Adam Pyde

Checking Up On Predictions: Worst NHL Contracts

Checking Up On Predictions: Worst NHL Contracts

We’re one day after the the NHL All Star festivities so its still a great time to cover pre-season predictions. If you recall, I did Top 10 Absolute Worst Contracts and Top 7 New Signings Under Pressure lists before the season started. Lets check in on those.

Considering this mornings news, I feel like Mike Richards should have been on here. But I missed out on that before the season.

By: Adam Pyde – @Adam_Pyde

Let’s roll.

Player: Ryan Callahan

List: Top 10 Worst NHL Contracts

Contract: $5.8 million, ends in 2020

Are they living up to it?: For this season, he sure is. He’s transitioned well in Tampa and seems to be playing better in a system that is less dependent on him playing 110 miles per hour. His body is holding up better and he’s skating well enough to keep up with Steven Stamkos. It isn’t actually unforeseeable that he maybe can get through another three years of the contract this well. Kudos to him/coach Jon Cooper on the style change.

Player: Ryan Miller

List: Top 10 Worst Contracts, Top 7 New Contracts Under Pressure

Contract: $6 million, ends in 2017

Are they living up to it?: Sort of, I guess. His numbers are okay and they’ve been improving as of late, but its hard to overlook the fact that he’s the third best goaltender the Canucks have had in the last two years, and that you still never really feel confident in him as a fan. Or at least not regularly. He also hasn’t done well/played against top teams as he’s been allowed to pick his starts this season. “Top team in the NHL? I’m sick” “Lottery team? Put me in coach!” You don’t get to avoid good teams in the playoffs.

Player: Vincent Lecavalier

List: Top 10 Worst NHL Contracts

Contract: $4.5 million, ends in 2018

Are they living up to it?: Ha, god no. He’s been healthy scratched and his buyout cap hit becomes a lot less damaging after this season. Say so long! Maybe he’ll become the first player to be triple paid after becoming the first player to be bought out twice and signing somewhere like Martin Havlat or Dany Heatley.

Player: Dennis Seidenberg

List: Top 10 Worst NHL Contracts

Contract: $4 million, ends in 2019

Are they living up to it?: He’s been okay, but I wouldn’t say he has been good. The contract is a little more disappointing because it cost the Bruins a season of Johnny Boychuk and I feel that they’d take him over Seids. He’s not getting any quicker and while the contract isn’t bad now, I can see it getting worse rapidly.

Player: Mark Fayne

List: Top 7 New Contracts Under Pressure

Contract: $3.65 million, ends in 2018

Are they living up to it?: Yeah, he sure is. I wasn’t sure if he was really going to be any good in Edmonton, like Andrew Ference, after leaving a strong systems team but he’s been everything you could have asked for. He’s a perfect #4 defenceman and has allowed the Oilers the ability to move Justin Schultz down the depth chart, on occasion, but seemingly more often Jeff Petry gets moved down. That is unfortunate for anyone who wants to see a competent defence in Edmonton because he’s the replacement for Petry, even though the smart thing is to keep them both.

Player: Ryan Clowe

List: Top 10 Worst NHL Contracts

Contract: $4.85 million, ends in 2018

Are they living up to it?: Nope. He has been bad. He’s one of the big contracts to bad players that are slow and old that pretty well defines the Devils and their mismanagement. He was a 3rd liner when he signed it and he’s not getting any better. He’s been injured this season and when he’splayed he has not been good.

Player: Dan Girardi

List: Top 10 Worst NHL Contracts, Top 7 New Contracts Under Pressure

Contract: $5.5 million, ends in 2020

Are they living up to it?: Nope. Defensive defenceman don’t age gracefully and Girardi began aging before this contract even began. He’s been okay at the best of times, but at that money you want more than okay. He’s falling more into a complimentary defensive role versus “the guy” role. Poor Ryan McDonagh has to drag him around the ice 20+ minutes a night. Still slow. Still gets turnstiled. Still an anchor to his teammates. Whats worse is that the Rangers doubled down on this mistake with Marc Staal.

Player: Dave Bolland
bolland2

List: Top 10 Worst NHL Contracts, Top 7 New Contracts Under Pressure

Contract: $4 million, ends in 2019

Are they living up to it?: Hell no. He’s getting his teeth kicked in when he plays. Has 8 points. And is getting first line money. This contract isn’t an anchor yet, but just wait until extension time comes for the good players. Things could get a little tight in Florida. Seriously, this contract is horrendous.

Player: David Clarkson

List: Top 10 Worst NHL Contracts

Contract: $5.25 million, ends in 2020

Are they living up to it?: No. He’s not really worth much more than AHL/press box salary. Like… 1 mil. Poor guy. His buyout proof deal also screws the team over. Great work by his agent to get him paid, but he’s rapidly declining and you gotta wonder how badly he wants out alongside how badly the team wants out too.

Player: Andrew MacDonald

List: Top 10 Worst NHL Contracts, Top 7 New Contracts Under Pressure

Contract: $5 million, ends in 2020

Are they living up to it?: Hell no. He’s terrible. He was a healthy scratch this year. Is bad. He’s basically a replacement level palyer. Funny how giving players star money doesn’t make them stars. But thats supply and demand I guess.

Player: Brooks Orpik

List: Top 10 Worst NHL Contracts, Top 7 New Contracts Under Pressure

Contract: $5.5 million, ends in 2019

Are they living up to it?: He’s been okay, but he hasn’t been good. He’s still an NHL player, but he’s not worth that contract in any perception. You can easily make the argument that he’s been their worst defenceman of the six they started the year with. He also got danced by John Scott. Yup.

Player: Deryk Engelland

List: Top 7 New Contracts Under Pressure

Contract: $2.917 million, ends in 2017

Are they living up to it?: No. The only reason I can’t say he’s been the worst defenceman on Calgary is because he plays with Ladislav Smid, who is also terrible, and they make a terrible pairing. They get consistently pinned in their own end, consistently outscored by about 3 to 1, and are liable for taking those tired own zone penalties. Good opposition players feast on these guys. Hartley has taken to trying to insulate them at times with players like Backlund, Monahan, Gaudreau and Hudler up front, but that neuters his best players for the sake of trying to protect a terrible ones. “Oh, but Smid is the problem then!” No, they’re equal parts of the problem. Engelland is awful.

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