Joel Dorcas | April 1st, 2020
After digging deep into the upcoming Unrestricted Free Agent class the idea came about to explore and rank current contracts in a list of top 10 best and worst. Today we will kick it off with the worst contracts starting with 10 to six. Part Two will follow with fifth to absolute worst. All contract figures are pulled from capfriendly.com.
10 Jeff Skinner, Buffalo Sabres, Age:27, 8 years,$72M/ Annual Cap Hit: $9M-2019-2027
Remember when the Sabres had that great start to the 2018/2019 season? Jeff Skinner was a big-time contributor and ended up with a career-high 40 goals. The Sabres quickly rewarded him with big-time dollars, $9M per season until 2027. Skinner’s career to date has shown some inconsistencies as he is prone to slumping. This year Skinner has gone ice-cold as he has registered 14 goals and 23 points in 59 games. One good thing here for Sabres fan is the fact that Skinner is only 27, he can easily turn things around during the course of his “prime” age years.
9 Ryan Johansen, Nashville Predators, Age:27, 8 years,$64M/ Annual Cap Hit: $8M-2017-2025
Johansen saw a dramatic increase in salary as he doubled his annual earnings in 2017. Has the production warranted the heavy increase? Not quite. In his first two seasons under the new contract, Johansen put up modest totals of 54 and 64 points. Decent, but not good enough for the cap hit. This year has been even more discouraging, an underwhelming 36 points in 68 games. Age is on his side though to turn things around in the next few seasons.
8 Kyle Turris, Nashville Predators, Age:30, 6 years,$36M/ Annual Cap Hit: $6M-2018-2024
It appears that the best version of Kyle Turris was left in Ottawa when he scored a career-high 27 goals during the 2016-’17 season. Some underwhelming seasons have occurred since signing this contract, just 31 points in 62 games this season and only 23 points in 55 games for 2018-’19. Turris has also dealt with the injury bug off and on over the course of his career as well.
7 Matt Duchene, Nashville Predators, Age:29, 7 years, $56M/ Annual Cap Hit: $8M-2019-2026
Yet another Predator player makes the list. The jury is still kind of out on this one as we only have one year to look at. Duchene could very well be worth the large chunk of change in the future. However, Duchene hasn’t played like an $8M player this season. He has just 13 goals, 42 points in 66 games. Duchene certainly has lots of potential, he was scorching hot for Ottawa in 2018-19 registering 58 points in 50 games.
6 Derek Stepan, Arizona Coyotes, Age:29, 6 years, $39M, Annual Cap Hit: $6.5M-2015-2021
Stepan wouldn’t be on this list if it weren’t for his dramatic decline over the last two seasons with the Coyotes. Stepan had a 22 goal season in 2015-16 followed by 55 points and a +/- of +19 in 2016-17 with the New York Rangers. His first season with the Coyotes went as advertised as well, 56 points in 2017-18. The poor production of 35 points in 72 games last season and 28 points in 72 games this season is not what the Coyotes had in mind when they acquired him from the Rangers.
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming up soon!
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