Vancouver Canucks: Top 5 Price Performers from 2011-12

Riley Kufta@@RileyKuftaContributor IIIAugust 24, 2012

Vancouver Canucks: Top 5 Price Performers from 2011-12

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    Each team has its top performers and its top paid players. If things went as planned, these would line up; but they don't. 

    The best players in the game are not always the highest paid, and the highest paid are not necessarily the best. 

    Alex Ovechkin, for instance, is still one of the best players in the league. That does not, however, mean his performance matched up with his $9.0 million salary. 

    On the flip side, Pavel Datsyuk does not fall in the top 25 highest paid players in the league, but he is arguably the most valuable player in the world. 

    The following takes a look at the Vancouver Canucks' top five price performers from 2011-12. 

Honorable Mention: Cody Hodgson

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    While on the Canucks last season, Cody Hodgson was posting a cap hit of $1.66 million.

    That's not too shabby for a 33-point rookie who racked up 10 points in 12 games in January, while getting his name mentioned in Calder Trophy talks. 

    Unfortunately, his season and career with the Canucks was cut short at the trade deadline, when he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres for Marc-Andre Gragnani and Zack Kassian.  

5. Alexander Edler

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    Last year, Alex Edler finished seventh in the league in points among defensemen with 49—just four short of second place. 

    That's not too bad for the then-fourth (now fifth) highest paid defender on the Canucks alone, at $3.25 million. 

    Edler surely has some flaws defensively, but his offensive production undoubtedly makes up for it. 

    He's locked up at $3.25 million for one more year, but after that, he'll be in store for a significant raise.

4. Daniel Sedin

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    After each winning the Hart Trophy in the past three seasons, the Sedins have solidified themselves among the best in the world. 

    When it comes to cap hits, however, the Sedins find themselves at 44th in the league. 

    Daniel specifically has led the team in goal scoring the past two seasons, reaching 41 in 2010-11. 

    Unfortunately, a concussion that took him out of the lineup near the end of the season impacted his price performance last season. Otherwise, he would likely find himself higher on this list. 

    Regardless, with the consistency he has displayed over the years, we can expect him to perform well above his pay grade yet again next season. 

3. Alex Burrows

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    Alex Burrows brings just about everything to the table.

    He is talented both offensively and defensively. He is one of the hardest working players on the team. He kills penalties and even gets some time on the power play. 

    In addition, he is growing a reputation as being one of the most clutch scorers in the league, with the game seven-overtime goal against Chicago in the 2010-11 playoffs as his golden moment. 

    Another thing he's well known for, agitating, is considered his greatest strength and weakness. 

    He is a master at getting under people's skin but does have a tendency to take it overboard and take some unnecessary penalties in the process. 

    Regardless, a player who brings all this to his team at just $2 million is an incredible bargain. 

2. Henrik Sedin

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    Apart from maybe shooting the puck a bit more, it's hard to think of anything left to desire in Henrik Sedin's game. 

    In additions to the reasons given on Daniel's slide, he may be the single best passer in the league and is the captain and offensive leader of the team.

    What makes him so valuable on top of that is that he hasn't missed a single game since before the lockout. 

    There aren't many captains or players as good as Henrik, and even fewer come with just a $6.1 million cap hit. 

1. Cory Schneider

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    Backup goaltenders don't typically have high expectations, nor are they needed to do all that much. They're around simply for support if the starter gets injured, pulled or needs a day off. 

    Cory Schneider did what was needed from him and then some more. 

    Schneider finished the season with a 20-8-1 record, a 1.96 GAA (third in the league) and a .937 save percentage (second in the league). 

    He suited up when needed and brought a level of talent and consistency hardly ever seen from a backup. 

    In November, he came in for an injured Roberto Luongo, picking up an incredible five straight wins (all of which he was awarded the first star of the game). 

    In April, he replaced Luongo as the starting goalie in the playoffs. His short playoff performance was proof enough that he can play at elite levels under great pressure. 

    His reward was a three-year, $12 million contract—a contract that pushes Luongo aside to make Schneider the No. 1 goalie in Vancouver.