The 2020-21 season is fast approaching after an off-season like no other in NHL history. With the salary cap remaining unchanged at $ 82.5 million for the foreseeable future – thanks to the impact of COVID-19 on many aspects of the business – teams have never felt more tense to stay compliant.
In this exercise, we’ve identified the best contracts for each team that will give the player the most production per dollar. We’ve also identified the worst – you know, the ones that drive fans and business leaders alike.
Note: This list does not include entry-level contracts (as these are extremely valuable to the team). Players with a long-term injured reserve are also not included. All contract details are courtesy of CapFriendly.
Best: John Gibson, 27, G.
$ 6.4 million by 2026-27
Gibson had a bad year in 2019-20, but which Ducks player didn’t? The goalkeeper has been the rescue of this team in recent years, which can be described as unforgettable at best. At a time when more teams are switching to goalkeeping tandems, Gibson is an absolute workhorse. He will start 60 games in 2017-18, 57 games in 2018-19 and 51 of 71 games in 2019-20. Getting this type of charge from a man earning less than 8% of the salary cap is a huge benefit as this team tries to retool on the fly.
Worst: Cam Fowler, 28, D.
$ 6.5 million by 2025-26, modified no-trade clause (player submits trading list with four teams)
Ryan Getzlaf, the 35-year-old captain of the Ducks, is set to earn $ 8.25 million this season, the final year of his contract. Anaheim also has Ryan Kesler two more seasons at $ 6.875 million per season, though Kesler’s career may be over as he is stuck in an injured reserve after his 2019 hip injury. Once Anaheim gets past these two veteran contracts, there will be some relief that will help the team get younger and faster. The biggest question right now is Fowler’s deal. The defender signed the $ 62 million eight-year deal in 2017 after a career year but hasn’t looked as dominant since then.
Best: Jakob Chychrun, 22, D.
$ 4.6 million by 2024-25
Chychrun was selected as No. 16 in the 2016 draft, a selection acquired by the Coyotes in exchange for taking over Pavel Datsyuk’s dead contract. Arizona then signed a six-year contract for $ 27.6 million with Chychrun in 2018. This is a good number for a defender who has just reached his prime. Chychrun had his best offensive season in 2019-20 (12 goals and 26 points in 63 games) and finished third on the team in the average ice age (22:26). The Coyotes are still looking for more of the 22 year old, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t get there.
Worst of all: Phil Kessel, 33, RW
$ 6.8 million by 2021-22, modified no-trade clause (player presents trading list with eight teams)
The Coyotes traded for Kessel in 2019 in hopes that it could help the franchise reach new heights. “In Phil’s career so far, he has come up with some unreal numbers, won championships and made a lot of dough,” coach Rick Tocchet told ESPN in 2019. “Now he comes to an organization that has tried to find its way over the years.” We’re trying to go around the corner. Phil comes in here, and if he can make this team better just look at his legacy. It will skyrocket. “Kessel’s first season in the desert, however, was memorable (14 goals in 70 games, sixth on the team), which made his contract far less desirable.
Best: David Pastrnak, 24, RW
Cap of $ 6.66 million through 2022-23
For the past couple of seasons, Brad Marchand had the best deal on the team – and there’s an argument the pesky winger (whose offensive production is often overlooked by his agitating behaviors) still does. At 32 and still very productive, Marchand costs just $ 6.125 million in the 2024-25 season. But the winner here is Pastrnak, whose salary is an absolute bargain considering he tied Alex Ovechkin with 48 goals for the Rocket Richard Trophy last season.
Worst: David Krejci, 34, C.
Cap of USD 7.25M by 2020-21, modified no-trade clause (must contain a list of at least 50% of the teams for whom he would accept a trade)
The Bruins have a tradition of players – perhaps inspired by Tom Brady – who consider less of a part of a victorious culture. That’s why it’s so hard to find a bad contract for this team. Star players like Patrice Bergeron, Marchand and, for a long time, Torey Krug were below their market price. (That’s why Krug left Boston this off-season; he wanted to maintain its value). Even so, at 34, David Krejci is the highest-paid player on the team at $ 7.25 million. That’s not ideal, but it’s not terrible either, considering that it is still underrated. We didn’t have to peck here.
Best: Rasmus Ristolainen, 26, D.
$ 5.4 million by 2021-22
The name of Rasmus Ristolainen has been spread quite frequently on the trading bloc over the past few seasons. But despite the coaching and management sales during this time, the Sabers kept the 26-year-old defender, partly because he offers tremendous value as a top-notch, minute-guzzling defender at an incredibly affordable price. Since 2015, Ristolainen has been in eighth place in the NHL in the average ice age (25:11). The six active players before him (Drew Doughty, Ryan Suter, Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns and Roman Josi) each earn at least $ 7 million.
