Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Worst NHL Contracts 2018

What are the 15 worst contracts in the NHL in 2018? Last year’s winner Bobby Ryan has been overtaken by Zach Parise, although there are no winners in this game, only losers. It's probably a coin toss which contract is worst, Ryan or Parise. All things being equal, I'd rather have Parise on my team, but he's owed more money than Ryan, so that breaks the tie. Click here to view last year's list. Antoine Roussel should probably be on this list, but I prefer to allow players to begin playing on a contract before qualifying as league worst deal. He'll be here next year.

There is more preference given to those contracts with more term remaining, which is why the last year of Matt Moulson did not make the list. It would also appear that the "cap recapture penalty" is no longer an issue now that teams have found a way to circumvent it.

1) Zach Parise, Minnesota, 7 more yrs @ $7.4M: Over the last 5 seasons Parise’s games played totals have been 67, 74, 70, 69, 42. Obviously staying healthy has been an issue, and he is now 34 years old with 6 years remaining. The future is not looking good for the Wild. Their Stanley Cup window may be closed, though some may argue it was never truly open. In hindsight, the Parise and Suter contracts were very likely high on the list of decisions that got Chuck Fletcher fired. If it’s any consolation, the last 3 years get pretty cheap in terms of total money out, and he will surely end up on LTIR instead of the team getting hit with a cap recapture penalty. Where can I place a large wager that Parise will suffer a career ending injury in the summer of 2022?

2) Bobby Ryan, Ottawa, 4 more yrs @ $7.25M: Bobby ranked #1 on this list last year, but has been overtaken by Parise. This is probably the most famous terrible contract in the league, after Dorion had tried to insist for months that any suitor for Erik Karlsson also take Bobby Ryan. Obviously, that didn’t work, but the way Ottawa has been shedding payroll, they may soon need Bobby to hit reach the salary floor. He only scored 48 and 54 PTS the 2 seasons before this contract, so they already knew they weren’t going to get elite level production for that elite level salary. The last 2 seasons he has scored 25 and 33 PTS. 

3) Loui Eriksson, Vancouver, 4 more yrs @ $6M: In his last 2 seasons in Boston, Loui scored 52 Goals and 110 PTS. In his first 2 seasons in Vancouver, he has scored 21 Goals and 47 PTS. What the Canucks thought they bought, and what they actually got are not the same. Now Loui is 33 years old with 4 years remaining. He was hoped to have magical chemistry with the Sedins that never materialized. The twins have now retired, the team is in the middle of a rebuild, with Loui still cashing monster paychecks for minimal production.

4) Andrew Ladd, Islanders, 5 more yrs @ $5.5M: Ladd’s point totals the 3 seasons prior to this contract were 54, 62, and 46. Over the first 2 seasons of this contract he has scored 31 and 29 PTS. They thought they were getting a 50-point player, but they got a 30-point player and the decline happened immediately. Now he’s 32 years old with 5 years remaining. That’s not good. He was brought in to help build a contender for John Tavares, they missed the playoffs both years, and Johnny bolted to Toronto. This could not have turned out worse.

5) Shea Weber, Montreal, 8 more yrs @ $7.8M: Weber has already been paid $80M of the $110M he’s owed on his front-loaded contract, so his remaining cap hit is much worse than what he’s actually being paid. He ran into injury problems last season at age 33, having knee surgery that will cost him part of the upcoming schedule. His future productivity is very much in doubt. Don’t expect him to play out the full contract, but he’ll be a prime candidate for LTIR before anyone has to pay a “cap recapture” penalty.

6) Ryan Callahan, Tampa, 2 more yrs @ $5.8M: Over the first 4 seasons of this contract, Callahan point totals have been 54, 28, 4, and 18. Now he’s 33 years old with 2 more years left at a price tag that’s far too high. We have seen Steve Yzerman’s signature on some of the most incredible bargain contracts in the salary cap era, but Callahan’s deal does remind us that Stevie Y has some strikeouts too.

7) Milan Lucic, Edmonton, 5 more yrs @ $6M: His first season in Edmonton saw the big man score 50 PTS to help the Oilers return to the playoffs for the first time in years. Year two saw him take a nose dive down to 10 Goals and 34 PTS with the team missing the playoffs. Now he’s on the wrong side of 30 years old with $30M in cap hit still owing. There have been some rumblings that Milan may have demanded a trade, but if that’s true, good luck finding a team who wants to pick up the tab for this one.

