Ranking the Five Worst Contracts on Philadelphia Flyers

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IJanuary 18, 2015

Ranking the Five Worst Contracts on Philadelphia Flyers

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    The Philadelphia Flyers are settling in as a sub-.500 team, and their hopes of making the playoffs are all but destroyed. One big reason for that is their host of terrible contracts.

    The fact that there are enough possible candidates on the Flyers to make this list says a lot about previous GM Paul Holmgren's tenure.

    At the end of each slide, I include some comparable contracts to that of the Flyer in question. Try not to break your computer after reading them.

    Here are the five worst contracts on the Flyers.

5. Mark Streit

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    Len Redkoles/Getty Images

    Cap Hit: $5.25 million

    Expires: After 2016-17 season

    It was a little hard to put Streit on this list, because he has actually been a serviceable defenseman on a team filled with horrendous ones.

    He's on pace to put up more than 50 points this season, which is a very good year from a production standpoint. But Streit's defensive game is seriously lacking, which is what notches him and his huge cap hit in the top five.

    At 37 years old, Streit's speed is noticeably declining and will only continue to do so. He still has two more years left on his contract and could easily be the worst "bargain" on the team by that point.

    Here are a few defensemen with similar contracts to Streit: Dan Girardi, James Wisniewski, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jay Bouwmeester.

4. Luke Schenn

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images

    Cap Hit: $3.6 million

    Expires: After 2015-16 season

    This isn't a monster deal, and it is especially manageable considering that it expires after next season. But Luke Schenn's awful play over the past year-and-a-half solidified a spot on this list.

    Although it does not look that bad compared to the other deals here in terms of amount and length, $3.35 million is nothing to sneeze at and is an insane amount of money for a guy who is rotated in and out of the lineup as a healthy scratch.

    And when he's in the game, he does little more than turn the puck over and let players skate right by him, and he fails to produce anything offensively (five points in 36 games this season). 

    Marc Staal, John Carlson, Christian Ehrhoff, Erik Johnson and Justin Schultz all have roughly the same cap hit as Schenn. That's a tough pill to swallow.

3. R.J. Umberger

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    Len Redkoles/Getty Images

    Cap Hit: $4.6 million

    Expires: After 2016-17 season

    This contract was swapped for Scott Hartnell's, which was an equally bad money commitment but with two more years on it.

    Even still, this is a horrendous cap hit for an exceedingly average third-line forward who struggles to score or contribute at all offensively.

    He has eight goals and a measly four assists in 46 games this season. His contributions on the penalty kill are solid but not nearly enough to justify paying him even half his current amount. 

    Here's a list of guys who are being paid less than Umberger: Max Pacioretty, Brad Marchand, Loui Eriksson and David Backes.

2. Vincent Lecavalier

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    Rob Marczynski/Getty Images

    Cap Hit: $4.5 million

    Expires: After 2017-18 season

    Those numbers are hard to look at after watching Vinny Lecavalier struggle his way through the first year-and-a-half of what has been a massively disappointing experiment.

    He was injured for a chunk of last season and spent some games this year as a healthy scratch, which is almost hard to believe.

    The former Tampa Bay captain has been spending most of his playing time on the fourth line and is currently projected to finish the year with an abysmal 28 points. Even with injury and lockout-shortened seasons from the past, that would be by far his lowest point total since his rookie season.

    With a similar contract to Umberger, the comparables are mostly the same. But just to hammer home a point: Ryan Kesler only has a $500,000 cap hit higher than Lecavalier.

1. Andrew MacDonald

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    Len Redkoles/Getty Images

    Cap Hit: $5 million

    Expires: After 2019-20 season

    For my money, this is the worst contract in all of sports. Andrew MacDonald is a below-average defenseman and looks like an AHL-caliber player on plenty of nights. He has been a healthy scratch in multiple games this year because he is just that bad.

    Yet he is the 30th-highest-paid defenseman in the NHL. Considering that there are 30 teams in the NHL, that means he's essentially being paid like he's the Flyers' No. 1 defenseman. 

    It's hard to exaggerate how bad a deal this is, and even harder to explain why Holmgren signed MacDonald to such a big contract last season, when he had no reason to jump and make a deal.

    Just to rub salt in the wound, here are some guys who make less than MacDonald, somehow: Ryan McDonagh, Niklas Kronwall, Dan Boyle, Kevin Shattenkirk, Paul Martin and Justin Faulk. Yikes.

    Salary-cap and contract information courtesy of Spotrac.