Worst of all: Jeff Skinner, LW
Cap of $ 9 million through 2026-27, no movement clause
This is what we call an impulsive signing – and it’s one of the most important steps that cost ex GM Jason Botterill his job. Buffalo got off to a hot start to the 2018-19 season and an early breakout star was newly acquired winger Skinner, who looked like Jack Eichel’s longtime winger and scored 40 goals. Despite missing out on the playoffs, the Sabers rewarded Skinner with a $ 72 million deal. Immediately regrettable. Skinner fell significantly last season, scoring just 14 goals and nine assists in 59 games.
Best: Elias Lindholm, 25, C / RW
$ 4.85 million by 2023-24
Lindholm, who led the Flames with 29 goals last season, is a reluctant star. He works with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan on Calgary’s top line, but makes $ 1.5 million less than Monahan and nearly $ 2 million less than Gaudreau. Lindholm’s success makes the Flames think about bringing him back to his natural middle position for the coming season. Wherever he plays, the fact that Lindholm is tied to these odds throughout his 28-year season should bode well for Calgary.
Worst: Milan Lucic, 32, LW
$ 5.25 million through 2022-23, no motion clause
Lucic signed a seven-year AAV $ 6 million contract with the Oilers in 2016, and it was a disaster from the start. Three memorable seasons in Edmonton later, Lucic was traded for division rival Calgary for another underperforming veteran, James Neal. Unsurprisingly, Lucic didn’t magically transform overnight and still deliver the same value on the ice that was under the sticker. The Flames will have a hard time unloading Lucic, considering he has a no movement clause.
Best: Jaccob Slavin, 26, D.
$ 5.3 million by 2024-25
If Slavin hit the market this summer, it could likely ask for anywhere from $ 7 million to $ 8 million. He’s scored at least 30 points in four consecutive seasons, had big shoulders (he led the canes last season at 23:24 in the average ice age) and led the team in blocked shots (107). He also led the entire league with 81 takeaways. Slavin is a true # 1 defender on a real bargain. Carolina signed him on that seven-year $ 37.1 million deal when he was 23, and he’s been looking better every day since.
Worst: Jake Gardiner, 30, D.
$ 4.05 million by 2022-23, modified no-trade clause (no-trade list with seven teams)
Gardiner played eight seasons in the Toronto spotlight, which didn’t suit him well. He chose the canes in the free agency in 2019, hoping a quieter environment would help him find his game. The first season did not go smoothly. Gardiner often missed the defense and scored by far the worst plus-minus in the team. Gardiner was a minus 24 last season, his closest teammate was minus 7. Carolina wouldn’t mind cutting ties with Gardiner to give younger players a chance, but there aren’t many teams looking to take on the deal.
Best: Duncan Keith, 37, D.
$ 5.538 million through 2022-23, no motion clause
It’s rare for a 37-year-old gamer to be on the list of top contracts, but it’s our duty to point out that the 13-year $ 72 million contract Keith signed in 2009 (the most lucrative deal in the team history), extremely aged is good. Keith is a workout fanatic and has kept his body in incredible shape so he can shoulder 24 minutes per game. He may not be the elite defender he had at the height of the team, but he still plays a tough game. Blue Line contracts have skyrocketed since 2009; Keep in mind that Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty each make roughly double that of Keith.
Worst: Brent Seabrook, 35, D.
$ 6.8 million through 2023-24, no motion clause
Seabrook, 35, is a valuable leader in the Blackhawks’ locker room, but there is no question he refuses, and some of his defensive mistakes infuriate Chicago fans. The next season feels especially daunting as the Blackhawks have pledged to get younger while Seabrook is coming back from three major surgeries (both hips and a right shoulder) he performed over a five-week period in early 2020. The situation could cause Seabrook to fall ill off the line-up, but with a no-move clause he’s earned his right to stay if he wants to. The end of his tenure in Chicago couldn’t be nice.
Best: Nathan MacKinnon, 24, C.
$ 6.3 million by 2022-23
We have commended Joe Sakic over the past few weeks for winning the off-season again, this time with two tipped trades. However, the Colorado GM’s most recent success dates back to 2016 when it got MacKinnon to agree to a seven-year contract for $ 44.1 million that has aged very well for the team. Plain and simple: It’s the best contract in the league. MacKinnon has the 94th highest cap hit in the NHL, despite being in the top three. The center has said he has no regrets about the deal and has allowed his team to stay competitive, but he needs to make a massive over-correction on his next deal.
Worst of all: Joonas Donskoi, 28, RW
$ 3.9 million by 2022-23
It’s not a bad deal, but Sakic’s roster is so well built that you don’t have to pick and choose to find a “worst” one. The Avalanche were desperate to score a second goal before last season – especially considering how burdened MacKinnon was – and may have overpaid Donskoi, the former San Jose Shark, a little at the free agency. Again, it’s not a terrible signing, but it’s not tremendous value for a third-row winger who scored 33 points in his first season with the team. While the Avalanche haven’t been too stressed by the cap lately, they will have to give Cale Makar and Gabriel Landeskog new contracts in the next off-season and will likely pay for a goalkeeper as well.
