NHL Free Agents 2010: The Worst Free Agent Team
NHL.com recently released an article "Best Free Agent Team" looking at the best free agent signings since the lockout by position.
So I thought it'd be fun to write an article on the worst free agent team. Enjoy!
Goaltender: Cristobal Huet, Chicago Blackhawks
Cristobal Huet was signed in the summer of 2008 by the Chicago Blackhawks for a whopping $22.5 million contract for four years.
The deal pays him $5.625 million a year.
Huet was suppose to come in and take over the starting job from Khabublin, only the Bulin wall outperformed Huet and Huet became the backup.
Then in 2009-2010, Huet again was suppose to be the starter for the Hawks, only to lose his job to rookie sensation Antti Niemi, who we all know led the Hawks to their first cup in 49 years as Huet got splinters on his behind.
Huet's signing becomes the worst goaltending signing because of the cap number and the fact he never became the starter, along with the contract forcing the Hawks to deal players like Byfuglien after winning the cup to get some cap space to round out their roster.
Huet will most likely be sent to Rockford to erase his cap number from their roster or bought out.
Defense: Wade Redden, New York Rangers
Yup, Glen Sather really topped himself with blunder signing when he made this one on July 1st, 2008.
Redden was already showing to be on the downside of his career in 2007-2008 season, but still made bank thanks to Mr. Sather.
Coach John Tortorella has said in postgame interviews that he is the worst six million dollar man ever. I guess they couldn't rebuild him.
Redden posted a career worst two goals and 14 points.
That's money well spent Sather!
One has to think the Rangers will bury him in the minors for the next four years than have his $6 million cap hit on the books, especially when they need a top center and those don't come cheap.
Defense: Brian Campell, Blackhawks
In all fairness to Brian Campbell, he's a good quality puck moving defenceman and in today's NHL, a puck moving defenceman is a premium asset.
However, signed for a whopping $57.6 million for eight years with a cap hit of 7.14 million, makes it a bad signing. Let's face it, it was a bad deal when it was made since Campbell was never and will never be a Nicklas Lidstrom or Scott Niedermayer-caliber defenceman.
It's especially bad when the hawks are faced with their cap issues and their paying their fourth guy on the defense depth chart over $7 million.
It's gonna be hard to re-sign Brent Seabrook next year and Nicklas Hjalmarsson this summer.
But to be nice to Brian, I'll point out how important he was to the Hawks transition game after coming back from injury in the first round against the Predators, to take off some of the burden from Seabrook and top notch defenceman Duncan Keith.
It's just that his cap number would be better if it was around $4-5 million. it would also make him easier to move.
Center: Chris Drury, New York Rangers
Another blunder by the great Glen Sather.
In all fairness to Chris Drury, he provides a lot of great things and has shown he's a winner in life. He scores clutch goals and has great leadership qualities.
Unfortunately, he makes this list because of the term and cap hit of his deal. A five year deal worth $35.25 million and a cap hit of $7.05 million would be better suited for an actual No. 1 center to feed the puck to one of the best snipers in the game, Marian Gaborik.
In 77 games last year, Drury managed 14 goals and 32 points; hardly the production you want from a $7 million a year center.
Nicklas Backstrom and Henrik Sedin don't even make that much money and their both considered Top Five centers and passers in the entire world.
Right Wing: Todd Bertuzzi, Anaheim Ducks
In the summer of 2007, after winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, GM Brian Burke of the Anaheim Ducks was faced with two difficult problems.
Both star defenceman and Conn Smyth winner, Scott Niedermayer and their franchises top goal and point scorer Teemu Selanne were contemplating retirement.
What better way would one go out, after winning a Cup?
Well, with both players in limbo, Brian Burke had to make a decision July 1st to fill the impossible gaps left by both players.
So to fill Selanne's spot, Burke looked to a familiar face in Todd Bertuzzi. After all, it was Burke who traded for Bertuzzi back in his days in Vancouver and witnessed Bertuzzi be one of the best right wingers and power forwards from 2000 to the incident with Steve Moore in 2004 in the NHL.
So Burke thought maybe a change of scenery and being under his watch could once again make him that man.
Bertuzzi signed for a two year deal worth $8 million. Not bad for what could have been, but unfortunately Big Bert wasn't that man from his days in Vancouver.
He scored 14 goals and 40 points in 68 games. Another reason why this was a bad signing was Burke had to trade top center Andy Mcdonald to St. Louis for Doug Weight to get under the cap when Teemu Selanne returned midseason.
Mcdonald and Selanne had great chemistry and both were important assets together. Selanne hasn't scored at the same pace since Mcdonald was traded.
Left Wing: Ryan Smyth, Colorado
Ryan Smyth has been an elite power forward for years and he made bank in July 2007 when the Avalanche signed him to a five year $31.2 million contract.
Smyth is a good left winger. He's gritty, goes nose deep to the net, works hard in the corners and will score those goals uglier than Joan Rivers.
However, Smyth has never scored more than 59 points three years into the deal and has missed 47 games to injuries.
Smyth has been great when in the lineup for the Kings and is a great complementary to Anze Kopitar.
But the Contract is still bad with a $6.25 million cap for a guy who hasn't scored more than 26 goals in a single season since the deal was signed.
At least Smyth has one of the best Hockey mullets and most famous nose in the NHL