Your Team’s Worst Contract: What were they thinking? Part 1!

Each team has that horrendous contract you would love to strangle your GM for agreeing to. The one that will most probably screw over your playoff hopes or future? There’s always a reason for those, and for the sake of this post, I’ll refrain from strangling any GM, and look at both point of views, for your team’s worst contract.

 

Anaheim Ducks

Contract: 

Corey Perry, 8 years, 8.625 million cap hit.

Why it’s the worst contract:

Hold up one second. That’s 75 thousand less than Sidney Crosby’s cap hit (to be fair, his cap hit is pretty low)! That’s more than guys like Stamkos, Giroux, Kessel, Burns, Hedman, Price’s current contract, etc.  That’s for a player who has declined to a 50 point guy, and he’s being paid that money until he’s in his mid 30s! A centre, more productive player in Getzlaf carries less of a cap hit at the same age and term, though I’d argue it’s still a really bad contract.

Why it made sense at the time:

Well, honestly, looking now, it doesn’t really. Perry, in his late 20s, was already a star alongside Getzlaf on the Ducks. Coming off of a shortened season where he was on pace for 67 points in a full season, after a 60 point season the year before isn’t really great. The year before that however, he had a career high 50 goals and 98 points, and the pending UFA had the Ducks thinking he could do something like that again. He scored 82 points in 81 games the year after… but it went downhill from there.

 

Arizona Coyotes

Contract: 

Dave Bolland, 5 years, 5.5mill cap hit.

Why it’s the worst contract:

5.5mill for a guy in his 30s, who hasn’t played a game for years, and isn’t going to play again. Even if he did play, he’s never had 20 goals, or 50 points, which is probably what you’d want for 5.5mill. To make matters worse, he has a modified no-trade clause. The only other player on the Coyotes who can come even close is Alex Goligoski. Same age, same term, has a no movement clause, a year older, and his cap hit is $25000 more than Bolland. Still, Goligoski has made an impact, being a consistent 30 point defenseman in his 30s. For cap reasons, Goligoski has to be worse, as Bolland is on the LTIR, so he doesn’t go as much against the cap, Goligoski, though he makes an  impact, has NMC on a team that’s trying to rebuild, is aging, and has a large cap hit. Still, I give Bolland the edge for not being relevant since he was traded from the Panthers.

Why it was signed:

Well, there isn’t any justification here. The moment the contract was signed, it looked horrible. In a one of many great moves by Florida that’s happened over the years, the Panthers outbid the Leafs (in what might have been the best thing to happen to them since Mats Sundin) to grab him, paying him handsomely. the injury-prone forward hadn’t even played 60 games the two seasons prior combined. In the season before he was signed, he was on pace for 42 points (almost 43 actually, if that makes it better at all). 5.5mill for an injury-prone 42 point forward. The article I referenced above shows that this defensive minded forward wasn’t even that great at that either! Florida traded away him, along with former 1st rounder Lawson Crouse in a cap dump not too long after to Arizona, and here he is. This contract isn’t even close to Arizona’s fault, and it doesn’t seem horrible to get Crouse from taking his contract for another year either actually.

 

Boston Bruins:

Contract:

David Krejci, 6 years, 7.25mill cap hit

Why it’s the worst contract:

Wow, there are a LOT of bad contracts on the Bruins. Chara, Backes, even Rick Nash are good candidates for this. Still, I have to give it to Krejci. His cap hit is more than Pasternak, Bergeron, Marchand, etc. His cap hit is the most on the Bruins (mostly because of how Bergeron/Pasternak/Backes/Marchand’s contracts are formatted). Krejci will be 7.25 million against the Bruins until he is in his mid-30s! On top of that, he has a modified no movement clause! Krejci is a decent 50-60 point player, but for his cap hit to be more than his teammates, AND the likes of Drew Doughty, Pekka Rinne, Erik Karlsson, and Carey Price (on his current contract) is insane!

Why it made sense at the time:

Although there was some doubt about the contract, the Krejci contract was well received by a good portion of fans. He was about to become a UFA, in a market that was thirsty for a centre. They probably got him for under market value. Still, that’s an insane amount for someone who isn’t in the top 3 of your best players in his late 20s, and you still expect him to be good in his mid-30s? Maybe locking him up strengthened Boston, as they saw it would at the time, but I think that contract can only get worse.

 

Buffalo Sabres

Contract: 

Matt Moulson, 5 years, 5 million cap hit.

Why it’s the worst contract:

This team has a lot of questionable contracts. From Jason Pominville to Josh Gorges to Zach Bogosian, even Kyle Okposo and Marco Scandella are a bit confusing. Matt Moulson tops it off though. At 34, he’s the oldest Sabre, but after a mediocre last few season, along with going scoreless in 14 games this year, he was sent down. A guy who is 5mill (well, 3.975mill now that he’s buried) against the cap is in the AHL. He did have a decent year, but that contract is a horrible one.