Best: Seth Jones, 23
$ 5.4 million by 2021-22
Of all the players on this list, Jones is the best deal in the league just after MacKinnon. Jones is in his prime, a future Norris Trophy winner and a jack-of-all-trades who teams up with Zach Werenski for one of the best – and cheapest – top pairings in the league. Werenski is only making $ 5 million per season himself by the time he reaches the limited free agency in 2022. Then Jones becomes UFA, and it is fair to say he could make double his current salary on his next deal.
Worst: Brandon Dubinsky, 34
$ 5.85M by 2020-21, Modified No-Trade Clause (10-Team No-Trade List)
Unfortunately, Dubinsky probably played his last NHL game. The 34-year-old – a longtime heart-and-soul player for the New York Rangers – has not played at all last season and his career is ending with a chronic wrist injury. The Blue Jackets have options for the final year of Dubinsky’s deal. GM Jarmo Kekalainen could put Dubinsky in a long-term injured reserve or sell him to a team aiming to hit the cap floor, or Columbus could eat the salary. It may depend on the team’s operating below an internal salary cap this season.
Best: John Klingberg, 28, D.
$ 4.25 million by 2021-22
The stars have been doing expensive deals lately. They offered Tyler Seguin an eight-year deal for $ 78.8 million, lured Joe Pavelski with $ 7 million a year for three years, and done a few other free-agent whiffs. One main reason why they did it: their two best defenders include a rookie in his entry-level business (Miro Heiskanen) and a 28-year-old (Klingberg) who gets around half his market price. The deals of both players run in one or two years.
Worst of all: Jamie Benn, 31, LW
$ 9.5 million through 2024-25, no motion clause
It was only four years since Benn finished third in the Hart Trophy poll and we talked about him as one of the top three wingers in the league. However, his total points have declined in each of the last three seasons, with a disappointing 39 points in 69 games last season. Benn (and Seguin) drew the wrath of team president Jim Lites in 2018, who ripped his two highest-paid players in a mundane joke that they weren’t doing better. Benn delivered tremendous value in the 2020 postseason; Can he carry that over to the next season (and the four after that)?
Best: Dylan Larkin 24, C.
$ 6.1 million by 2022-23
The Red Wings were bottom feeders last season as they are in total revamp mode. Steve Yzerman is essentially trying to build a winner from scratch, though it’s worth building the top line from Larkin, Anthony Mantha, and Tyler Bertuzzi (all 26 and younger). Best of the bunch is Larkin, a fiery leader and likely the next captain on this team (he currently carries an “A”). It’s a coup in today’s NHL when your # 1 center counts about $ 6 million against the cap.
Worst of all: Frans Nielsen 36, C.
$ 5.25 million by 2021-22
For most of the decade, the Red Wings were plagued by bloated, badly aging contracts – after 25 consecutive playoff appearances. Ken Holland passed the torch on to Yzerman, who slowly cleared (and waited for) the salary cap. The last big deal on the books belongs to Henrik Zetterberg, who hasn’t played since 2017/18 but is in his final year of a 12-year contract renewal of $ 73 million signed in 2009. Since Zetterberg is with LTIR, our pick here is Nielsen, who only scored four goals and five assists in 60 games last season, his average ice time dropped to 1:41 and is signed for two more seasons.
Best: Tyson Barrie, 29, D.
$ 3.75 million by 2020-21
Last season, Barrie made $ 5.5 million in Toronto (in a deal originally made with the Avalanche). As a free agent that summer, however, Barrie chose to take less money and less tenancy because he saw a good opportunity with the Oilers. Edmonton is not complaining. Barrie is a legitimate top 4 defender who, if clicked, can take the game and quarterback of an already strong power play to new heights. The fact that top defender Darnell Nurse only made $ 5.6 million over the next two years is a win for Edmonton too. If Kyle Turris rediscovers his game, he’ll be the team’s biggest bargain at just $ 1.65 million each for the next two seasons.
Worst: James Neal, 33, RW
$ 5.75 million by 2022-23
The Flames and Oilers made a rare trade within the rivalry when they traded Neal for Milan Lucic in 2019. The idea was that both seasoned players were struggling and could use a change of scene. Neal played much better in Edmonton – he seems to find his game in reuniting with Dave Tippett – but his contract is still too rich for what it offers and he appears to have been relegated to the third tier for the most part. Neal hasn’t played a full 82-game season since 2015/16 either, so his ability to stay healthy is an issue.
Best: Aleksander Barkov, 25, C.
