|This offseason, many GM's have made it rain on newly signed players|
For some NHL GM's this offseason was like a 19 year old's first time at a strip club - tossing around large amounts of cash and regretting it later on. With a raised salary cap and limited crop of quality free agents, a spending panic occurred with many GM's showing the money to players and their agents.
Let's look at how some of this years signings compare to common personalities you might find at your local strip club:
The German Stripper who dances to Rammstein's Du Hast and intimidates you into overpaying
Christian Ehrhoff, Buffalo Sabres
10 years, $40M
Cap hit - $4M a year
While the cap hit is modest, the fact that Christian Ehrhoff will be one of the top paid players next season is ludicrous. The contract is front loaded with $18M of it coming in the first 2 years. New Sabres owner Terry Pegula opened the vault this offseason and tossed around some Euros and made it rain in Buffalo. Ehrhoff can log major minutes and quarterback the powerplay. But he has been known to give up the puck and make bad decisions when under pressure. His minus 13 during the playoffs last season is pretty glaring considering the Canucks did make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Stripper who falls off the stage during her performance
Tim Connolly, Toronto Maple Leafs
2 years, $9.5M
Cap hit $4.75M a year
Connolly, a former 5th overall pick, hasn't lived up to his potential and Brian Burke is hoping that he can stay healthy and help get the Leafs into the playoffs. Tiny Tim as he was called in Buffalo for his soft play is slotted in as the number 1 centre playing with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. If he can stay healthy he should be a 60 plus point player. That is a big "if" considering he has hurt himself while falling down from dancing.
The old, bleached-blonde Stripper who only works one night a week
Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens
3 years, $17.25M
Cap hit - $5.75M a year
Markov missed 75 games last year and 37 the year before. Bad luck has sidelined this stud d-man and many people were shocked the Habs were willing to dish out $17.25 over 3 years for a player who just can't seem to stay healthy. I don't mind the cap hit, but they should have just gone for a 1 year deal with him to see if he could at least lace up his skates for most of the season. Markov turns 33 this December so it's not like he is a young pup anymore. Injuries will take longer to heal and his body could break down even more. I'll still draft him in my Yahoo! pool though.
The Stripper with way too much glitter on her face
Ville Leino, Buffalo Sabres
6 years, $27M
Cap hit - $4.5M a year
The 27 year old Leino played in his first full season in the NHL last year and put up some pretty solid numbers with 19 goals, 34 assists, for 53 points. You would think most GM's would want to see if he could do this again before signing him to a long term deal, but the Buffalo Sabres had other ideas. I hope that Sabres GM, Darcy Regier, thinks this is just the tip of the iceberg for Leino and his potential because there is no way a player that comes close to scoring 20 goals and puts up 50ish points is worth $4.5M a year. Stupid contracts like this will only hurt the NHL and bump up other contracts around the league for other average 2nd liners who put up the same production.
The Stripper that's just a tad overweight with the bad tattoos
James Wisniewski, Columbus Blue Jackets
6 years, $32.5M
Cap hit - $5.41M a year
James Wisniewski is a good powerplay quarterback and should put up some solid points with Jeff Carter and Rick Nash driving to the net. But in his own zone during 5 on 5 play, he is basically a 4th forward out there and he is a huge liability. Last year the Canadiens were a much better team with him on the bench than they were with him on the ice during 5 on 5. It's well known that the Blue Jackets have to overpay to get free agents to come to Columbus, but this was a bad contract for them to sign-off on. If they wanted to just boost their powerplay they could have just signed Tomas Kaberle for a lot less and a shorter deal (and better defence) - they do get a pretty good Facebook presence though.
|No word on whether Wisniewski will be getting $32,500,000 tattooed down his side|
Jaromir Jagr, Philadelphia Flyers
1 year, Cap hit - $3.3M
Jaromir Jagr might have the worst hair in the NHL, but for years he was one of the best players in the league. With his size and skill level he made NHL defencemen and goalies look silly as he would dangle all over the ice. But at 39 years old how much gas does he have left in the tank? Jagr has been playing in the KHL since 2008 and finished 10th in scoring last season. It should be noted the KHL only plays a 54 game schedule which makes you wonder if Jagr can handle a full NHL season now. We've seen him get rocked in recent international tournaments, and if Jaromir can't handle the NHL pace he might be spending more time in the pressbox.
The Russian Stripper with the smoking hot body, but bad face
Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia Flyers
9 years, $51M
Cap hit - $5.66M a year
31 year old Bryzgalov really cashed in on being the best goalie available this offseason joining Ehrhoff in earning $10 million next season. The Flyers shipped away Jeff Carter and Mike Richards who are both still young studs in the league to find cap room for Bryzgalov. GM Paul Holmgren really pushed the panic button on blowing up this team after they made the Stanley Cup Finals just last year against the Chicago Blackhawks. Yes, they needed an upgrade in goal, but when you look at the steal of a deal the Washington Captials got on Tomas Vokoun for just $1.5M this season, sometimes being patient is the best thing to do. If Bryzgalov plays like he has the last 2 playoffs the Flyers will be regretting this signing like you would regret ordering the breakfast from a stripclub
The 5 Strippers that come with a bucket of beer
Dale Tallon's drinking binge, Florida Panthers
Some clubs will actually offer you deals like this, and we think Tallon took it to heart to spend to get to the cap floor - sorry Dale, but you don't get anything for spending this money except a lot of shaking heads. 4 years, $16.5M for 35 year old Ed Jovanovski - who looked like he took a few steps back last season - isn't getting me excited. Scottie Upshall is a solid player, but 4 years, $14M and a cap hit of $3.5M for a guy who just had a career year last season with 34 points is just crazy. Sean Bergenheim had 29 points in 80 games last year and somehow that equals a 4 year, $11M contract with a cap hit of $2.75M. That is a lot of coin for a 3rd liner who hit the jackpot after his 9 goal burst in the playoffs. His playoff talents could help the Panthers if they ever make it to them again. I don't really understand the Jose Theodore signing for 2 years at $3M if they could have brought back Vokoun for around the same price, but I am guessing Vokoun wanted the hell out of there. And don't forget about Tallon trading for Brian Campbell - who would be a nice pick up if he was around the $4M a year mark - not $7.1M a year for the next 5 years. We understand Campbell is loyal to Tallon, but why would he waive his NTC to go the Sunshine State when he's a ginger?