To be successful in the NHL, savvy general managers must lock up outstanding talent while not brutally overpaying. The squads that typically win the Stanley Cup aren't littered with bad contracts.
Occasionally there will be one or two, but the best team in the NHL is almost never overpaying members of its team.
GMs do a decent job in locking up their homegrown talent for the most part. Some folks lose their minds during free agency, only to see their team sink to the bottom of the standings the following year. This leads to an obvious division between bad contracts and good ones.
Then there are the deals that are outright steals—top performers who aren't due to make ridiculous amounts of money. One needn't look any farther than Martin St. Louis in Tampa Bay with the Lightning for a prime example.
He was the league's leading scorer in 2013, yet only hauled in $5.5 million. Not too shabby, but he's not alone in outperforming his contract.