Cap of $ 5.9 million through 2021/22, no movement clause
For a while, Barkov was widely accepted as the one by his colleagues most underrated player in the league. Now the size of the No. 1 center – it has enormous capabilities, can throw opponents off balance and plays a solid defensive game – is being appreciated. He’s one of the league’s most underpaid players. With a # 1 center making less than $ 6 million, the Panthers have been able to take big swings in the free hand (like Sergei Bobrovsky) and add mid-range additions (like Mike Hoffman last season or Anton Stralman at 5 , 5 million US dollars), even if these steps have not yet resulted in sustainable success.
Worst: Sergei Bobrovsky, G, 32
$ 10 million by 2025-26, no movement clause
When Bobrovsky, the two-time Vezina Trophy winner, parted ways with the Blue Jackets in 2019, Florida advanced over $ 70 million in a seven-year deal. There were skeptics of this treaty when it was signed. A seven year tenure and no move clause felt risky for a goalkeeper, especially one who is over 30 and has an inconsistent playoff track record. Bobrovsky had a difficult first season in Florida, posting his worst saving percentage (0.900) in nine seasons and a career worst goal-versus-average (3.23). He will try to get back on track this season.
Best: Sean Walker, 26, D.
$ 2.65 million through 2023-24
He’s not exactly a household name as Walker is entering his third NHL season and has played for memorable Kings teams in the last two games. However, he is a viable right-back who shows a ton of perks and value. Walker played on the Kings top penalty unit, sees power play time and plays a solid game overall. Despite what he provides, his contract is extremely reasonable, especially considering that he will improve from here.
Worst: Drew Doughty, 30, D.
$ 11 million through 2026-27, no motion clause
Is Drew Doughty a # 1 Defense Attorney? Yes. Is he still one of the top shutdown players in the league? Also yes. But that doesn’t mean his contract makes sense for this team. Doughty has the fifth highest cap hit in the league and the second highest of any blueliner for a team that was a bottom feeder last season. The Kings are unfortunately in rebuilding mode, wasting the last few years of Doughty’s heyday. His contract runs for his 37-year season. The Kings have one of the best pools of prospects in the NHL so they could change things in the coming seasons, but Doughty will likely be at the end of his career by then.
Best: Kevin Fiala, 24, RW
$ 3 million by 2020-21
Fiala tended to go broke when the Predators unceremoniously slipped off their previous top 15 draft pick before his 23rd birthday. A fresh start surprised the wingers, as did a change of coach last season that saw Fiala reach new heights. Fiala has been a point-per-game player for the last three months of the season, doing well under Dean Evason’s system and shining with some highlight goals. That contract now looks like a bargain for a top winger. Fiala, however, stands for a new – and likely a huge increase – next off-season.
Worst of all: Mats Zuccarello, 33, RW
$ 6 million through 2023-24, no motion clause
The moment this contract was handed out, it felt like a mistake. It’s not a blow to the player; It’s a look at how loved Zuccarello was as a New York Ranger as he led the team four times. The Wild, however, had to rebuild and get younger, and instead then-GM Paul Fenton offered a 32-year-old a five-year contract with a no-movement clause. Zuccarello fought his first season in Minnesota (37 points in 65 games) and his contract will always be tied to Fenton’s bizarre 14 month tenure in charge of that team.
Best: Phillip Danault, 27, C.
$ 3.083 million by 2020-21
Danault is the Canadians’ best 5-on-5 striker and he’s the No. 1 man in the center. In the last two seasons he reached the top 10 in the Selke Trophy vote. It’s incredible that a player of this caliber could only make $ 3.083 million (which is less than 4% of the team’s cap space). However, Danault’s linemate Brendan Gallagher might have the best deal of the 2020-21 season as the leader’s heart and soul only makes $ 3.75 million. However, Gallagher agreed to a six-year extension for the 2021-22 period that will earn him $ 6.5 million annually.
Worst: Carey Price, 33, G.
$ 10.5 million by 2025-26, no motion clause
Price is still one of the most respected goalkeepers in the league, but at 33 he’s probably already peaked. He can play at elite level for a few more years, but his cap hit and run time (the contract takes Price through his 38-year season) is pretty rich, especially given that Montreal felt the need, a very good veteran backup to get Jake Allen. Between Price and Allen, Canadians are spending nearly $ 15 million on goalkeepers this season, by far the most in the league. In context, the Golden Knights are the second highest at $ 3 million less.
Best: Viktor Arvidsson, 27, LW
$ 4.25 million through 2023-24
The top winger has had a not-so-great season (just 28 points in 57 games, a fall in the Ice Age) but there’s no reason to believe the swift Swede can’t rebound. If he does, he’ll continue to have one of the most team-friendly deals in the league. Just a shadow of more than $ 4 million is an incredible bargain for a player who has completed three seasons of 30 consecutive goals, including 34 goals in 2018-19, a franchise season record (wild but true! ).
Worst: Matt Duchene, 29, C.
