Wednesday, 2 July 2008

NHL UFA Season - 2008 - Worst & Best

An obligatory listing that will be updated from time to time.

[Updated July 16]

Worst Deals (in order):

FINGER (14.00 / 4 yrs)

Toronto Maple Leafs

A team chock-full of puckmovers pays big money for, yet another, one with very little NHL experience. This after paying $6 million to get rid of a Cap, and possibly locker-room headache in Darcy Tucker.

Why is this contract so bad? Because there is lots wrong with it:

1. the lack of at-bats (TM Lowetide) in-game experience (as noted) make this contract a risk no matter what; hence, the money matters
2. the team is rebuilding anyways - even if he is a difference maker it won't matter for the first 2 or 3 years regardless
3. the contract is too short - if you are going to gamble long-odds then make it worth your while and sign him to 6 years

ALL the risk is on Toronto. The funny part (per #3) is that if they do win the bet they won't have him around long enough to enjoy it.

THEODORE (9.00 / 2 yrs)

Washington Capitals

You gotta be kidding me. Would have been better off tossing a 2nd round and a 4th round pick at Chicago (Khabibulin) or at Edmonton (Roloson). Overall cheaper. Overall better. Wait in the weeds for another guy to shake loose and call it even.

REDDEN (39.00 / 6 yrs)

New York Rangers


Aw crap.

RYDER (12.00 / 3 yrs)

Boston Bruins

A guy who should have been a value signing gets borderline 1st line money. If Chiarelli was heart-broken over not getting Hossa THIS was helluva an expensive rebound fling. Ryder might actually earn this contract but that is small solace imo because it should never have been about 'might'.

ROZSIVAL (20.00 / 4 yrs)

New York Rangers

Used to be a guy who outperformed his contract. Fat chance of that happening again. One of my favorite underappreciated's just got appreciably too expensive for his production to justify.

HUET (22.50 / 4 yrs) and CAMPBELL (57.00 / 8 yrs)

Chicago Blackhawks

I like Huet. I really do. I like Campbell. I really do. But c'mon. Even making the play-offs might not help these contracts pay for themselves. And that is the problem really.

When a team NEEDS to make the Finals just to get to the point of being 'moderately-justified' on over-priced contracts it is in trouble from when it first signed those contracts.

Note: I didn't say WIN.

ROLSTON (20.00 / 4 yrs)

New Jersey Devils

Funny. Some of New Jersey's deals are winners (Salvador) while others... not so much. This one is of the 'not-so-much' type. No way Rolston is full value in years 2, 3 and 4.

HUSELIUS (19.00 / 4 yrs)

Columbus Blue Jackets

When a team, in a weak position, overpays on an UFA contract I generally find it to be unfortunate. That is reality however so there is little I can really say. When said team dramatically overpays a guy who is NOT a difference maker however...

... this is not a deal that makes the Blue Jackets any better. First big miss by Howson.

Best Deals (in order):

SAUER (7.00 / 4 yrs)

Phoenix Coyotes

Phenomenal deal for a guy who will be their defensive back-stop for the next 4 years. This was the guy Boynton was supposed to be. Best signing of the UFA season. If Maloney had snuck an extra year or two (at $ 1.75 mill each of course) in there it would have established a bench mark by which all others could be judged.

HOSSA (7.40 / 1 yr)

Detroit Red Wings

Barring injury detroit is a lock for the Conference finals and winning the Cup is more probable than possible. Crazy good team.

SALVADOR (11.60 / 4 yrs)

New Jersey Devils

Solid, solid defenseman who will outperform this contract. And that is what it is all about really. New Jersey solidifies their defense, first, yet again.

WILLIAMS (2.20 / 1 yr)

Atlanta Thrashers

Textbook signing by the Thrashers.

If he DOES NOT perform to spec he can be dumped quickly and painlessly at the deadline or at the end of the season.

If he DOES perform to spec then, at the trade deadline, if he is willing to sign long-term for cheap/easy/reasonable cash the team can sign him; if not willing the team can trade him for valuable prospects and picks.

Atlanta only loses on a season-ender. Which can be said of any player.

BRUNETTE (7.00 / 3 yrs)

Minnesota Wild

Always been a fan of his and I figured he would be too expensive after his big years in Colorado. Guess not. This is a great signing for Minnesota.

STUART (15.00 / 4 yrs) and CONKLIN (0.75 / 1 yr)

Detroit Red Wings

Detroits 'win-with-us' slogan (should be anyways) continues to serve the team well. I don't even like Stuart as a player but he did have chemistry with them and he left some 500k a year on the table so I have to call it a win.

Conklin is a very good back-up for that price. Almost nice to see that he has a career again. Almost.



Have a great evening everyone

1 comment:

MacS said...

I like the Redden analysis, that's about what I thought.