NHL

The All-Worst Contract Team…

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By Ryan Porth

Between the free agent frenzy and controversy surrounding Ilya Kovalchuk’s new (yet rejected) pact, it had me thinking about the bad contracts around the NHL today.  Here’s the 20 players I feel have the worst contracts – not necessarily the most overpaid – making up an active NHL roster (12 forwards, 6 defensemen, 2 goalies).

Forwards

Derek Boogaard, NY Rangers

Initial contract: 4 years, $6.5 million (starts in 2010-11)

Cap hit: $1.625 million

Remaining: 4 years

09/10 Stats: 57 GP, 4 Pts, -12, 105 PIM

Rangers GM Glen Sather continued his history of bad contracts by giving Boogaard a four-year deal.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Minnesota

Initial contract: 5 years, $20.4 million (started in 2008-09)

Cap hit: $4.08 million

Remaining: 3 years

08/09 Stats: 71 GP, 16 G, 30 A, 46 Pts, -5

Bouchard struggled the year after receiving this new contract, and missed 81 games last season due to injury.

Chris Drury, NY Rangers

Initial contract: 5 years, $35.25 million (2007-08)

**Cap hit: $7.05 million

Remaining: 2 years

09/10 Stats: 77 GP, 14 G, 18 A, 32 Pts, -10

Drury’s presence on and off the ice can be valuable to every team in the NHL… but at a price of over $7 million a year?  No thanks.

Martin Erat, Nashville

Initial contract: 7 years, $31.5 million (2008-09)

**Cap hit: $4.5 million

Remaining: 5 years

09/10 Stats: 74 GP, 21 G, 28 A, 49 Pts, -7

A ‘small-market’ team like Nashville can’t afford to overpay for players.  Well, Erat falls under that category.

Scott Gomez, Montreal

Initial contract: 7 years, $51.5 million (2007-08 w/ NYR)

*Cap hit: $7.357143 million

Remaining: 4 years

09/10 Stats: 78 GP, 12 G, 47 A, 59 Pts, +1

Gomez is not a goal-scorer, but has a bigger cap hit than Joe Thornton.  Yet another Sather signing that quickly became ugly.

Shawn Horcoff, Edmonton

Initial contract: 6 years, $33 million (2009-10)

**Cap hit: $5.5 million

Remaining: 5 years

09/10 Stats: 61 GP, 13 G, 23 A, 36 Pts, -29

Horcoff’s contract baffles me.  A no-movement clause for a player that simply hasn’t been the same since 2006??  Geez!

Marian Hossa, Chicago

Initial contract: 12 years, $63.3 million (2009-10)

Cap hit: $5.275 million

Remaining: 11 years

09/10 Stats: 57 GP, 24 G, 27 A, 51 Pts, +24

Hossa’s a great player and was a key part to the Hawks’ Cup run.  It’s the 12-year portion of his contract that lands him here.

Olli Jokinen, Calgary

Initial contract: 2 years, $6 million (2010-11)

*Cap hit: $3 million

Remaining: 2 years

09/10 Stats: 82 GP, 15 G, 35 A, 50 Pts, +3

Jokinen received a two-year deal with a no-trade clause from the team that traded him in February.  I still can’t figure this one out…

Ales Kotalik, Calgary

Initial contract: 3 years, $9 million (2009-10 w/ NYR)

*Cap hit: $3 million

Remaining: 2 years

09/10 Stats: 71 GP, 11 G, 16 A, 27 Pts, -17

Guess who signed Kotalik?  Yeah, that Sather guy again.  Kotalik doesn’t fit in anywhere… except the KHL.

Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay

Initial contract: 11 years, $85 million (2009-10)

**Cap hit: $7.727273 million

Remaining: 10 years

09/10 Stats: 82 GP, 24 G, 46 A, 70 Pts, -16

Captain Vinny’s production has dipped recently, will be making $10 million for the next 7 years, and has already been surpassed on the depth chart by Steven Stamkos.