$ 8 million by 2025-26
Duchene and Nashville had long been rumored to be a match, so it seemed a fait accompli when the free agent signed a $ 56 million seven-year deal with the Predators in 2019 to be their No. 2 long-term center long-term need. Part of the problem is that it’s too much money to spend on a # 2 center. The other part is a massive overpayment for what Duchene provided. He has only scored 30 goals or 70 points twice in his eleven-year career and was not entirely thrilled in his first season on Broadway. He scored only 13 goals and 42 points in 66 games.
Best: Kyle Palmieri, 29, RW
$ 4.65 million by 2020-21, limited no-trade clause (no-trade list with eight teams)
If the Devils named a captain this season, Palmieri would be a good choice. He has tremendous leadership value and has been the team’s most consistent point producer since arriving in 2015-16. Palmieri has 249 points in the last five seasons; The next closest currently listed Devils player is Travis Zajac with 184. Palmieri will be UFA this summer and the Devils have not made much progress on a new contract. Since the Devils do not expect competitiveness this season, Palmieri is named as a trade candidate.
The worst: P.K. Subban, 31, D.
$ 9 million by 2021-22
When the Devils were trading for Subban in the 2019 NHL draft, they wanted to go all-in to win the number 1 in the draft lottery and hope for a big run ahead of Taylor Hall’s upcoming freelance agency. Subban should bring star power as a true # 1 defender and help the Devils win instantly. Unfortunately the team stank, Hall was traded and the coach and GM were fired. Subban isn’t the same skater he was when he won the 2013 Norris Trophy. His contract doesn’t look good for a team undergoing further remodeling.
Best: Scott Mayfield, 28, D.
$ 1.45 million by 2022-23
Mayfield is a tall (6-foot-5) aggressive right-back who can be trusted to set up solid minutes on a second pairing, and he appears to be doing well in Barry Despite’s system. The Islanders signed a five-year deal with Mayfield worth a total of $ 7.25 million in 2018, six months before he should achieve the restricted free hand. It was a smart deal from former GM Garth Snow, though it was one of Snow’s last big steps before he was fired.
Worst: Andrew Ladd, 34, LW
$ 5.5 million by 2022-23, modified no-trade clause (15-team no-trade list)
Islanders are in a salary cap this off-season and still need to make room for the cap to sign the restricted free agent Mathew Barzal for a new (rich) deal. One of the players GM Lou Lamoriello would love to move is Ladd, who was often a healthy scratch during the Islanders run in the Toronto Bubble. Ladd has no commercial value considering he missed a lot of time with a back injury and torn ACLs on both knees. What’s more, buying Ladd doesn’t make sense as he already received his $ 3 million bonus before next season, as well as $ 29.5 million of the $ 38.5 million he owed in his business.
Best: Mika Zibanejad, 27, C.
$ 5.35 million by 2021-22
The Rangers have seen such massive sales over the past two seasons that Zibanejad is now widely recognized as one of the team’s oldest statesmen. He’s the perfect player to help New York transition from one era to the next. After a career year last season in which he scored 41 goals in 57 games, it’s evident he can be a number 1 star in the league. Star No. 1 centers typically earn well in excess of the $ 5.35 million Zibanejad makes for the next two seasons (the end of a five-year extension of $ 26.75 million that he inked in 2017).
Worst: Brendan Smith, 31, D.
4,35 Millionen US-Dollar bis 2020-21, modifizierte No-Trade-Klausel (10-Team-No-Trade-Liste)
Smith schloss sich den Rangers von den Red Wings zum Handelsschluss 2017 an und machte sich sofort mit einem großartigen Nachsaison-Lauf bei der Fangemeinde beliebt. Anschließend unterzeichnete er einen Vierjahresvertrag über 17,4 Millionen US-Dollar mit dem Club. Seine erste volle Saison mit dem Team war eine Katastrophe; Die Mannschaft spielte nicht gut und Smith auch nicht, der wegen Verzichts nicht beansprucht wurde. Aber Smith hat seine Karriere wiederbelebt, indem er alles getan hat – beide Seiten der Verteidigung zu spielen und sich sogar im Flügel zu behaupten. Obwohl die Vielseitigkeit wertvoll ist, hat Smith durch so viel Bewegung nicht wirklich gedeihen können.
Beste: Colin White, 23, C.
4,75 Millionen US-Dollar bis 2024-25
White ist ein junges Zentrum, und er hatte letzte Saison nach einer vielversprechenden 41-Punkte-Rookie-Saison Probleme. Sein Vertrag ist jedoch wichtig für die Senatoren, ein Team, das seit seiner Niederlage im Finale der Eastern Conference 2017 mit schwindelerregender Geschwindigkeit durch die Spieler gefahren ist. Als White 2019 RFA war, stimmte der gebürtige Massachusetts-Amerikaner einem Sechsjahresvertrag zu, dem längsten, den der Verein seit Bobby Ryan im Jahr 2014 angeboten hat. Er sandte eine Nachricht an andere junge Spieler in der Organisation: Ottawa gewinnt möglicherweise nicht richtig Jetzt, aber es ist ein Ort, an den man glauben kann.
