In a season where NHL teams are scrambling to make rosters fit below the flat salary cap, these or the most regrettable GM contract decisions.
Loui Eriksson (RW, 35) - $6,000,000 through 2022
Zack Parise (LW, 36) - $7,538,461 through 2025
Ryan Suter (D, 35) - $7,538,461 through 2025
Phil Kessel (RW, 33) - $8,000,000 through 2022
Brady Skjei (D, 26) - $5,250,000 through 2024
Jacob Trouba (D, 26) $8,000,000 through 2026
10. Andrew Ladd (LW, 35) $5,500,000 through 2023
In 2016, the Islanders made a huge move signing Andrew Ladd to a 7-year $38.5 million contract. Since then, Ladd has been a disappointment and a huge salary cap headache. In the last 2 seasons, Ladd has only played 30 games and posted only 4 goals. Now 35 years old, Ladd is a huge issue for the Isles as they will need to save cap room to sign star Mathew Barzal.
9. Tyler Myers (D, 30) - $6,000,000 through 2024
Tyler Myers had an excellent rookie and sophomore season in the NHL. Since then, it seems as if Myers has been living off of those years and his size and hasn't evolved much as a defenseman. 7 of the years Myers has played, he played below replacement in his WAR statistic. Last year was no different, as he had one of his career worst, accounting for only 21 points and a -7 +/-. Myers is now about to turn 31 and I can only imagine his play is going to slip every season of the 4 remaining years on his contract.
8. Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D, 29) - $8,250,000 through 2027
There was a time when Oliver Ekman-Larsson was considered one of the most underrated defenseman in the NHL, those days are long gone in 2021. After signing a 8-year $66 million contract in 2018, OEL hasn't live up to what the Coyotes were expected. After a disaster season last year in which Ekman-Larson only recorded 30 points, The Coyotes were looking to trade the 29 year old defenseman. The problem for Arizona was Ekman-Larsson would not waive his no movement clause causing the Yotes to abandon trade talks. OEL is still under 30 and can turn it around, but he better do it sooner rather than later or the team will be stuck with a huge salary chunk missing for the next 6 years.
7. Ryan Johansen (C/RW, 28) - $8,000,000 through 2025
I know the new popular thing around the NHL is to laugh at Ryan Johansen and the Nashville Predators, but the criticism comes for a reason. The Preds genuinely thought that they were getting a top tier NHL center ice man back in 2017 when they traded for Johansen. The fact is, the 28 year has just not got it done on the ice. He hasn't netted more than 15 goals in a season with the Predators and last year he really struggled, posting only 36 points in 68 games. When you add in that Nashville gave away powerhouse defenseman and superstar Seth Jones to get Ryan Johansen, I understand why most fans are upset about the front office decisions.
6. Sergei Bobrovsky (G, 32) $10,000,000 through 2026
The Panthers thought they had signed a franchise player in the multi time Vezina winner last season. They were very, very wrong. Bobrovsky struggled mightily in his first season in Florida, posting an awful 3.23 GAA and a save percentage barely at .900. Bobrovsky did have terrible defensive play in front of him, but that doesn't look to be changing anytime soon for the Panthers. When you take a step back and look at the contract now, there isn't much to feel good about for the front office when 10% of your salary cap is going to an aging netminder who just posted career lows.
5. Jeff Skinner (LW/RW, 28) - $9,000,000 through 2027
This contract is every GM's worst nightmare. Buffalo acquired Skinner from the Hurricanes in 2018 after 3 30+ goal season's in Carolina. In his first season in Buffalo, Skinner posted a career best 40 goals and looked like the superstar the Sabres needed. A season and a $72 million extension later, the winger looks like one of the biggest busts in the entire league. Skinner only recorded 23 points last season and looked lost on the top line. Now that the team has signed LW Taylor Hall this offseason, Skinner will need to fight for ice time too and to make his $9 million cap hit worth it for Buffalo.
4. Drew Doughty (D, 31) - $11,000,000 through 2027
I really like Drew Doughty, but there is no way I couldn't include him in the top 5 of this list. The $11 million cap hit is huge, and his play has really fallen of the past few years. Doughty is not the defensive wall that he used to be, and he cant will his teams to victory like he has in the past. The Kings are in rebuild mode, and a large contract like Doughty's makes it very difficult for the front office.
3. Justin Faulk (D, 28) - $6,500,000 through 2027
This is one of those contracts where you immediately ask, what in the world are the Blues thinking? If this was the Blues answer to impending UFA Alex Petriangelo, it didn't work out at all. Not only did Faulk's production suffer in his first season in St. Louis, the signing fractured the relationship the team had with Petriangelo and the captain walked out the doors for Vegas this off season. The front office blew this one big time and it started with the Faulk signing.
2. Brent Seabrook (D, 35) - $6,875,000 through 2024
I don't necessarily blame the Blackhawks for rewarding a key Stanley Cup winning defenseman with a big contract, but man does it make it hard to go through a rebuild with a big contract like Seabrook's. Not only has Seabrook played embarrassingly bad defense at times in recent years, he now can't seem to find himself healthy enough to be on the ice. Seabrook could only muster 32 below average performances last season before under going major hip surgery. Hip surgery for a defensemen, especially a 35 year old defenseman, is never a good sign. Chicago will now be paying precious first line salary cap dollars to a third pairing/healthy scratch defenseman.
1. Marc-Edouard Vlasic (D, 33) - $7,000,000 through 2026
For many years, Marc-Edouard Vlasic was an underpaid, underrated defensive pillar for the San Jose Sharks. Those days are far behind the aging defenseman. The last two years have been very rough for Vlasic and his team has struggled because of it. Vlasic is being paid as a top d-man on a team that has two other defenseman, Erik Karlson and Brent Burns, making more money and carrying far more of the load. The San Jose front office is in a cap nightmare, and the the full no trade clause in Vlasic's contract makes him even harder to offload to another team. It will be a long next 6 seasons for the Sharks if Vlasic's play continues to severely decline.
Did we miss anyone??