In every professional sports league, there are players that wind up getting overpaid. The NHL is no different.
You know who I'm talking about.
The Manny Ramirez's, Eddy Curry's and Albert Haynesworth's of the world will always exist, and we will always end up criticizing them for the highway robbery they committed.
But it's not just about the players. Oftentimes, a team sees more potential in a player than is actually there. As a result, the player gets a fat check, and the organization takes a big risk.
The bigger the contract, the riskier the decision.
To make the right decision, an organization has to have a very good idea of what it should be getting out of the deal, while taking into account what they are giving up by filling a good deal of cap space. With that said, here are seven of the most overrated players on the move this summer.
Riding on what should seemingly be his last legs, Ed Jovanovski is returning on a four-year, $16.5 million deal as a member of the Florida Panthers.
If Jovanovski can produce to the tune of eight to 10 goals and 25-35 points, which he has the capabilities to do, his defense would probably be enough to make his price worthwhile.
As a veteran, Jovo could provide leadership to the Panthers youth.
With a playing style similar to Chris Pronger, Jovanovski, at age 35, could be heading toward a breakdown due to a long career of grind-it-out defensive play.
This isn't the year that the Panthers should fear, but rather the cap space Jovanovski will occupy for the last three years of his deal.
Expecting that Jovanovski will flourish through his late 30's is a little over the top, but that is exactly the type of money that Florida has decided to pay him.
James Wisniewski went off last season, scoring 10 goals and 51 points after playing for six years and never approaching those types of numbers.
At age 27, Wisniewski is still young enough to be coming into his own, but he makes for a risky sign for the Columbus Blue Jackets at six years, $35 million.
At those numbers, Wisniewski has to be part of the No. 1 pairing, running the power play and putting up loads of assists to be worthy of that kind of cash.
Teams in post-lockout history have been overpaying for offensive defensemen (Brian Campbell, Tomas Kaberle), only to see their tougher, grittier counterparts (Zdeno Chara, Chris Pronger), play a larger role come playoff time.
For a team like Columbus, signing Wisniewski for so much dough means that the lesser defensive slots will likely be filled with AHL players and journeymen veterans.
The Blue Jackets have taken a big risk in deeming Wisniewski to be so valuable, with the remaining roster positions still in need of significant talent.
Erik Cole had a solid season (26G, 26A) in 2010-11, but the fact remains that he is heading toward his mid-30's.
Cole's size and scoring have always been an asset, but at 32, a four-year contract earning him $4.5 million per season is a risky amount for the Montreal Canadiens to pay the Oswego, NY native.
Expecting Cole to dish out 50-point production for the next four years is unrealistic, as it seems the Canadiens will be relying on making a run with Cole right away.
Anticipating high-end production on Cole a couple years from now is silly.
Scottie Upshall has never tallied more than 34 points in a single season.
The 27-year-old was signed for $3.5 million/year for four season by a Florida Panthers team that has been buying players like an old spinster watching QVC.
The Panthers needed to get to the salary floor, and they ended up overpaying for an average winger.
Nobody was overrating Upshall except the Panthers, who paid Upshall about a million more dollars per season than he is worth.
It's a wonder why some teams consistently stay closer to the bottom of the league on a yearly basis.
The Buffalo Sabres decided early that their odds of landing Philadelphia Flyers star Brad Richards were slim to none.
Instead, they took a left turn, and signed winger Ville Leino away from the Flyers.
In doing so, the Sabres paid $4.5 million per season for a player who has yet to surpass the 20-goal plateau, and has really only been able to play on full season in the league.
On the upside, Leino has performed well in the playoffs, something the Sabres have been lacking for quite some time.
Leino scored a devastated goal for the Flyers against the Sabres in overtime of Game 6 this past year.
The Sabres claim they plan to make him a first or second-line center, a position he has yet to play in the league.
Putting a lifetime left winger at a new position always has the potential for disaster, and the Sabres would be smarter to leave him at his comfort spot.
If players were judged solely on their potential, Tim Connolly would already be a lock for the Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, the 10-year veteran has never managed to live up to the hype.
Hindered by multiple concussions and an assortment of other ailments, Connolly has managed a mere 118 goals and 395 points in 627 NHL games, far from the advertise point-per-game player that many have touted him as.
After the Toronto Maple Leafs lost out on the Brad Richards sweepstakes, they quickly scrambled to sign Connolly to a two-year, $9.5 million deal.
If he has lasts the whole season, regaining his form of five years ago, the veteran center will be worth the price tag.
However, recent history has shown that counting on either of those things may be a bad assumption.
Notice a trend of teams on these slides?
Throughout the entire postseason, the Philadelphia Flyers were heavily criticized as they continuously swapped three strings of goaltenders in hopes of finding some sense of reliability.
While the Flyers scrambled for answers, the Boston Bruins picked them apart.
In a desperate move, the Flyers traded away two of their most proven offensive assets (Mike Richards and Jeff Carter) to clear room under the cap.
With the signing of Ilya Bryzgalov, the Flyers came up with a dependable goalie, but at what cost?
The Flyers made a big reach in signing Bryzgalov to a nine-year, $51 million contract.
Out of all NHL teams, that Flyers have had one of the tougher runs in gathering consistent youth in the net.
It isn't Bryzgalov's skill that can be questioned, but whether such a hefty price will end up being worth it. Ditching the talents of Richards and Carter is certainly not a good sign.
With the league constantly breeding young and talented goalies, the Flyers lose out on an opportunity to bring up a solid net-minder for a much cheaper price.