Your NHL Team's Most Regrettable Contract

Anthony Capocci@CapocciJETSContributor IAugust 31, 2012

Your NHL Team's Most Regrettable Contract

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    There are bad contracts, and there are regrettable ones. Usually those go hand-in-hand but not always.

    When compiling the list of "regrettable" contracts, I take into consideration the terms of the contract (with respect to length and price), the age of the player, the player's production (both prior and post signing), the injuries sustained, the games played as well as other minor tangibles. That sounds like a good set of criteria on compiling a list of worst contracts.

    Whether or not you agree with the list of contracts I came up with, you'll see that what seems to be the consensus for worst contracts is not always the most regrettable. A quick example is Brian Campbell's contract. Though many believe he is an overpaid underachiever, does he really have the most regrettable contract on the Florida Panthers?

    It's not always the highest paid player that has the most regrettable contract.

Anaheim Ducks: Sheldon Souray

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    Sheldon Souray might as well have the worst contract on the Anaheim Ducks, but it is certainly the most regrettable.

    Souray is 35 years old when he signed a three-year deal with the Ducks this offseason, 12 days prior to his 36th birthday. His annual cap hit is roughly $3.67 million for the next three years.

    Souray doesn't really have anything left to offer. After a hot start with the Dallas Stars last season, Souray fell off and was injured later in the year.

    I'm not sure what the Ducks were thinking, but they'll regret signing him into that deal when he ends up not producing enough.

Boston Bruins: Marc Savard

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    The Boston Bruins most regrettable contract remains to be Marc Savard's.

    Savard is their fourth highest paid forward who has a cap hit of $4 million a year until the 2017-18 season. He signed his current seven-year contract in 2010-11, the last time he's ever played in the NHL. He played in 25 games that year, scoring two goals and ten points.

    The new deal obviously hasn't worked out with Savard's concussion injuries. The 35 year old doesn't look like he'll ever make a successful return or even fulfill half the life of that contract.

    If only Boston had known he'd suffer injuries...

Buffalo Sabres: Ville Leino

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    What were the Buffalo Sabres thinking when they signed Ville Leino to a six-year contract with a $4.5 million cap hit each year.

    If they didn't regret it then, I'm sure their questioning it now. In his first year with Buffalo, Leino scored eight goals and 25 points in almost a full season. I'm sure with a contract like his, the expectations are higher than just 25 points.

    I'm not sure if they based this contract on his lone productive season with the Philadelphia Flyers. I am sure, however, they'll continue to regret it.

Calgary Flames: Jay Bouwmeester

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    Jay Bouwmeester has always been solid on the defensive side, but when getting paid close to $7 million per year, I'd expect some offensive production as well.

    Bouwmeester was known for some goal scoring back with the Florida Panthers when he scored back-to-back 15 goal seasons. After he made his way to Calgary, he only scored 12 goals in 246 games.

    Bouwmeester hasn't played anywhere close to the expectations that come with his contract, hasn't produced like he did in Florida, and hasn't been as solid defensively as he once was. All signs point towards a regrettable contract.

Carolina Hurricanes: Tuomo Ruutu

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    Picking the most regrettable Carolina Hurricanes contract is tough.

    I'm sure the consensus for worst contract is Alex Semin's, but he hasn't even played a single game with his new team yet. I also can't deem it a regrettable contract just yet since it's only a one-year deal as well.

    The choices came down to deciding between Joni Pitkanen and Tuomo Ruutu.

    Pitkanen who was signed into a three-year contract last season is their highest paid defenseman. He was injured the majority of last season but still managed to put up numbers.

    Ruutu, for the next four seasons, is making over $4 million, closer to $5 million per year. With the new additions for the 'Canes this offseason, I'm not sure if Ruutu will have much of an impact. He's a solid producer when healthy with the ability to score close to 20 goals a year, but he needs talent on his line.

    If he's not producing offensively, then his pricey contract isn't worth it.

Chicago Blackhawks: Marian Hossa

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    Marian Hossa has always been one of the best two-way players in the game and still is today. The problem with his contract is the length.

    The 33 year-old forward is signed until 2021. I don't think he'll be one of the best in the game anymore or even capable of producing for the entire span of his contract.

    I bet the 'Hawks wish his contract was just a few years shorter.

Colorado Avalanche: Paul Stastny

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    Paul Stastny's cap hit is $6.6 million per year. It's not worth it for someone who puts up only 20 goals and 50 points a year.

    He makes more than players like Jonathan Toews. Perhaps the Avalanche thought Stastny would be a top-tier player in this league when they gave him his first contract.

Columbus Blue Jackets: James Wisniewski

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    The Columbus Blue Jackets signed James Wisniewski to a six-year deal worth $33 million.

    For an offensive-defenseman, Wisniewski has never accumulated more than 30 points in a season.The best he could come up with is earning only 30 points in a season just twice. As far as goals go, his career-high is seven in a season. But enough with statistics...

