AAV, that’s a fail. The Rangers managed to trade this contract to Calgary, who sent him down to Abbotsford.

11- Brendan Smith, June 28 2017, 4 years $17.4M: Signed by Jeff Gordon. The Rangers paid 2nd and 3rd round picks to acquire him from the Red Wings, then re-signed him to this generous contract. In year one he scored 8 PTS in 44 GP and was sent to the AHL. He easily cleared waivers with no NHL teams wanting to pick up the contract.

12- Darryl Boogaard, July 1 2010, 4 years $6.5M: Signed by Glen Sather. I’m not including this contract simply because he passed away, it still would have been a terrible contract had he lived to its end. This is the largest contract you’ll see for a one-dimensional fighter. Ryan Reaves just finished off a 4 year $4.5M deal but is arguably a far better hockey player than the Boogeyman (who never even had more than 82 hits in a season). Boogeyman is in the conversation for worst all around hockey players in league history. He was never even voted MVP of the all-star game.

13- Mike Rupp, July 1 2011, 3 years $4.5M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored 17 PTS the season before signing this contract. He had 5 PTS in 67 GP before he was traded to Minnesota for two players who made no impact at the NHL level. Eventually Minnesota sent him to the AHL. A tough guy over the age of 30 when he signed.

14- Tanner Glass, July 1 2014, 3 years $4.4M: Signed by Glen Sather. They gave a $1.4M AAV contract to a 30-year-old tough guy who ended up playing 57 AHL games in year three. Millionaire AHLers are always an automatic fail.

15- Donald Brashear, July 1 2009, 2 years $2.8M: Signed by Glen Sather. He spent the last year of this contract playing semi-pro in Quebec, probably the highest paid player LNAH history. He scored 17 goals for Riviere Du Loup for $1.4M. Another failed contract for a 30+ year old tough guy.

16- Patrick Rissmiller, July 1 2008, 3 years $3M: Signed by Glen Sather. He scored an impressive 54 PTS in 66 GP in year one, unfortunately all those points were scored in the AHL. Good signing for the Hartford Wolf Pack though.

17- Aaron Voros, July 1st 2008, 3 years $3M: Signed by Glen Sather. He played most of the last season of this contract in the AHL, but hey he reportedly had sex with Lindsay Lohan, so take that for whatever it’s worth.

18- Aaron Asham, July 1 2012, 2 years $2M: Signed by Glen Sather. In year two he was playing in the AHL. He was a 34-year-old tough guy when the Rangers signed him. See a pattern here?

19- Markus Naslund, July 3 2008, 2 years $8M: Signed by Glen Sather. That AAV would be $5.6M with a $79M salary cap. That’s a bit pricey for 42 PTS in 82 GP.

20- Kevin Shattenkirk, July 1 2017, 4 years $26.6M: Signed by Jeff Gordon. There is still 3 years remaining on this contract after Shattenkirk had some injury problems in year one. There may be better days ahead, but there are also reasons to be concerned.

21- Dan Boyle, July 1 2014, 2 years $9M: Signed by Glen Sather. By age 38 Dan Boyle did not have much left in the tank. His offensive production fell to half of what it was when he was 35. That’s not good when you’re supposed to be an offensive specialist. The good news is that he avoided finishing his contract in the minors.

22- Petr Prucha, July 5 2007, 2 years $3.2M: Signed by Glen Sather. They paid for a 40-point player and got half of that. He scored 30 goals as a rookie and got worse almost every season thereafter. In year two he was shipped to Phoenix in the Derek Morris trade.

23- Taylor Pyatt, July 3 2012, 2 years $3.1M: Signed by Glen Sather. In the last year of this contract he scored 5 PTS in 56 games and was waived. His next contract would be in the Swiss league.

24- Alex Frolov, July 27 2010, 1 year $3M: Signed by Glen Sather. He played 43 games and scored 16 PTS for $3M. This was his last NHL contract before returning to Russia.

25- Marek Malik, Aug 2 2005, 3 years $7.5M: Signed by Glen Sather. The AAV on this contract would be a little over $5M adjusting for a $79M salary cap. Malik was not terrible and did manage to put up a +67, but still only averaged 16 PTS per season. Maybe he got a bonus for creative shootout moves.

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