Why it made sense at the time:

Matt Moulson was actually coming off of a mediocre season with the Sabres and Wild, but showed promise with in 11 games with the Islanders at the start of the season, along with having a decent season before that, and 3 30 goal seasons in a row before that. The contract seemed like a good idea at the time, adding forward depth for a team that was to surely get Connor McDavid (oh…). You can’t blame Buffalo, as numbers were deceiving. Still, you’d think the team would notice that his numbers were inflated by John Tavares, and that he didn’t do nearly as well on the Sabres (good, but not 5mill good), also mightily struggling as part of the Wild. If the Sabres had been as good as they are on paper, maybe Moulson would be worth 5mill, seeing as he seems to be a nice complement to good players, still, this is one of the worst contracts in the league.

 

Calgary Flames

Contract:

Troy Brouwer, 4 years, 4.5mill cap hit.

Why it’s the worst contract:

I could’ve picked Matt Stajan, but his contract is cheaper, which should make up for his lack of production (12 points in 8 games less than Brouwer, who had 22), and his modified NTC is more loose, (10 team no-trade compared to Brouwer’s 15). Maybe Mark Giordano, the oldest member of this team that makes as much as Johnny Gaudreau, but he’s captain and leader of the defense corps. The main competitor for this title for me was actually Michael Frolik. Frolik, who turned 30 in February, saw his production dramatically decrease from 44 points to 25 points. Still, that meant Frolik got more points in 6 less games (70 to Brouwer’s 76). Also, Brouwer is almost 3 years older than Frolik, and the alternate captain is 200k more against the cap, not to mention he had an NTC this year, compared to Frolik’s 10 team no-trade list (Brouwer gets a 15 team no-trade list when his contract expires). All of those factors make sure Brouwer’s contract is one to forget.

 

Why was it signed:

Free agency. On Canada Day, 2016, the Flames signed the big winger to his contract. Even then, it didn’t look great to most Flames fans. Still, the Flames needed a big, tough winger to fill in a hole in their team, and his veteran experience was sure to help the young Flames, free agency does make you overpay a lot of the time. Even then, 5 million for someone in their 30s, whose career high in points is 43, is absolutely insane. This isn’t a contract that looked good at first, but then declined, it was just a poor decision by the Flames.

 

Carolina Hurricanes

Contract:

Jordan Staal, 10 years (ONE WHOLE DECADE!!!), 6 million cap hit.

Why it’s the worst contract:

TEN WHOLE YEARS! There are very few contracts left that are over the 8 year limit for extension of a contract imposed by the CBA, as they were signed before it was put into place. Staal’s decade long contract has the most term on the team, and his cap hit is the most on the team. Not to mention he has a no movement clause. Even then, he only managed 46 points this season, 5th on the Hurricanes. Even his career high of 50 (in 62 games) would manage only 4th on the Hurricanes. Still, if you want some other competitors… Scott Darling may have been a nice feel good story when he was a stud backup with the Blackhawks. Rising up from the depths of the SPHL, reaching the ECHL, pushing through the AHL, and becoming one of the league’s best backups. After being traded, and signed for over 4 million a year until his mid 30s to be Carolina’s long term starter, that quickly changed. His horrible season so far has made his contract another quite horrible sight.

 

Why it was signed:

Staal was coming off that 50 points in 62 games I mentioned earlier before being traded from Pittsburgh to Carolina. The 23 year old showed promise, he had the greatest season of his life, a 6 million dollar contract (super) long term was going to be worth it… until it wasn’t. One of the tough things about this one is that there really isn’t much online reaction about it that I could find, and I, barely knowing anything about hockey back then, cannot rely solely on memory. From what I got however, the contract was well received by a number of fans.

 

Chicago Blackhawks

Contract: 

Jonathan Toews, 8 years, 10.5 million cap hit.

Why it’s the worst contract:

Everyone reading this just lost all faith in me, so let me explain. Chicago is bad contract heaven. There are so many options. Keith, Seabrook and Toews are their own level of bad contracts. Crawford has a pretty bad contract. Kane, Anisimov, and even Connor Murphy have questionable contracts. You probably expected me to pick Seabrook, but I feel like Seabrook’s contract is so widely covered, it’s become boring to read, and write about. I wanted to pay attention to a contract we don’t talk about as much. Jonathan Toews not only made me spend a whole year trying to figure out how to pronounce his name, but Captain Serious has had a horrible season this year. Not only that, but his two-way game and captain abilities have been overrated since the whole dynasty thing. For a guy who’s been largely inconsistent, and whose two way game isn’t even as great as some of the players in the NHL right now, one of the highest contracts in the NHL seems absolutely absurd.

 

Why it was signed:

The Blackhawks were the best team in the league, coming off of a Stanley Cup win, along with their two Stanley Cups they had won in the years before. That’s why they found it really important to lock up their core. Of course, that ended up making a pool of horrible contracts. Anyways, their captain was one of the must signs, Captain Serious, after all, was one of the best captains in the NHL, and would give Steve Rogers a run for his money. And then it happened. Toews declined, and so did most of the rest of the core. The Blackhawks lost in the first round twice (getting swept last year), only to miss the playoffs completely this year. This was all just a product of Toews being universally overrated, and the Hawks not realizing players decline at some point. It’ll be a while until Chicago gets out of their cap hell because of this.

 


 

Do you still hate the GM for making it? Do you understand why it may have looked like a good idea at the time? Am I just insane for this? Maybe all three?

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