Wednesday, February 21, 2018

5 Best Bargain NHL Contracts Given to Players After Winning Stanley Cup (2006-2016)

What have been the 5 best bargain contracts given to NHL players who just won the Stanley Cup since the salary cap? Hint most these were Restricted Free Agents, so the team had leverage to squeeze them into a lighter contract. This was a somewhat limited sample, due to the limited number of players with expiring contracts in Stanley Cup winning seasons. Some had also signed extensions prior to actually hoisting the trophy, but not the players on the list below. All these guys had to schedule their day with the Cup while also negotiating their next contract.

1- Brad Marchand, Boston Sep 14 2011, 2 years $5M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. 121 GP 91 PTS. He was a 20-goal scorer coming off a Stanley Cup win. I’m not sure how they got him this cheap. The deal didn't get done until mid September, so obviously there was some disagreement on the number but Marchand didn't want to miss training camp.

2- Jonathan Quick, LA Jun 28 2012, 10 years $58M: That’s a pretty good price for a goalie who had just won the playoff MVP. They won another Stanley Cup on this contract too. It's worth noting that this is a back-diving contract that would be illegal in the latest CBA.  Even if his skills start to erode in the back half of the contract and he starts to wear down, they have already received good value for their money.

3- Eric Staal, Carolina July 1 2006, 3 years $13.5M: Signed by Jim Rutherford. Adjusting for cap inflation that AAV is closer to $7.5M, but still, 227 PTS in 246 GP is elite level production. This was Staal's 2nd contract, and he would double is salary on his 3rd.

4- Alex Goligoski, Pittsburgh, June 19 2009, 3 years $5.5M: Signed by Ray Shero. Goligoski only played 2 playoff games in the Penguins 2009 Cup run. Since he was not a major piece in the Cup run and an RFA, he signed a reasonably priced bridge deal. He broke out as an offensive player the following season.

5- Justin Schultz, Pittsburgh, July 13 2016, 1 year $1.4M: Signed by Jim Rutherford. Schultz did not do much in the playoffs the season he arrived in Pittsburgh. He was an unrestricted free agent that summer but opted to return to the Pens for a cheaper price. He sure earned this contract, with 51 PTS in the regular season and 13 more in the playoffs.

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