Thanks to Roberto Luongo, Vincent Lecavalier, Ilya Bryzgalov, and Rick DiPietro, the past week of NHL transactions will probably be remembered as the Revenge of the Long-Term Contracts. With Luongo trapped in Vancouver and the other three players receiving buyouts that total almost $80 million, teams that tried to beat the system with extended deals are starting to feel some serious pain.
After years of teams signing players to ridiculously long-term deals, often front-loading them to exploit a salary-cap loophole, the NHL moved to put a stop to the practice in the last CBA by limiting contracts to a maximum of eight years. But the contracts signed under the old CBA still remain, and many of them don’t look good.
So I thought it would be a good idea to go through the full list of contracts longer than eight years that were signed during the salary-cap era and do a player-by-player breakdown of all [checks CapGeek] 21 of them.
Wait, 21? I’ve got to be honest, that’s way more than I thought there would be. What the hell, NHL owners? This is going to take a while.
[Strongly considers introducing an arbitrary cutoff like “12 years” and going to lunch early.]
[Ah, screw it, let’s do this.]
Here’s a look at each of those 21 contracts of nine years or longer, as we try to answer one question: In hindsight, did any of them actually turn out to be a good idea?
It’s easy to forget that last summer featured some major player transactions in the NHL. Between free agency and an unusually active trade market, plenty of players found new homes. Some of those moves have worked out well. Others not so much. Here are a dozen of the biggest names who switched teams before this season, and an update on the impact they’ve had so far.
After an exhaustive six-hour training camp, the NHL makes its long-awaited return Saturday. And while it’s been easy to forget over the past few months of lockout negotiations between grim-faced men in suits, hockey is a sport played on ice by actual hockey players.
Let’s take a look at some of them now. Here are 10 players who’ll be especially interesting to keep an eye on over the next few months:
July 1 is New Year’s Day in the NHL, the date when the league calendar officially turns over into a new season. Every contract in the league rolls forward another year — or expires altogether. And that means free agency. Sweet, wonderful, blessed free agency (as it’s presumably referred to among player agents).
In advance of the big day, here are some of the things you need to know about what tradition obligates us to refer to as the NHL free-agent frenzy.
All eyes will be on Game 6 of the NHL's Eastern Conference finals this evening. And while we don't yet know whether the New Jersey Devils will eliminate the Rangers at home or whether New York will force its third Game 7 in as many series, regardless of what happens, there are some things we can predict with certainty.
A couple of weeks from now, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will walk out onto the ice. People will boo him, as they always do, and he will be completely impervious to it, as he always is. He will drone merrily for a bit, then present the Stanley Cup to the winning team's captain. And that captain will be, with my apologies to Don Cherry, a GOOD AMERICAN BOY.
There's been only one Stanley Cup–winning team captained by an American-born player: Derian Hatcher's Dallas Stars, who defeated the Buffalo Sabres in 1999 in a game best known for its controversial in-the-crease finish. But this year, all three teams who remain alive in the postseason — the lying-in-wait Los Angeles Kings in the West, and the Rangers and Devils back East — have 27-year-old red-white-and-blue-blooded gentlemen donning the "C."
O beautiful for tenacious guys! Let's meet them, shall we?