    Wisniewski has suffered injuries throughout his career and missed almost half the season last year with Columbus. There's a lot of uncertainty with a player like Wisniewski in terms of his statistics and durability. I'm pretty sure his defensive skills don't make up for it.

    This is certainly a contract to regret.

Dallas Stars: Jaromir Jagr

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    The Dallas Stars' highest paid forward is newly acquired Jaromir Jagr. I'm not fond of judging one-year contracts, but for a 40-year-old forward, I'll have to make an exception.

    Jagr benefited from talent around him in Philadelphia last season. He was a good fit in that system, but I'm not sure I can say the same for Dallas'.

    The good news is anything to regret with regards to Jagr's contract will only last for a year. Fortunately, I don't think Dallas has any other regrettable contracts..

Detroit Red Wings: Kyle Quincey

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    Kyle Quincey made his return to Detroit last season but with little impact. The Red Wings gave up their first-round pick to acquire Quincey before last year's trade deadline.

    Quincey had three points in 18 games last season and hasn't looked like a top-six defenseman. Quincey's cap hit nears $4 million per year.

Edmonton Oilers: Shawn Horcoff

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    The thought that Shawn Horcoff is making $5.5 million per year is laughable. I'd like to know what the Edmonton Oilers were thinking when they were signing him to that deal after coming off of a 53-point season.

    Since then, Horcoff has had 36, 27 and 34-point seasons respectively. The Oilers can't wait to free up some cap space in three years.

Florida Panthers: Scottie Upshall

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    I get the Florida Panthers had to reach the cap ceiling last season, but that doesn't take away from the horrid contract of Scottie Upshall.

    Upshall isn't a threat offensively and really doesn't do anything of worth to garner that type of contract... and we're only talking $3.5 million per year.

    A lot of people nag Brian Campbell in this situation. Sure he's overpaid, but at least he's scoring 50 points on defense.

    The Panthers need to reach the cap ceiling, but let them do it with someone who is producing, not someone who is invisible every night.

Los Angeles Kings: Mike Richards

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    Mike Richards has steadily declined after his 80-point season with Philadelphia in 2008-09. Although he won a Cup in his first season with the Kings, his regular season numbers dipped down.

    I'm not sure what stability he provides, but when you're signed until 2020 and are taking up $5.75 million of the cap each season, you'd better be able to produce offensively in the long-term.

    His dropping point totals aren't convincing.

Minnesota Wild: Ryan Suter

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    He's a new addition to the Minnesota Wild, but he's not worth that money on any team in this league.

    Ryan Suter's cap hit is over $7.5 million each season up until 2025. It's absolutely insane to think he's worth this kind of money. Not many defensemen are.

    He'd better look like Nicklas Lidstrom out there on defense because his offensive production doesn't even rank him in my top-10 for defensemen. Four to seven goals a season to go with 40 points doesn't net a contract this large.

    The Wild will regret this woeful contract sooner rather than later.

Montreal Canadiens: Scott Gomez

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    I don't think much has to be said here, it's already a broken record.

    The Montreal Canadiens are counting down the days. Just two seasons left, and they can finally rid themselves of this brutal contract.

Nashville Predators: Shea Weber

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    I have nothing against Shea Weber because he's arguably the best defenseman in the league today. However, these long-term contracts do more for the player than the team. In this case, his lengthy contract does nothing but hurt Nashville long-term.

    I don't see how a contract of Weber's sort can be justified. It's never a good idea to get tied up in these long-term contracts. Even if Weber is worth close to $8 million a season now, he won't be as the years go on.

    ...and then we wonder about contracts like Scott Gomez's in this league.

New Jersey Devils: Bryce Salvador

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    Bryce Salvador played well in the playoffs and made his money in the offseason.

    A 36-year-old who has 102 points in his career isn't worth $3 million a season. The Devils will regret it when he fails to produce in the regular season next year.

New York Islanders: Rick Dipietro

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    This is another redundant topic. Rick Dipietro has one of the worst contracts in professional sports history. To think he's getting paid all that money to do nothing is insulting.

    Unfortunately for the New York Islanders, there's still a long way to go before this contract disappears.

New York Rangers: Rick Nash

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    I was never able to justify Rick Nash's price tag. He's a very skilled and talented player, but he doesn't do enough to make the money he makes.

    Granted he's really had no help in Columbus, but $7.8 million a year is too much for a barely  30-goal a year scorer.

    Nash will have the opportunity of a lifetime to finally take the next steps into the top of the echelon. No "surrounded by bad players" excuses this time.

Ottawa Senators: Sergei Gonchar

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    The Ottawa Senators must have hoped Sergei Gonchar would have picked up where he left off in Pittsburgh. That hasn't been the case exactly.

