Thursday, November 2, 2017

San Jose Sharks 15 Best/Worst Contracts of Salary Cap Era


UPDATED: AUGUST 2018

What are the San Jose Sharks 15 best and 15 worst non-entry level contracts they have signed since the NHL had a salary cap? Every single one of these was signed by Doug Wilson. I've noticed that Doug does not give out many terrible contracts, making it difficult to assemble 15 bad contracts. His strike-outs tend to have a smaller price tag than many General Managers. That might have something to do with why he's kept that job so long. 

BEST

1- Brent Burns, Aug 1 2011, 5 years $28.8M: In the first 2 seasons of this contract he had 68 PTS in 99 GP. By the last year he had 76 PTS in 82 GP and was in the conversation for league MVP. Also played a big role in their run to the Stanley Cup final.

2- Marc Vlasic, July 11 2012, 5 years $21.3M: He was never a big point scorer, but still produced a 39-point season in year three. He played some tough minutes for the Sharks and was +62 over this span. This is one of those guys who could play in the top 4 of any team in the league.

3- Logan Couture, Aug 30 2011, 2 years $5.8M: He scored 91 PTS in 113 GP. This price tag was very low considering he was coming off back to back 30 goal seasons on the end of his entry level deal.

4- Joe Pavelski, June 24 2010, 4 years $16M: He scored 237 PTS in 286 GP, including a career high 79 PTS in year four (which for 2014 was the 2nd lowest non-entry level AAV of players with over 75 PTS).

5- Martin Jones, July 1 2015, 3 years $9M: They took a gamble on a guy who had mostly just been a really good back-up goalie and instead got a legit #1 who took them to a Stanley Cup final. Not bad.

6- Joe Thornton, July 1 2007, 3 years $21.6M: This contract isn’t going to make any “best bargain” lists, but they still got 245 PTS in 241 GP and one of the league’s most dominant centers. This would be the highest point per game contract he signed with the San Jose Sharks. The 3 best seasons of his career in San Jose were on a contract signed by the Boston Bruins.

7- Christian Ehrhoff, July 9 2008, 3 years $9.3M: San Jose practically gave him to the Canucks in a trade I’ll never understand. That’s not a bad price for a 40-point defenseman. He reached 50 PTS in year three and played a big role in Vancouver’s run to the Stanley Cup final.

8- Joe Pavelski, June 25 2008, 2 years $3.3M: He jumped up from 40 to 59 PTS in year one of this contract and finished with 110 PTS for $3.3M. That’s a win.

9- Patrick Marleau, Aug 15 2005, 3 years $12.5M: This AAV adjusts to $7.8M with cap inflation, but it’s still the best value the Sharks got out of Marleau in the salary cap era. He was squeezed into a team friendly contract coming out of the lost season when the cap was $39M.

10- Tom Preissing, Aug 10 2005, 2 years $1M: If you can get 81 PTS in 154 GP from the blueline for close to the league minimum, that’s awesome. Preissing would then get overpaid on his next contract, and his career took a nose dive.

11- Matt Carle, Nov 21 2007, 4 years $13.8M: This young defenseman averaged 22.5 minutes of ice time per game over these 4 seasons, amassing 320 GP, 139 PTS and a +56 rating. His next contract would be too big and can be found on the Tampa Bay Lightning worst contracts list.

12- Antti Niemi, Mar 31 2011, 4 years $15.2M: Niemi was a good goalie in a San Jose Sharks uniform, playing 237 games with 128 Wins, 74 Loses, 19 Shutouts, 2.41 GAA and .916 SV%. His next contract can be found on the Dallas Stars worst contracts list.

13- Brad Stuart, Aug 15 2005, 2 years $4.3M: Stuart averaged just under 24 minutes of ice time per game under this contract, with 65 PTS in 153 GP. He did most of that in Boston after being part of the Joe Thornton trade.

