The Five Best Contracts in the NHL

In the recent history of the NHL, there have been a lot of bad contracts, mainly in free agency. Dave Bolland makes 5.5 million per year and David Clarkson got a contract that had him at a 5.25 million cap hit for seven years. But, amidst all that, there have been some great contracts, but they mostly come from re-signings. It seems like the general managers have learned from their mistakes this summer however, because all contracts given out have been very modest. Either way, these five players should probably find new agents.

5. Ryan McDonagh 

Team: New York Rangers

Cap hit: 4.7 million per year 

Term remaining: 4 more years 

Players with similar cap hits: Bryan Little, Niklas Kronwall, Carl Soderberg

McDonagh is the captain and lead defenseman of the Rangers, but makes only 4.7 million per year. He’s a great all around defenseman, tallying 136 points in 317 games. This past season, he had 33 points in 71 games. For the role he plays on the Rangers, it’s a great deal in anyone’s mind. 

4. Max Pacioretty 

Team: Montreal Canadiens

Cap hit: 4.5 million per year

Term remaining: 4 more years

Players with similar cap hits: RJ Umberger, Brad Marchand, Teddy Purcell, David Backes

It’s hard to find a team’s leading sniper making under 5 million per year, but Pacioretty is an example of that. Pacioretty has had over 35 goals in the past two seasons, and would have hit it at his pace in the lockout shortened season. Pacioretty has 280 points in 399 career games, and he continues to be Montreal’s leading offensive force today. 

3. Victor Hedman

Team: Tampa Bay Lightning

Cap hit: 4 million per year

Term remaining: 2 more years

Players with similar cap hits: Jake Gardiner, Alec Martinez, Ales Hemsky, Dennis Seidenberg

Victor Hedman solidified himself as an elite defenseman in this league, if he wasn’t already, in this year’s playoffs. The second overall pick in 2009, Hedman is just about a .50 point per game player in his career. He had 38 points this year, and 55 last year (he also played 16 less games this year). He had 14 points in 26 playoff games this season, leading Tampa Bay to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2004. Like many others, he would’ve been my Conn Smythe vote if Tampa had taken the series. 

2. John Tavares

Team: New York Islanders

Cap hit: 5.5 million per year 

Term remaining: 3 more years 

Players with similar cap hits: Dave Bolland, Nick Foligno, Matt Carle, Blake Wheeler

It’s hard to believe an elite forward in today’s NHL makes less than 6 million, but it’s true. Tavares has been a Hart Trophy nominee in two of the last three seasons, and has lead the Islanders to the playoffs in those two years as well. He lost the Art Ross this year to Jamie Benn in the last 30 seconds of the season, but still had a tremendous season with 86 points in 82 games. The #1 overall pick in 2009 had 400 career points in 432 games. 

1. Duncan Keith 

Team: Chicago Blackhawks

Cap hit: 5.5 million per year

Term remaining: 8 more years

Players with similar cap hits: James Wisniewski, Brooks Orpik, Jarome Iginla, Marc Staal

Yes, that says EIGHT more years. The 2015 Conn Smythe winner is a bright spot in the cap hell that is Chicago. Keith’s contract is undoubtedly the best in the league, as arguably the best defenseman in this league is making under 6 million. In eight more years, we’ll probably see elite defensemen like him making over double of his contract. To compare, PK Subban make 9 million and Ryan Suter makes 7.5 million. Keith’s stats back up his play, as he had 45 points this year and 61 last year. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles


About The NHL Files

The NHL Files was created as an interactive blog for twitter on August 1st, 2013. Since then we have garnered over 5,700 twitter followers and many more blog followers. We intend to keep you up to date with articles & tweets.

Posted on July 5, 2015, in Chi. Blackhawks, Mtl. Canadiens, NHL, NY Islanders, Rangers, TB Lightning and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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