Am schlimmsten: Nikita Zaitsev, 29, D.
4,5 Millionen US-Dollar bis 2023-24, modifizierte No-Trade-Klausel (10-Team-No-Trade-Liste)
In seiner ersten Saison bei den Senatoren in der untersten Wohnung schulterte Zaitsev viele Minuten (22:09 pro Spiel, Zweiter im Team) und spielte harte Minuten (56,1% der Zeit in seiner eigenen Zone), aber er ist es immer noch nicht Es ist nicht der Typ, den Sie für Ihre Top-Paarung haben möchten – und sein Vertrag ist nicht der, den Sie in den Büchern haben möchten, da es nicht einfach ist, sich zu bewegen. Die Senatoren sind auch im letzten Jahr von Marian Gaboriks Deal. Der 38-Jährige hat seit zwei Jahren nicht mehr gespielt und hat in dieser Saison immer noch einen Cap-Hit von 4,875 Millionen US-Dollar. Jedoch, laut PostmediaEtwa 80% des Gehalts von Gaborik sind versichert, sodass der Eigentümer Eugene Melnyk nicht so viel kostet.
Beste: Travis Konecny, 23, RW
5,5 Millionen US-Dollar bis 2024-25
Wenn Sie seinen Namen nicht kennen, lernen Sie ihn kennen, denn der 23-Jährige ist ein aufgehender Stern auf den Flyern. Das einheimische Talent (der 24. Gesamtsieg des Entwurfs von 2015) hat seine Punktzahl in jeder seiner ersten vier Spielzeiten mit Philadelphia verbessert, einschließlich der Erfassung von 61 Punkten in 66 Spielen in der vergangenen Saison. Die Flyers haben Konency 2019 zu einem Sechsjahresvertrag über insgesamt 33 Millionen US-Dollar verpflichtet, und wir haben das Gefühl, dass dies eines der besten Schnäppchen der Liga am Ende sein wird.
Am schlimmsten: James van Riemsdyk, 31, LW
7 Millionen US-Dollar bis 2022-23
Van Riemsdyk, ein langjähriger Fanfavorit, unterschrieb vor der Saison 2018/19 erneut bei den Flyers. Seine zweite Dienstreise könnte jedoch als spaltend bezeichnet werden. Er ist in den letzten beiden Spielzeiten heiß und kalt geworden, einschließlich neuer Tiefststände – wie zum Beispiel manchmal in der Nachsaison 2020 ein gesunder Kratzer. Der 31-Jährige wird versuchen, wieder auf die Beine zu kommen, und es besteht eine gute Chance, dass er produktiver wird, wenn man bedenkt, dass ihn Verletzungen in der letzten Saison behindert haben. Wenn dies nicht der Fall ist, könnten die 7 Millionen Dollar, die er in den nächsten drei Spielzeiten schuldet, ein großes Problem sein.
Beste: Bryan Rust, 28, RW
3,5 Millionen US-Dollar bis 2021-22
Rust war für die Pinguine nichts anderes als beständig, seit er vor vier Jahren Stammspieler in der Aufstellung wurde und mit 73 Toren in dieser Zeit den sechsten Platz im Team belegte. Er hat sich in der vergangenen Saison besonders bewährt, als Pittsburgh durch schweres Verletzungsglück antrat. Rust half dabei, die Pinguine im Playoff-Bild zu halten, indem er in 55 Spielen 27 Tore in seiner Karriere erzielte. Das heißt, sein Cap-Hit in Höhe von 3,5 Millionen US-Dollar (was weniger als 5% der Gesamtausgaben des Teams entspricht) ist ein absoluter Schnäppchenpreis, als er in die zweite Hälfte des Vierjahresvertrags eintritt, den er 2018 unterzeichnet hat.
Am schlimmsten: Michael Matheson, 26, D.
4,875 Millionen US-Dollar bis 2025-26
Es ist wild darüber nachzudenken, aber der Spieler, dem die Pinguine am längsten verpflichtet sind, ist Matheson, der sich ihnen über einen Handel außerhalb der Saison von den Panthers angeschlossen hat, mit denen er nicht gerade erfolgreich war. Die Pens hoffen, dass sie Mathesons Karriere bei der Reha unterstützen können, und tauschen sich gegen ihn aus, um sich von dem 33-jährigen Patric Hornqvist (geschuldet 5,3 Millionen Dollar bis 2022-23) zu befreien, der einen Vertrag hatte, den sie nicht mehr wollten. Matheson rechnet damit, seine Amtszeit in Pittsburgh mit der dritten Paarung zu beginnen.