14- Patrick Marleau, Aug 31 2007, 2 years $12.6M: That cap hit wasn’t exactly cheap (it would be close to $8.7M AAV with a $79M cap), but he did produce at an elite level and was worth every penny, scoring 154 PTS in 158 GP.

15- Ryane Clowe, July 3, 2009, 4 years $14.5M: Over the first 2 seasons he scored 119 PTS as a power forward. His production started to dip in year three at age 28. His next contract can be found on the New Jersey Devils worst contracts list.

WORST

1- Kyle McLaren, Aug 11 2005, 3 years $7.5M: He produced 28 PTS in 128 GP averaging 20 minutes of ice time per game over the first 2 seasons. He spent the last year of this contract in the AHL. That’s an automatic fail for a contract with that price tag.

2- Mark Bell, July 25 2006, 3 years $6.5M: Bell was arrested during this contract, but hey, most folk heroes started out as criminals, right? He scored 48 PTS the season before signing this contract, then dropped to 21 PTS in year one, a trade to Toronto, 10 PTS in year two, AHL by year three.

3- Jonathon Cheechoo, Feb 7 2006, 5 years $15M: When this contract was first signed, it looked like a tremendous bargain for a 56-goal scorer. But he got worse each season after it was signed, dropping all the way down to 5 goals, 14 PTS in 61 GP in year four. Then he was bought out.

4- Mikkel Boedker, July 1 2016, 4 years $16M: His production dropped by half in year one of the contract and he was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. He’s young enough there’s still hope he can turn this around, but I’m not optimistic. The good news for the Sharks is they managed to dump this contract on the Senators for a great return.

5- Paul Martin, July 1 2015, 4 years $19.4M: His first 2 seasons on this contract were decent, scoring 46 PTS in 159 GP averaging 20 minutes of ice time per game. Year three, he played more AHL than NHL games and was bought out.

6- Raffi Torres, Jun 20 2013, 3 years $6M: “He’s not playing, he’s suspended”, eventually San Jose dumped the rest of this contract on the Maple Leafs but he never played in Toronto.

7- Adam Burish, July 1 2012, 4 years $7.4M: He had a career year of 19 PTS the season before signing this contract at age 29. Over 3 seasons he scored 6 PTS in 81 GP for the Sharks before being bought out.

8- Craig Rivet, Jun 22 2007, 4 years $14M: He was waived by the Sharks after 1 season, and went on to Buffalo where he got worse each year. By year four he fell down to 4 PTS in 37 GP at age 36 and never signed another NHL contract.

9- Brad Stuart, June 15 2012, 3 years $10.8M: He signed this 3-year contract at age 32 and saw an immediate decline in his PTS production, going from 21 PTS in 81 GP down to 6 PTS in 48 GP in year one. They were able to trade him after year two to Colorado for 2nd and 6th round draft picks. Not a bad haul for a 34-year-old declining defenseman.

10- Michal Handzus, July 1 2011, 2 years $5M: They gave him this contract at age 34. He scored 32 PTS in 106 GP, which is not worth $5M.

11- Brenden Dillon, June 29 2015, 5 years $16.4M: Maybe it’s too soon to declare this a bad contract at 25 years old, but over the first two seasons he’s averaging 16 minutes of ice per game. He’s a bit pricey for the role he’s playing. Does not contribute much to the offense.

12- Douglas Murray, Sep 24 2008, 4 years $10M: It was a 4-year contract for a 29-year-old player and his average ice time got smaller each season. The first 2 seasons were decent, but he dropped off on the back half.

13- Jim Vandermeer, July 1 2011, 1 year $1M: He played 25 games, scoring 4 PTS, averaging just over 10 minutes of ice time per game as a defenseman. That’s not good.

14- Niclas Wallin, June 26 2010, 1 year $3.5M: He scored 8 PTS in 74 GP and never played in the NHL again.

15- Kent Huskins, July 1 2009, 2 years $3.4M: The Sharks probably got what they expected from Huskins, playing bottom pairing minutes and contributing limited offense. This wasn’t a terrible waste of money, but it wasn’t good either.

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