Ilya Kovalchuk and the Top Contracts the NHL Should Have Denied
With the rise and fall of the Ilya Kovalchuk contract fiasco, it gets you wondering what are the worst contracts in the National Hockey League.
With the Collective Bargaining Agreement the way it is, teams try to circumvent the system by signing players to a long term front end loaded contract that minimizes what would be a very sizable cap hit. Thus we are seeing many 10+ year contracts being handed out.
These deals are usually bad all around. Many times it ends up killing the team that makes the deal, but teams are still doing it more and more.
Another key problem some teams have, is when a player gets red hot before a contract is up, and the team ends up handing out big money only to see a drop in production from said player.
The following article delves into both problems, and analyzes the 10 worst contracts in the NHL.
10. Marian Hossa
The Chicago Blackhawks are no strangers to bad contracts, as in the past couple seasons they have managed to cripple the franchise with poor contract after poor contract.
In Marian Hossa's case with 11 more years at 5.23 million dollars, it's not so much about the dollars and cents right now as the length of the contract. 11 years is a very long time to have that cap hit on the team.
While at the moment he is producing very well, likely more so then what he earns, who is to say he can keep up those totals up when he is 42? That’s the killer of these kinds of contracts.
A decade down the line we will be seeing a host of teams either buying out these contracts or seeing many early retirements. It's all well and good now, but there is no foresight behind them.
9. Roberto Luongo
The Vancouver Canucks made a decision to hold onto the team captain for another 12 seasons at 5.33 million dollars, which at the surface looks good, but is already showing signs that it was not the best possible move.
Roberto Luongo, while stellar at this past Olympics, is considered one of the most overrated players in the league, and is notoriously inconsistent in the playoffs.
While he still is a solid goalie the Canucks may be regretting this move, sooner rather than later. It is even worse because of the fact he was named team captain.
Louuuuuu will always be a fan favorite with the Canucks faithful, but don't be surprised if the management see it a different way if he doesn't gain a bit of consistency in his game (especially in the playoffs).
8. Jay Bouwmeester
This contract is not bad because of the length. With four years remaining, it is minimal considering some contracts. However, it falters once you see how much he makes compared to his production.
Bouwmeester is fairly solid in his own end, but really got the money because of his offensive potential. Jay Bo put up decent numbers in Florida scoring 15 goals and 27 assists in a full seasons work.
This prompted the Flames to acquire his rights and subsequently pay him roughly 6.68 million per season.
At first it looked like a very solid move as he surely couldn't do worse on a better team, but this season he only managed to score three goals and 26 assists. This is five times fewer goals than his previous two seasons and his worst totals since 2004.
The Flames really lost out on this one, and likely could have been better off with Jordan Leopold's 26 points at half the price, however Bouwmeester could still improve, and will hopefully earn his contract next season.
7. Vincent Lecavalier
At the time it probably seemed like a good deal. Lecavalier had 92 and 108 point seasons, and was asserting himself as a dominant force in the NHL, but in 2009 he hit a brick wall.
The past two seasons he only managed 67 and 70 points.
With a cap hit of 7.72 million for the next 10 years the Lightning may be having second thoughts of this monstrous contract that sees him making 10 million per for the next six years.
Lecavalier has the talent to be one of the best in the league, but has really hit a stumbling block. Hopefully with a new coach in place he can gain some more stability, as he has seemed to butt heads with the coaching staff these past couple seasons.
As of now though, this is one of the more ridiculous contracts in the league.
6. Rick Dipietro
The picture basically sums up everything Rick Dipietro has accomplished since signing his monster contract, that sees him making 4.5 million per for the next 11 seasons.
Rick has only played 17 games in the past two seasons, four of which were with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Constant injuries have hampered a once promising career. The Islanders are likely regretting the fact that Dipietro is on the payroll for 11 more years, and will likely hope for an early retirement.
5. Thomas Vanek
Don't get me wrong on this one, Thomas Vanek is a good player, but for 7.14 million a year, you should expect a little more than 60 points a season. This past season has been especially bad recording his worst totals since his rookie season.
Vanek has four years remaining on his contract, and will have to improve on his numbers if he wants to earn his contract.
The unfortunate thing is that the Buffalo Sabres haven't really improved this off season, which may mean that Vanek may have a repeat on his poor performance.
However, he can redeem himself if he can get himself back into the 40 goal territory where he usually resides.
4. Shawn Horcoff
In a season of disappointments for the Oilers none were likely as big as Shawn Horcoff.
Fresh off of signing a deal that has him making 5.5 million on average for the next five years Horcoff could only manage 36 points. The once highly thought of player, is no the poster boy for failure in Edmonton.
With many young stars looking to crack the lineup next season, and a healthy Ales Hemsky Shawn may be stuck on the second or third line, and really won't live up to the enormous pressure placed on him now.
3. Scott Gomez
The NHL really should have stepped in on this contract. Gomez hasn't recorded numbers above a point a game since 2004 and that was the only year he did so.
After recording only 60 points in 2007 he was given a seven year 51.5 million dollar contract.
The New York Rangers are no strangers to enormous contracts and they really flubbed this one, as they were trying to lure Gomez out of New Jersey, but his statistics never really improved above a point a game and he was quickly ousted from New York.
The Montreal Canadiens eventually took on Gomez's contract, and he did have a decent playoff run. There is some hope for the future, but the Habs still will not likely get their money's worth.
2. Brian Campbell
Brian Campbell is a good player, but being a second pairing defenseman shouldn't entail being the highest paid player on the team.
One of the key problems the Blackhawks have is cap issues, and Campbell is a big reason why they are in so much trouble. Averaging 7.14 million per for the next six seasons, Campbell is making nearly a million dollars more than Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
Campbell is highly known for his offensive capabilities more so than defensive. However, having been moved to the second pairing his numbers have gone down.
If Chicago could find a trading partner, Campbell would very likely be gone, however it's unlikely anyone will want to take on his inflated salary, and the Hawks just may be stuck with his cap hit for a while to come.
1. Wade Redden
The New York Rangers can not be pleased with the numbers Redden has produced since joining the club.
After signing a rather lucrative contract Redden has seen a fairly steady decline in points production, and has left more to be desired in his own end at well.
On a team used to overpaying for players Redden may take the cake as one of the worst signings in recent history.