Beste: Tomas Hertl, 27, C.
5,625 Millionen US-Dollar bis 2021-22, modifizierte No-Trade-Klausel (Drei-Teams-No-Trade-Liste)
In den letzten fünf Spielzeiten belegte Hertl mit 104 Toren (nur hinter Joe Pavelski und Logan Couture) den dritten Platz bei den Sharks und den fünften Platz (224), was sein Gehalt von weniger als 6 Millionen US-Dollar pro Jahr besonders attraktiv macht. Hertl unterzeichnete seine derzeitige Verlängerung um vier Jahre vor der Saison 2018/19 und es war ein kluges Geschäft für GM Doug Wilson, da es den beliebten Tschechen durch seine Blütezeit voranbringt.
Am schlimmsten: Marc-Edouard Vlasic, 33, D.
7 Millionen US-Dollar bis 2025-26, Nichtbewegungsklausel
Im Jahr 2017 haben die Sharks den Verteidiger zu einer achtjährigen Vertragsverlängerung über 56 Millionen US-Dollar verpflichtet, und nach nur drei Jahren könnte es einen Anflug von Bedauern geben. Vlasic ist 33 und rückläufig, aber sein Vertrag läuft bis 2026, wenn er 38 Jahre alt wird. Das eigentliche Problem hierbei ist, dass sich das Schicksal der Haie in den letzten drei Spielzeiten dramatisch verändert hat. San Jose now might be looking at rebuild mode — or, ideally, a rebuild on the fly — but it’s very difficult with Vlasic, Erik Karlsson ($11.5 million cap hit through 2026-27) and Brent Burns ($8 million cap hit through 2024-25) taking up so much of the salary cap.
Best: Colton Parayko, 27, D
$5.5 million through 2021-22
The Blues parted ways with captain Alex Pietrangelo this offseason, leaving Parayko as the team’s new No. 1 defenseman. St. Louis is getting incredible value on this stage of Parayko’s contract, a five-year, $27.5 million deal that he inked in 2017 coming off his entry-level contract. Parayko seems to get better each season, playing a career-high 23 minutes per game in 2019-20. David Perron, who has scored 48 goals the past two seasons, gets an honorable mention, as he’s locked in for two more years at just $4 million per season.
Worst: Justin Faulk, 28, D
$6.5 million contract through 2026-27, no-trade clause
Faulk was acquired by the Blues prior to the start of the previous season, and he played the final year of his deal that he initially inked with the Hurricanes. However, after the trade, he signed a seven-year, $45.5 million extension that kicks in this season. Faulk’s first season in St. Louis wasn’t smooth. Typically a consistent offensive contributor, he recorded only 16 points in 69 games while not looking totally dominant defensively. What’s more, Faulk’s extension essentially made it impossible for Pietrangelo to re-sign with St. Louis, and things ended in a messy divorce between the longtime captain and the club.
Best: Brayden Point, 24, C
$6.75 million through 2021-22
The hockey world knew how good Brayden Point was (especially after a 41-goal season in 2018-19), but the 24-year-old elevated himself to star status in the Lightning’s 2020 Stanley Cup run. He was one of the biggest reasons the Lightning didn’t miss a beat playing without captain Steven Stamkos. Point’s deal is a bargain, but GM Julien BriseBrois knows that he’s due for a hefty pay day in two seasons, which means the salary-cap crunch Tampa Bay is going through this offseason won’t get any easier any time soon.
Worst: Tyler Johnson, 30, RW
$5 million through 2023-24
Johnson is a beloved, hard-nosed player, and on many other teams, this contract might not be so bad. But the Lightning are itching to shed salary (a common post-Stanley Cup symptom), and Johnson has been deemed the odd man out. When Tampa Bay couldn’t trade Johnson in October, they put him on waivers, but none of the other 30 teams claimed him. After all, who wants to help the defending champs?
Best: Morgan Rielly, 26, D
$5 million through 2021-22, modified no-trade clause (10-team no-trade list)
The Leafs are the only team in the league with three players (Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and John Tavares) making at least $10 million per year. Combine their salaries with that of William Nylander ($6.9 million), and Toronto has more than $40 million — nearly half the salary cap — tied up with four forwards. We cannot understate enough how crucial it is that the team’s No. 1 defenseman is making $5 million per year, well under the market value for a guy who eats a ton of minutes playing in all situations and has performed well in the playoffs (16 points in 25 career games).
Worst: John Tavares, 30, C
$11 million through 2024-25, no-movement clause
The knock on Tavares from fans is that he’s 30 years old, has played in the league for 11 seasons and has yet to have a 90-point season — or take a team on a long playoff run. Of course, not all of the Islanders’ and Maple Leafs’ postseason shortcomings fall on one player, but that’s the pressure a captain has to absorb. Toronto has been retooling, adding depth pieces around the big three in hopes that it can finally snap its Stanley Cup drought, which has reached a league-high 52 years.