8) Carey Price, Montreal, 8 more yrs @ $10.5M: Price signed this extension prior to the 2017/18 season with a year remaining on his old deal. He then proceeded to put up the worst season of his career at age 30 with a 3.11 GAA and .900 SV%. If he can return to form, he has the talent to be a Vezina candidate. How likely is that to happen at age 31? Sure, Pekka Rinne did win the Vezina at age 34, so it’s not impossible, I’m just not betting on it because Carey does not have the Nashville Predators defense playing in front of him. The Habs roster is a train wreck in progress.

9) Scott Darling, Carolina, 3 more yrs @ $4.2M: His first season in Carolina was nothing short of a disaster, posting a 3.18 GAA and .888 SV%. It’s possible that he could still turn this around at age 29, but I’ll believe it when I see it. This upcoming season he will split time with Petr Mrazek and if he still sucks, he’ll be strong buyout candidate in the summer. Darling has had a strong 2018 preseason, for whatever that's worth. He'll need to do that over a full schedule to play his way off this list.

10) Matt Belesky, Rangers, 2 more yrs @ $3.8M: Boston managed to get Belesky’s contract thrown into the Nash trade as a salary dump. Fans of the Hartford Wolf Pack will hope that he can improve on the 5 Goals he scored in 35 AHL GP last season. Matty could be returned to the AHL, then again, if the Rangers want to tank and get a higher draft position, Belesky could be a truly helpful addition to the big league roster. Regardless of how they choose to deploy him, they would get more value by lighting $3.8M on fire.

11) Corey Perry, Anaheim, 3 more yrs @ $8.6M: It’s worth pointing out that with 49 PTS in 71 GP, Perry is the leading scorer on this list from last season. His production warrants about half as much salary as he’s currently earning, with his best days most certainly behind him. Perry suffered a serious knee injury during warm-ups of a preseason game and will miss the next 5 months. Whether or not this will permanently slow him down for the rest of his career remains to be seen. At age 33 time is not be on his side. It's worth pointing out that Perry qualified for this list prior to his injury, so at least one of those three remaining years will be a write-off on LTIR.

12) Henrik LundqvistRangers, 3 more yrs @ $8.5M: The first half of this 7-year contract returned good value for the Rangers, but his play started to decline at age 34. His GAA and SV% the last 2 seasons have been 2.74, 2.98 and .910, .915. Last season the Rangers missed the playoffs for the first time in years and have entered a full rebuild, still dragging around this 36-year-old declining asset for 3 more years. The Rangers wanted to trade him while he might still have some value left, but King Henry likes the Big Apple.

13) Frans Nielsen, Detroit, 4 more yrs @ $5.25M: When the Red Wings passed on Jakob Chychrun so they could dump the Datsyuk contract on Phoenix, Ken Holland used the money he saved to land Nielsen in free agency hoping to extend their playoff streak. The Red Wings have not played a single playoff game over the first two seasons of this contract, and now Nielsen is 34 years old with 4 years remaining. He scored 52 PTS the season before signing this contract, scoring 41 and 33 PTS since landing in Detroit.

14) Brendan Smith, Rangers, 3 more yrs @ $4.3M: There is no chance that the Rangers expected Smith to be playing for their AHL affiliate in year one of this contract, where he scored 2 PTS in 11 GP. He’s no guarantee to make their roster this season, but it’s unlikely the Rangers will be competing for a playoff spot, so they may as well play him on the big team. It’s another one of those “he can help the team if the goal is to tank” type of situation.

15) Karl Alzner, Montreal, 4 more yrs @ $5.5M: Alzner did not originally qualify for the top 15, getting edged out by Brandon Dubinsky. He ranks #3 on my Montreal Canadiens worst contracts since the salary cap list, and was nominated for this list, just not chosen. Then a day later the Habs ended his 600+ game ironman streak as a healthy scratch on opening night in favour of Jordie Benn and Xavier Oullett. Ouch. This requires me to amend the original list and bump Dubinsky down to an honorable mention. 


16) Brandon Dubinsky, Columbus, 3 more yrs @ $5.8M: The decline of Brandon Dubinsky did not hit full stride until last season at age 31 when he scored 16 PTS in 62 GP. He also contributed zero PTS in 6 playoff GP. At this point in his career he’s little more than a checking line center, problem is that commodity is supposed to cost significantly less than this.

No comments:

Post a Comment