NHL Free Agency: Worst Long-Term Contracts of the Last 10 Years

Scott Semmler@@ScottSemmler22Analyst IIJuly 5, 2011

NHL Free Agency: Worst Long-Term Contracts of the Last 10 Years

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    In baseball, it is Barry Zito; in basketball, it is Rashard Lewis; and in football, there are several.  However, when it comes to the worst long-term contract in hockey, the sport tends to go unnoticed.  The average sports fan does not know who owns the worst contract in the NHL, but they know that the San Francisco Giants' urge to splurge on a loopy lefty with a fastball that will not eclipse 90 MPH on the gun was a terrible idea.

    The fact is there are several atrocious contracts in the NHL.  The trend these days is the long-term contract.

    We all know about Ilya Kovalchuk in New Jersey, but how about Rick Dipietro's contract until 2021, or Christian Ehrhoff's recent 10-year singing with Buffalo?

    It seems to be the new fad in the NHL, and teams are going with it.

    This could just be the start for the NHL, but in the NBA, the news is that they seem to be ixnaying any thought of that.

    Either way, players want what they want and teams will pay whatever they can to lock up a good player for a very long time.

    Whether that strategy works or not is a crazy gamble.

    For the sake of this article, the cut off for "long-term" deals is at five years.

5. Scott Gomez

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    Gomez signed with the New York Rangers back in 2007 for a whopping seven years and $51.5 million. 

    He had played in New Jersey for seven seasons and became one of the biggest free agents of the summer back in 2007.  In fact, the Rangers landed Chris Drury, as well, on the same day.

    However, after two mediocre seasons from Gomez, in which he posted 70 and 58 points, the Montreal Canadiens bailed the Rangers out and took on his contract.

    With three more seasons left on his contract and a 2010-11 in which he put up 38 points in 80 games, this qualifies as a brutal contract for Montreal.

4. Brian Campbell

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    Brian Campbell, paired with Cristobal Huet, were two of the main reasons why the Chicago Blackhawks could not build on their 2010 Stanley Cup title.

    Campbell's contract was signed for eight years and $56.8 million back in 2008, when he was 28-years old.

    Now at 31, and back-to-back seasons in which he played in less than 70 games, Campbell is looking like a bust in Chicago.

    Naturally, Chicago would like to pawn that contract off on someone, and they found a suitor in the Florida Panthers, who have a ton of money to spend. 

    Just in time for the Blackhawks, who were drowning in Campbell's deal.

3. Shawn Horcoff

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    This is a contract that really cannot be blamed on the team, although a small bit of research could have been done on this player.

    In 2008, Horcoff was signed by the Edmonton Oilers to a six-year deal for $33 million.

    The 29-year-old had just come off an All-Star season in 2007-08, in which he ended with only 50 points in 53 games.

    You cannot blame Edmonton for trying to lock up a point-per-game scorer possibly entering the peak of his career, though.

    Horcoff's deal still has three more years on it, after he posted a 2010-11 in which he put up only 27 points in 47 games.

2. Vincent Lecavalier

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    There is no doubting Lecavalier's game, as he is still a powerhouse in the NHL, but an 11-year contract for a 28-year old?

    Currently at 31-year old, Lecavalier still has nine more years left on his 11-year contract that is costing the Tampa Bay Lightning $85 million in total.

    The Lightning did it in order to keep their captain in Tampa Bay for the future.  However, the only way to do that was to pay the price with a lucrative deal.

    A price they will be paying for a very long time.

1. Rick DiPietro

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    The first overall selection in the 2000 NHL Draft is now arguably the worst contract in hockey, as well as the worst long-term contract.

    After four seasons with the Islanders, in which he showed promise, New York decided to take a risk and sign DiPietro to a ludicrous 15-year, $67.5 million contract.

    The worst part comes in when you mention that he was injury-prone from then on, tallying just 164 games played in the five seasons since the big contract.

    The Islanders will continue to pay for DiPietro's deal until 2021.


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