    Gonchar is known for his offensive skills for a defenseman, but not surprisingly, they haven't been the same in Ottawa.

    For a 38 year old defenseman, Gonchar has put up some decent numbers. For $5.5 million a year however, they're not decent enough.

Philadelphia Flyers: Ilya Bryzgalov

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    The Philadelphia Flyers were desperately in need of a goalie that they ended up massively overpaying for one.

    Ilya Bryzgalov was never really an elite goalie yet the Flyers paid him like one. He's signed until 2020 and makes nearly $5.6 million a season.

    He had a brutal season last year to begin his career in Philadelphia. The Flyers have to already be regretting this contract, but there's hope as he can still be a solid netminder. If he doesn't, however, he might end up the next Cristobal Huet.

Phoenix Coyotes: Zbynek Michalek

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    The Phoenix Coyotes re-acquired Zbynek Michalek this offseason with the hope that he has developed his game in the short two-year stint with Pittsburgh.

    I'm not sure how much developing it needed, but he was never worth the $4 million per year price tag. The Coyotes obviously like something about him though, but it might not be what they expect.

    They may not regret re-acquiring him right away, but it seems they regretted giving him up in the first place.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Paul Martin

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    This is arguably the most regrettable contract in the entire league right now.

    For some reason, the Pittsburgh Penguins thought it be feasible to sign Paul Martin to a five-year $25 million contract. Martin is making $5 million a season to do what exactly? Mid 20 point seasons doesn't support the argument for the terms of his contract, and it can't be his skills on defense.

    Every Penguin fan I know regrets that the Penguins ever made such a move. General Manager Ray Shero must regret it as well since the Penguins already have one of the best, if not the very best prospects on defense. There's no need for the Penguins to have Martin.

San Jose Sharks: Martin Havlat

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    Martin Havlat is known to be prone to injury in the past, and just when it seemed he'd gotten over that hump, he injures himself in his first season with the San Jose Sharks.

    Havlat is making $5 million a year, but he'll never be able to live up to the expectations that come with his contract if he stays unhealthy. A healthy Havlat, however, is probably worth $5 million a year or around that.

    Havlat is aging, and the Sharks may begin to regret this signing as early as next season, if not already.

St. Louis Blues: Chris Stewart

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    Choosing a regrettable contact for St. Louis was one of the more difficult ones in this list. I went with Chris Stewart here because he probably hasn't lived up to the expectations of the Blues.

    Stewart is scoring only 15 goals a season. I say only as if that's a small number in the NHL, but for Stewart it is. Stewart has potential to be a very good power-forward in this league, but so far he's been mediocre.

    Maybe the Blues regret having faith in him.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Vincent Lecavalier

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    Vincent Lecavalier's contract is one of the league's worst. In 2009, the Tampa Bay Lightning signed him to an 11-year contract with an annual cap hit of over $7.7 million.

    Lecavalier's numbers are declining each season, and the former face of the franchise isn't that anymore. Lecavalier is aging and is signed until 2020.

    With the emergence of a star like Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay probably regrets inking Lecavalier to a hefty long-term contract.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Tim Connolly

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    Tim Connolly is getting paid $4.75 million a season to produce like a top-six player. Connolly has yet to do so.

    The Toronto Maple Leafs have too much faith in Connolly and should regret signing him for that money.

Vancouver Canucks: Keith Ballard

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    Keith Ballard's annual cap hit is $4.2 million a season. I don't think the Vancouver Canucks expected to pay him that much money for seven points a season and miss that many games.

    Ballard really doesn't do anything spectacular to earn what he is making on a yearly basis.

    The odd thing here is that Ballard is the Canucks' fourth highest paid defenseman. What's even odder is that Alex Edler is their fifth.

Washington Capitals: Mike Green

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    At one time, Mike Green was the best offensive defenseman in this league. That was a few years ago, and he hasn't been the same ever since.

    Green has played in 81 games over the past two seasons with a goal total of 11 and point total of 31. His numbers have immensely declined, and his inability to stay healthy is a big reason why.

    Green was re-signed to a three-year deal with an annual cap hit of just over $6 million a year. If he continues to decline, the Capitals will regret this big time.

Winnipeg Jets: Ron Hainsey

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    Back in 2008, the Atlanta Thrashers signed Ron Hainsey to a five-year deal worth $22.5 million. Hainsey makes $4.5 million a season, about $2.5 too much.

    This was the same year the Thrashers offered Brian Campbell a contract, which would have paid him over $8 million a season for a very long time. I guess they felt Hainsey would have been a solid back-up plan.

    Hainsey doesn't put up offensive numbers, and he is very bad on defense. This is a regrettable contract, but it may be unfair to put the burden on Kevin Cheveldayoff. This was a mistake that Don Waddell made in Atlanta.

    The Winnipeg Jets will play out the last season of his contract and happily say "bye bye" when it's over.