Good gamers aren’t actually related to their contracts, are they?
Fast: inform me the greenback figures and time period of Connor Hellebuyck’s present contract. Or Victor Hedman’s. Or Ryan O’Reilly’s. And so forth. We affiliate profitable gamers with what they’ve received, from championships to particular person accolades, not with what they’re paid.
However gamers who go bust on main contracts with large time period and AAVs? They’re perpetually related to their dangerous contracts. To talk one in all their names is to elicit a groan from a fan of that participant’s staff and begin a dialog on how dangerous the contract was.
Don’t imagine me? You’ll after perusing my selections for the 5 worst UFA contracts of the NHL’s wage cap period.
Honorable mentions: Loui Eriksson 2016 (VAN), Jeff Skinner 2019 (BUF), Milan Lucic 2016 (EDM), Dave Bolland 2014 (FLA), Scott Gomez 2007 (NYR), Christian Ehrhoff 2011 (BUF), Nathan Horton 2013 (CBJ), Karl Alzner 2017 (MTL), Andrew Ladd 2016 (NYI)
5. Jeff Finger, 2008, Toronto Maple Leafs
four years, $3,500,000 AAV
In case you’re conversant in the honorable mentions above, you understand loads of dangerous contracts have been pricier, longer and customarily harm their golf equipment worse than the Finger deal. However it has to crack the highest 5 due to how downright perplexing it was even on the time. Finger, a former eighth-round choose, solely had two NHL seasons and 94 video games to his identify when he hit the market in 2008 as a UFA. Then-Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher focused Finger believing he had damaged out as a shutdown defenseman who might assist the Leafs develop into contenders.
Because the legend has it, some deeper analysis into the quotes and justifications from Fletcher unearthed fairly sturdy proof that Fletcher confused Finger with Avalanche teammate Kurt Sauer. Fletcher championed Finger’s shutdown capacity within the playoffs … when Finger had been wholesome scratched 5 instances within the playoffs. Severely, the breakdown from Dan Tolensky right here is must-read.
As for Finger and his $14 million contract? He performed two seasons and 105 video games in a Leaf uniform and by no means even suited up within the NHL once more after that.