NHL: 15 Most Overpaid Players Heading into 2013
With the possibility of another lockout in just a few weeks time, we should look at some of the most overpaid players in the NHL.
Many of the league's owners who think player salaries are too high have only themselves to blame.
Nearly all of these players were given insane contracts by teams who had no business handing them huge amounts of money for multiple seasons.
Let's look at the 15 most overpaid players in the NHL.
Note: All salary information courtesy of Capgeek.com.This list is not in any particular order. Players no longer in the NHL (Sean Avery) or in the AHL (Wade Redden) were not considered for this list.
Ville Leino, Buffalo Sabres
Ville Leino under performed in a huge way for the Buffalo Sabres last season.
He has a $4.5 million salary cap hit, but only scored eight goals with 25 points in 71 games. This was less than half of the production he gave the Philadelphia Flyers the year before.
Leino will make $6 million in salary next year, so the Sabres really need him to perform like the top-six forward he used to be.
Dany Heatley, Minnesota Wild
Dany Heatley did score 24 goals for the Minnesota Wild last season, but that's not good enough for a player with a $7.5 million cap hit who was also paid $8 million in salary.
Heatley's 24 goals were his lowest total since the 2003-04 season. With a $6 million salary next season, the Wild need Heatley to score 30-plus goals for the seventh time in his career.
Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning
Vincent Lecavalier is still a very good player, but his production and durability have become two significant problems for the Tampa Bay Lightning over the last few years.
He made $10 million in salary last season with a $7.27 million cap hit, but only gave the Lightning 22 goals in 64 games.
If Lecavalier could stay healthy for a full season, he might be able to fully earn his high salary from the Lightning.
Dennis Wideman, Calgary Flames
Dennis Wideman's five-year, $26.25 million contract that he received from the Calgary Flames this summer might make him one of the most overpaid players in the NHL next season.
Unless his offensive production improves (not likely) and his defense gets better (very unlikely), Wideman will be paid much more than he's worth.
He had 46 points last season for the Capitals, but was often times caught out of position defensively and turned the puck over a lot.
He's not worth the $5 million salary he will earn next season.
Jay Bouwmeester, Calgary Flames
Jay Bouwmeester will make $6 million in salary and have a cap hit of $6.67 million next season, but the Calgary Flames can only hope to get between 25-30 points from him.
Bouwmeester's defensive performance last season was poor, and he doesn't have the strength or stick skills to shut down opposing team's best forwards.
The 28-year-old defenseman is arguably the most overpaid defenseman in the NHL.
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes
Eric Staal is a great player and shouldn't be mentioned among the notable overrated players in the NHL. However, he is certainly overpaid.
His $8.25 million cap hit and $8.5 million salary from last season wasn't fully earned with his production at both ends of the ice. Staal's 24 goals were his lowest single-season total since 2003-04.
He is a legitimate superstar, but Staal shouldn't have the fourth-highest cap hit in the league.
Shawn Horcoff, Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff made $6.5 million in salary last season, but only scored 13 goals with 21 assists in 81 games.
He is the highest paid player on the Oilers, but finished seventh on the team in scoring last year.
His contract lasts for three more years, which is bad news for Edmonton. However, his salary next year will go down to $6 million, then $4 million and $3 million in the final two years.
Tomas Kaberle, Montreal Canadiens
Tomas Kaberle is well past the prime of his career, but fortunately for him he made $4 million in salary last season, and only racked up 31 points.
His salary climbs by $250,000 over the next two seasons, when his offensive production will likely decrease.
Not only is Kaberle not the top-tier puck-moving defenseman he used to be, his defensive skills have also gotten worse.
The Montreal Canadiens should never have traded for him because he's not worth his $4.5 million salary cap hit, and is no longer a top pairing defenseman.
Tim Connolly, Toronto Maple Leafs
Tim Connolly played in 70 games last season, the second time he has played in that many games since the 2002-03 season. However, Connolly's 26 points last year were his lowest total since the 2002-03 season.
He definitely didn't earn his $5.5 million salary last year, and likely won't earn his $4 million salary for the 2012-13 season.
Luckily for the Leafs, Connolly is entering the final year of his contract.
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
If the Vancouver Canucks refuse to trade Roberto Luongo before next year's trade deadline, they will have to pay their backup goaltender $6.714 million in salary next season. Luongo will make $6.714 million in salary for the next six years.
Luongo isn't a bad goalie by any means, and his regular seasons stats are actually quite impressive.
However, for someone who doesn't get it done in the playoffs and might not even start next season, he is certainly not worth over $6 million in salary.
Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers will pay goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov $14 million in salary over the next two seasons, so his performance in net needs to improve mightily from last season if he wants to earn that money.
While Bryzgalov did rack up 34 wins, he was very inconsistent throughout last season. The Flyers are hoping for a much better sophomore season in Philadelphia from Bryzgalov.
It would be tough to trade Bryzgalov's contract if he struggles again because the deal has eight years left on it.
Mike Cammalleri, Calgary Flames
Mike Cammalleri scored 41 points last season between the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames, yet he earned a salary of $6 million and his cap hit was $6 million.
He hasn't scored more than 50 points in a season in three years, but he has earned $16 million in salary during that time.
The Flames need Cammalleri to improve his offensive production next year because he will make $7 million in each of the final two seasons remaining on his contract.
Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres
Thomas Vanek is a fine offensive player, but for a top line talent with a cap hit of about $7.1 million, the Buffalo Sabres need more than 61 points.
Vanek's 26 goals last year were his lowest total since the 2005-06 season.
He will be paid $12.8 million in salary over the final two seasons of his contract, and needs to reach point-per-game status to fully earn his salary.
Mike Komisarek, Toronto Maple Leafs
Mike Komisarek is going to cost the Toronto Maple Leafs $3.5 million in salary next season, which doesn't seem too bad at first glance.
However, when you look at his production over the last three for the Leafs, it's easy to understand why he is severely overpaid.
The American defenseman has scored 19 points over the last three years, and has played in only 54 games per season during the same span.
His $4.5 million cap hit will last for two more seasons.
Scott Gomez, Montreal Canadiens
It wouldn't be an overpaid NHL players list without Montreal Canadiens forward Scott Gomez. He made $7.5 million last season, but will make $5.5 million and $4.5 million in the final two years left on his contract.
The Canadiens have been stuck with Gomez's $7.3 million cap hit for the last three seasons after acquiring him via trade from the New York Rangers.
During those three years, he has scored a total of 21 goals. Not much more needs to be said.