What have been the 10 biggest NHL contracts given out to Russian players since the league imposed a salary cap? Ovechkin comes in at #1 with his 12 year $114M deal. Malkin made the list twice by signing two shorter term contracts than Ovie, instead of going for just one massive contract.
1- Alex Ovechkin, Wsh, 12 yrs $114.5M: Ovie has already scored more than 400 goals over its span, so that’s a win. As the salary cap has gone up, the AAV has become more reasonable. He’ll go down as one of the greatest goal scorers in NHL history. Any team would love to have this contract, even at age 30.
2- Ilya Kovalchuk, NJ, 15 yrs $100M: He was good for his 3 years in New Jersey, but bolted back to the KHL at age 29. This contract could have been a lot worse, but since he retired so early in the contract, the cap recapture penalty was relatively small. I guess the people who made the formula to punish this contract had not anticipated early retirement.
3- Evgeni Malkin, Pit, 8 yrs $76M: Three seasons into this contract they’ve won 2 Stanley Cups, 249 PTS in 233 GP, 46 playoff PTS and counting. Malkin could have been playoff MVP in 2017 if not for Crosby.
4- Vladimir Tarasenko, Stl, 8 yrs $60M: Back in 2015 this seemed a bit pricey, but after 79 goals over the first 2 seasons it’s looking like a bargain. It’s far below the bar set by the Draisaitl contract. This is the same contract that Kucherov should have received last year.
5- Ilya Bryzgalov, Phi, 9 yrs $51M: He was not able to collect the entire $51M before the contract was bought out, but he did win the “cash for life” lottery.
6- Pavel Datsyuk, Det, 7 yrs $47M: They won a Stanley Cup that they wouldn’t have won without this contract. Also 476 PTS in 461 GP in the regular season is good too. Oh yeah, and he won 3 Selke trophies on this deal.
7- Evgeni Malkin, Pit, 5 yrs $43M: Won the Hart Trophy for league MVP under this contract. It’s hard to put a price on guys this good.
8- Alex Semin, Car, 5 yrs $35M: Washington never gave Semin a long-term contract (his first 7 seasons of non-entry level were all one and two-year deals), until Carolina caved in at age 29. His production declined almost immediately after hitting his big pay day. He had 19 PTS in 57 GP in year two before being bought out.
9- Ilya Kovalchuk, Wpg, 5 yrs $32M: He surpassed 50 goals twice and 40 goals 3 times for 230 goals in those 5 years. That’s a win at any price
10- Sergei Bobrovsky, Cbj, 4 yrs $29.7M: BOBROVSKY! Won the Vezina trophy in year two.