Mega Millions: 6 NHL Players Who Will Cash in This Offseason
The Mega Millions jackpot may have been drawn this weekend, but in the world of professional sports, there are always players who are going to get a huge pay day. This offseason there are a few players who will hit the Mega Millions in a different way.
This list will take a look at some top NHL stars who will receive a significant bump in their salaries. To win a mega millions jackpot, you need six magic numbers, so let's take a look at six NHL-ers who will cash in this offseason.
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The Nashville Predators are going to be in a precarious situation this offseason. At the trade deadline the Predators added a few players and they recently added Alexander Radulov to their ranks. This signifies an all out attempt to win the Stanley Cup.
With Ryan Suter and Shea Weber both free agents, there may not be enough money to re-sign other players and bring both back.
Suter is a rising star in the league, emerging as one of the NHL's better two-way defenders.
The 26-year-old currently carries a cap hit of $3.5 million. He is due for a huge payday considering what his partner, Weber, already makes.
Approximate New Cap Hit: $6.5-$7.5 million
Suter will likely receive a significant raise as he is one the league's top defenders and will be paid as such.
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The Vancouver Canucks are going to be in an interesting situation come July 1, 2012. Schneider is a restricted free agent and is ready to be a starting goaltender. However, Roberto Luongo is signed for the next decade.
Schneider deserves to be paid, and there is a good chance he will be traded to another team and then paid the big bucks or an opposing general manager will offer sheet the young netminder in an attempt to force Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis' hand.
Either way, Schneider will hit the NHL lotto come July.
Current Cap Hit: $900,000
Approximate New Cap Hit: $2.5-$3.5 million
With a record of 19-7-1, a goals against average of 1.97, a save percentage of .937 and three shutouts, there is no way the Canucks will pay Schneider what he deserves to be the backup because he has outgrown his role.
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Ray Whitney is a feel good story in the NHL. He is another aging veteran who continues to prove that age is nothing more than a number. Whitney has continued to shine and dazzle as he just entered the 1,000 point club.
On the season, Whitney has scored 23 goals and assisted on 50 others for a whopping 73 points. That is good enough for 15th best in the NHL.
Current Cap Hit: $3 million
Approximate New Cap Hit: $4 million-$5 million
Any contract Whitney signs is a 35+ contract, so any team that signs him will likely keep the term between one to two years. Whitney will turn 40 but has proven he can continue to put up 60+ points.
For a team looking to add scoring and skill on the powerplay, Whitney will get paid in a slim pickings market.
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Zach Parise has been a great goal scorer since making the jump to the NHL. He also will be the top prize of this summer's free agent market.
Over the last five seasons, including this one—not counting his injury-riddled 2010-11—he has scored 30 goals or more in each campaign.
Before signing a one-year extension, Parise had a cap hit of $3.125 million.
That type of production is considered a bargain compared to what superstars Steven Stamkos, Alex Ovechkin, Marian Gaborik, Ilya Kovalchuk and other top scorers make.
Parise is also a solid passer, which makes him a dual threat. On the year, Parise has 31 goals and 35 assists for 66 points.
Current Cap Hit: $6 million
Approximate New Cap Hit: $7 million-$8 million
It may seem like a lot, but someone will pay top dollar for Parise this offseason. Rich Chere of the Star Ledger lists the Rangers, Red Wings and Wild as potential landing spots for Parise if the Devils can't retain him.
Alex Semin will cash in this offseason, but will it be from another NHL team? The talented scoring winger is having a down year, and it appears that he won't be tendered a major offer by an NHL team.
Here is what Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun has to say.
Since W Alexander Semin won’t be back with the Capitals next season — and nobody was willing to deal for him at the trade deadline — expect him to play in the KHL. A UFA making $6.7 million, Semin isn’t going to get those kinds of offers to play in the NHL .
This offseason Semin could become the highest paid player in the KHL since no NHL may want to pay for a $6.7 million dollar winger.
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Mikhail Grabovski was signed to a huge $5.5 million dollar contract a few weeks ago and odds are, Garth Snow was silently fuming. Why?
This season Grabovski has 50 points and has never scored 30 goals in a season.
Currently, Parenteau carries a $1.25 million cap hit. He has 65 points and is trending up. With the Islanders relying on players like Parenteau to create offense with John Tavares, they are going to try to retain him at all costs.
However, it won't come cheap. When looking at Grabovski's new deal and the rate Ville Leino got last summer, Parenteau will definitely reap the benefits of a slim pickings market.
Approximate New Cap Hit: $4 million
Tom Urtz Jr is an NHL featured columnist.
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