Best: Bo Horvat, C, 25
$5.5 million through 2022-23
The 2020 playoffs felt like a coming out party for Horvat, the Canucks’ young captain who is still only realizing his NHL ceiling. With 10 goals in 17 games this summer, plus sound defensive play, Horvat started drawing comparisons to a young Jonathan Toews, as the Canucks look similar to the Blackhawks teams that were just about to break out for three Stanley Cups. Horvat has been nothing but consistent for the Canucks, scoring at least 20 goals in each of the past four seasons and 120 in 446 overall games through six seasons.
Worst: Loui Eriksson, 35, LW
$6 million through 2021-22, modified no-trade clause (15-team no-trade list)
The knock on Vancouver GM Jim Benning is that the Canucks have drafted very well under his tenure, but he has handed out some pretty terrible free-agent contracts. One of the worst in Benning’s tenure is Eriksson. The six-year deal was inked in 2016, and Eriksson has never lived up to its value. He is a replacement-level forward, having scored just 38 goals in 245 games in his four seasons in Vancouver. For context, Eriksson scored 30 goals in Boston the season before he signed with the Canucks.
Best: Shea Theodore, 25, D
$5.2 million through 2024-25
Before the Golden Knights signed Alex Pietrangelo, Theodore was operating as a true No. 1 defenseman — and he shined, especially this past season. He continues to be one of the Golden Knights’ best expansion draft pickups (while each passing year looks worse for his former team, the Ducks), and this budget deal walks him right through his prime. Runner-up choices include Chandler Stephenson, who fit like a glove after being traded from Washington, playing the best hockey of his career (doubling his previous best points-per-game rate). Stephenson, 26, is locked in at $2.75 million through 2024. Also, the contract of 24-year-old Alex Tuch ($4.75 million through 2026) could age extremely well if he stays healthy.
Worst: Marc-Andre Fleury, 35, G
$7 million through 2021-22, modified no-trade clause (10-team no-trade list)
Life comes at you fast in Vegas. For the first two-and-a-half years of the Golden Knights’ existence, Fleury was the face of the franchise, a beloved player in the community with outsized importance on the ice, shouldering huge starters’ workloads since the team never trusted its backup goalies. Then Vegas went out, traded for Robin Lehner and hired a new coach in Peter DeBoer, and all of a sudden, Fleury was deemed expendable. The only problem: No other team in the league wants to take on this contract. For now, the Golden Knights enter the season with perhaps the best goalie tandem in the league, though they wouldn’t mind unloading Fleury for future flexibility.
Best: Henrik Lundqvist, 38, G
$1.5 million through 2020-21
When Washington decided it was parting ways with Braden Holtby, GM Brian MacLellan wanted a veteran backup to help Ilya Samsonov’s transition to everyday starter. Then Lundqvist, the Caps’ longtime rival, became available, thanks to a buyout from the Rangers. All of a sudden, MacLellan is changing his tune, saying that Samsonov and Lundqvist could be a 1A and 1B next season. If that’s the case, $1.5 million is tremendous value, especially when you consider that Lundqvist was due to earn $8.5 million from New York this season.
Worst: T.J. Oshie, 33, RW
$5.75 million through 2024-25, modified no-trade clause (15-team no-trade list this season, 10-team no-trade list for final four seasons)
There’s no question that Oshie is a beloved player in Washington, and he has a propensity to score exciting goals. But the term on this deal is what feels regrettable, seeing as the winger will be 37 by the time it expires. The eight-year deal was agreed upon in 2017. As the Capitals will eventually have to transition younger, there’s plenty of speculation that Oshie could be an expansion draft candidate for the Seattle Kraken. Oshie, who was raised in nearby Everett, Washington, could be the Kraken’s initial face of the franchise.
Best: Mark Scheifele, 27, C
$6.125 million through 2023-24
GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has had some challenging offseasons lately, dealing with a plethora of difficult RFA contracts to sign (such as Patrik Laine’s) and navigating a wild blue-line turnover last offseason. One thing he has never had to worry about is his No. 1 center spot because Scheifele is under contract for just a shade over $6 million for another four (!) seasons. If Scheifele were available in the market this offseason, he would be asking for $9 million minimum. The runner-up is Connor Hellebuyck, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner who is making just $6.16 million through 2023-24.
Worst: Bryan Little, 33, C
$5.3 million through 2023-24, modified no-trade clause (14-team no-trade list)
Doctors have recommended that Little sit out the current season as he recovers from a perforated eardrum. The injury (he was hit by a slapshot) sidelined the veteran forward for all but seven games last season. Little will likely go on long-term injured reserve, but his long-term future with the club is unclear. His absence forced the Jets to take on another slightly-too-expensive contract this season: Paul Stastny, who is making $6.5 million in a contract handed out by the Golden Knights.