Which 10 hockey players from Finland have signed the biggest contracts in the NHL since the introduction of the salary cap? It should be noted that Selanne is not on this list because he signed a long series of short term deals (see my list of 10 best 1 year contracts). We see this list led by goaltenders, a position the Fins have been well known for producing at the elite level.
1- Tuukka Rask, BOS, 8 yrs $56M: He won the Vezina in year one. That’s a win.
2- Pekka Rinne, NSH, 7 yrs $49M: He was the NHL’s highest paid goalie at the time this was signed, but would eventually be overtaken. Has had a few good seasons, but his play has mostly slipped (2.41 GAA, .914 SV%).
3- Mikko Koivu, MIN, 7 yrs $47M: His offensive production has dropped as he’s gotten older, but he’s always strong in Selke voting.
4- Kimmo Timonen, PHI, 6 yrs $38M: He’s in the conversation for greatest defensemen in the history of Finland.
5- Aleksander Barkov, FLA, 6 yrs $35.4M: In 2017/18 this is currently among the best bargain contracts in the NHL.
6- Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY, 6 yrs $35M: This contract was good at times, bad at times, more often bad than good (2.60 GAA, .910 SV%). He was 32 years old in year one and never finished above 8th in Vezina voting during the 5 years he played under this deal, retiring one year early on the back dive.
7- Rasums Ristolainen, BUF, 6 yrs $32.4M: There are mixed reviews early in his career, but his best production should still be ahead of him.
8- Kari Lehtonen, DAL, 5 yrs $29.5M: He’ put up a 2.73 GAA and .908 SV% under this contract. That’s a bit pricey for that level of goaltending.
9- Ville Leino, BUF, 6 yrs $27M: This was the biggest failure on this list. He scored 56 PTS the season before signing this contract. In 3 seasons for Buffalo he scored just 46 PTS before being bought out.
10- Valteri Filppula, TB, 5 yrs $25M: He was reasonably productive for the Lightning, but a bit pricey for what he contributed.