Tag Archives: new jersey devils

Worst NHL contracts on the books

In our  continued effort to point out how we could easily be better GMs than a number of people currently holding that position in the NHL, we would like to take a moment to highlight some of the worst contracts currently on the books for NHL teams. It may be the ridiculous overvaluation of a player, the length of the contract or the fact that it is hamstringing their salary cap but one thing is for sure – these GMs must have been choking on their crystal meth pipes when they signed these.

Thomas Vanek (Buffalo Sabres)– $6.4 million for 3 more years, cap hit $7 /year
To be fair to Buffalo their hand was forced by a ridiculous offer sheet from Edmonton oilers GM Kevin Lowe. They matched and they have a 25-35 goal scorer who is not even remotely consistent.

Jay Bouwmeester (Calgary Flames) – $6.6 million for 3 more years, same cap hit
No shocker that one of the worst signings can be attributed to Darryl Sutter, hell you could make an entire list of terrible signings from him. This one was just a complete overvaluation for a good defenceman. $6.6 mil a year will buy you Dustin Byfuglien AND Brent Seabrook.

Shawn Horcoff (Edmonton Oilers) – $6.5, 6.0, 4.0 with $5.5 cap hit for next 3 years
Ahh it’s good to be an NHL player in Alberta, overpayments are in adundance. The sheer fact that Horcoff and his agent were able to get this out of the Oilers just proves how clueless Kevin Lowe is.

Scott Gomez (Montreal Canadiens via NY Rangers) – $7.5, 5.5, 4.5 with $7/year cap hit for next three years
Glen Sather must have taught Darryl Sutter and Kevin Lowe everything he knows because he is the original monopoly man, throwing money around like it is nothing. Over the years he has had so many bad signings it’s tough to list them all. Unfortunately for Montreal, they were dumb enough to trade for the perennial underperformer who has averaged under 14.2 goals a season over the past 4 years.

Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey Devils) – $6.667 cap hit for the next…..15 years. No big deal
What else can you say that hasn’t been said. To be fair, Ilya is an impressive -29 this year.

Rick Dipietro (NY Islanders) – $4.5 mil/year until 2021 same cap hit
Well thank god Charles Wang locked up his injury prone goaltender situation for one and a half decades when he did. Without that signing they may have actually been able to build a decent team around a decent goaltender.

 Wade Redden (NY Rangers) – $6.5, 5.0, 5.0 with a cap hit of $6.5…if he played in the NHL
Ah Mr. Sather makes another appearance on the list. Good work Slats. Glen has been the GM for the Rangers for 10 years now and has signed superstars such as Chis Drury, Scott Gomez, Bobby Holik, Eric Lindros, and Pavel Bure to long term contracts. None of them really worked out, but that doesn’t phase Slats from returning to that vault and minting more money for players that don’t deserve it.

Sergei Gonchar (Ottawa Senators) – $5.5/year for 2 more years with same cap hit
In a move that didn’t really make a whole lot of sense Bryan Murray signed Sergei Gonchar to a 3 year deal during the last offseason. He already had offensive players that are questionable at defence in Chris Campoli and Erik Karlsson.

Mike Komisarek (Toronto Maple Leafs) – $6.0, 5.5, 3.5, 3.5 cap hit of $4.5 per year
At what point does a defenceman that averages 15 points, + 4, and 110 PIMs turn into a contract that pays him $6 million dollars and averages $4.5 million over five years. Can’t even put into words what a misappropriation of funds that is.

Sure we’ve left plenty off this list so feel free to list your favourite contract on the market right now.

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MISMANAGEMENT – Usually gets you fired

Does anybody else have a hard time figuring out the way the NHL does business? The fans of the NHL were forced to miss out on an entire season of NHL hockey in 2005 when the owners of the NHL decided to lock out the players and force them into a salary cap. Now, I am a fan of the salary cap, it puts all 30 teams on a level playing field and the best managed, developed and coached teams are the ones that are winning the Stanley Cup. The fact that there hasn’t been a repeat winner since the 90’s is probably due to the fact that the GM’s and management of the NHL don’t seem to be the brightest. Look no further then Darryl Sutter and his recent handy work with the Calgary Flames. Prior to the lock-out in 2004-2005 the teams with the deepest pockets were able to buy all of the talented players and essentially buy the championship. As a fan of a relatively small market team, due to the disparity in the Canadian Dollar versus the American Dollar it was a tad annoying losing constantly to Detroit, Colorado and co. and their stacked line ups. So, the agreed upon CBA was a welcome sight and the changes that followed made the “new” NHL a more exciting game. The arrivals of Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin didn’t hurt either.

The part that has irked me is that the NHL owners got together and forced the players into a situation where they had to accept the salary cap. But, who were the owners protecting them selves from? At the end of the day it is the owners who are signing the checks and agreeing to pay players ridiculous amounts of money. The salary cap was a tool that has become a necessity to protect the owners from themselves. So, what do the owners do the second the salary cap comes into play? They take off their NHL hats and turn into irresponsible imbeciles. They begin to examine the CBA and find ways that they can circumvent the cap so that they can pay these players
the type of money that they complain about later. If I was a player in the NHL, why wouldn’t I accept a $102 million contract that is going to pay me millions of dollars until I am 44 and no longer playing the game. What person in their right mind is going to say “no” to a lifetime contract that guarantees all of that money?!

The recent news of the NHL, rejecting the Illya Kovalchuck agreement is a real head scratcher because there have been countless other long-term deals of similar ilk. The only difference in this deal then others is that Mr. Lamoreillo was a little too aggressive with the length of the deal and he didn’t leave much salary at the back-end. The owner of the NJ Devils signed the deal and it is his arrogant commissioner, Gary Bettman, “Mr. No National TV Deal”, who rejected it and is now “investigating” several other “lifetime deals” like Roberto Luongo in Vancouver, Marc Savard in Boston, Chris Pronger in Philadelphia, Marian Hossa in Chicago and I’m sure countless others. It just seems like one massive, critical mistake after another which is inevitably going to affect the fan once more when the current CBA expires. I am sure the posturing and propaganda is about to start any day now and the owners will paint the players like selfish, spoiled little children again. How can they let all of these deals go and then all of sudden reject one? News reports making the rounds in recent weeks suggest that the NHL wasn’t fond of the long-term deals, but the fact is they never did anything about it. They registered all of the deals and rubber stamped them, why now are they doing something about it? They created the CBA, ratified it and then shot holes in it like it is target practice. A real commissioner would have seriously considered rejecting the first “lifetime deal” and would have fined the owner in question. It is going to be interesting to see how this all plays out, but I just don’t see how this is going to look good for the NHL. They have nobody to blame but themselves and they make the players and fans the scape goats. Another lockout in 2012 is going to hurt and it may be equally as long as the 2004-2005 fiasco, because the owners and management of the NHL have screwed themselves over again.