David Legwand, Nashville

Initial contract: 6 years, $27 million (2008-09)

*Cap hit: $4.5 million

Remaining: 4 years

09/10 Stats: 82 GP, 11 G, 27 A, 38 Pts, -5

See Erat.  Legwand is still a 20-goal scorer in the eyes of GM David Poile… but don’t tell Preds fans that.

Brian Rolston, New Jersey

Initial contract: 4 years, $20.25 million (2008-09)

*Cap hit: $5.0625 million

Remaining: 2 years

09/10 Stats: 80 GP, 20 G, 17 A, 37 Pts, +2

Rolston is as old as his point total from last year… and is reeling in north of $5 million from the now-cap-strapped Devils.

Defensemen

Brian Campbell, Chicago

Initial contract: 8 years, $57.143 million (2008-09)

*Cap hit: $7.142875 million

Remaining: 6 years

09/10 Stats: 68 GP, 7 G, 31 A, 38 Pts, +18

‘Soupy’ is a quality defenseman in this league… but would you pay $7-plus mil to your number three or four blueliner?  Me neither.

Jeff Finger, Toronto

Initial contract: 4 years, $14 million (2008-09)

Cap hit: $3.5 million

Remaining: 2 years

09/10 Stats: 39 GP, 2 G, 8 A, 10 Pts, -11

The popular joke going around two years ago was that the Leafs gave their fans the finger.

Roman Hamrlik, Montreal

Initial contract: 4 years, $22 million (2007-08)

*Cap hit: $5.5 million

Remaining: 1 year

09/10 Stats: 75 GP, 6 G, 20 A, 26 Pts, -2

We all know Hamrlik is a consistent, solid defenseman; but again, $5.5 million?  I think the Habs would like to use some of that money to bring in more offense.

Wade Redden, NY Rangers

Initial contract: 6 years, $39 million (2008-09)

*Cap hit: $6.5 million

Remaining: 4 years

09/10 Stats: 75 GP, 2 G, 12 A, 14 Pts, +8

I don’t have to explain myself, do I?

Cory Sarich, Calgary

Initial contract: 5 years, $18 million (2007-08)

Cap hit: $3.6 million

Remaining: 2 years

09/10 Stats: 57 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 Pts, +4

Sarich was on the bubble for this roster.  He’s a borderline second-pairing defenseman and received a five-year deal back in 2007.

Sheldon Souray, Edmonton

Initial contract: 5 years, $27 million (2007-08)

**Cap hit: $5.4 million

Remaining: 2 years

09/10 Stats: 37 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 13 Pts, -19

Souray also has a no-movement clause, something then-GM Kevin Lowe probably wishes he didn’t hand out.  Souray is virtually stuck in Edmonton…

Goaltenders

Rick DiPietro, NY Islanders

Initial contract: 15 years, $67.5 million (2006-07)

Cap hit: $4.5 million

Remaining: 11 years

09/10 Stats: 8 GP, 2-5-0, 2.60 GAA, .900 SV%

15 years at $4.5 million per.  DiPietro has started 12 games in the last two years, and is still under contract for another decade.  Case closed.

Cristobal Huet, Chicago

Initial contract: 4 years, $22.5 million (2008-09)

Cap hit: $5.625 million

Remaining: 2 years

09/10 Stats: 48 GP, 26-14-4, 2.50 GAA, .895 SV%

If GM Stan Bowman can’t find a sucker to take on Huet’s contract, the Blackhawks will be paying over $5 million for their AHL goaltender.

There you have it, hockey fans… any rebuttals?

*No-Trade Clause

**No-Movement Clause


** Ryan is a diehard hockey fan that would prefer to watch a Leafs-Islanders regular season replay over any NBA game! He’s been the editor in chief of RLD Hockey since it started in 2008, and also contributes to Inside Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Brian Metzer has been covering the Pittsburgh Penguins and National Hockey League since 2004. He is the host of Penguins Live Weekly, a show that airs Saturday mornings on 105.9 the X and iHeart Radio. He serves as the Pittsburgh Penguins correspondent for NHL Network Radio on SiriusXM, and is the NHL and Penguins correspondent for the Beaver County Times. Metzer is also a contributing writer for NHL.com and is the primary contributor for this site www.fromthepoint.com.

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