Will Kane and Toews’ contracts change NHL pay scale?

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The Chicago Blackhawks signed Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to identical eight-year, $84 million contracts last week. They are the face of the Blackhawks so it made sense to re-sign them, but with a combined $21 million cap hit the new deals will limit the Hawks ability to add proven depth to their roster.

Of course the Hawks needed to keep these players, but even if the salary cap shoots up to $75 million in 2015/2016 Kane and Toews will eat up 28% of the total space. With that much of the cap eaten up by two players it makes it extremely difficult to add quality depth players, which is a necessity if you want to win the Cup.

Here is a look at the Cup winners in the salary cap era and the % of their top players.

Year Team Salary Cap top two players % of cap
2006 Carolina $39 million Staal/Ward 4
2007 Anaheim $44 mill Pronger/Niedermayer 29
2008 Detroit $50.3 mill Lidstrom/Datsyuk 28
2009 Pittsburgh $56.7 mill Crosby/Malkin 22
2010 Chicago $56.8 mill Toews/Kane 11.4
2011 Boston $59.4 mill Chara/Bergeron 20
2012 Los Angeles $64.3 mill Kopitar/Doughty 21.4
2013 Chicago $70.2 mill Toews/Kane 18
2014 Los Angeles $64.3 mill Kopitar/Doughty 21.4

The Hurricanes in 2006 and the Hawks in 2010 both had their two best players on entry level contracts. That is extremely rare.

When the Ducks won in 2007 Chris Pronger played 30:11/game while Scott Niedermayer was on for 29:50/game. The Ducks won with stifling defence, allowing two or fewer goals in 15 of their 21 playoff games. They won because they had two of the top-three D-men in the league on the ice for half the game. Again, very rare.

The 2009 Penguins won when Malkin was in the final year of his ELC. Malkin and Crosby scored a whopping 37% of the Penguins playoff goals that year. Those two were the main reason the Pens won. It is rare to see two players contribute so heavily to the overall offence.

Malkin got a new contract following the Cup win, and since 2010 Malkin and Crosby have combined for 30.6%, 29.2%, 27%, 24.7% and 27% of the Pens overall salary. The only year the Pens made it to the 3rd round was in 2013, when Crosby and Malkin’s combined cap percentage was under 25. 

When the Hawks won in 2013, Kane and Toews were only 18% of the Chicago’s total cap hit. 

I’m not saying the Hawks shouldn’t have signed them, of course they should have, but taking a lower average cap hit would have increased the Hawks’ chances of winning more Cups.

The NHL is unique in that the best players don’t play that much compared to the NFL, NBA or MLB.

The best forwards play between 33-36% of the game. The dominant D-men usually play between 26-28 minutes, 43-46% of the total game.

Hockey is the ultimate team game, and you need depth to win, and when you pay two players almost 30% of your total cap that limits your ability to sign quality secondary players.

MORE STATS…

When the Hawks won in 2013, Toews had only three goals in 23 games. He had one in the first three rounds of the playoffs. No other NHL team would make it to the Cup final with one goal from their #1 centre, but the Hawks’ depth allowed them to win without a significant offensive production from their best forward.

Malkin and Crosby scored 37% (29 of 79) of the Penguins goals when they won, Kane and Toews combined for 18% (12 of 64). The Hawks won because they had great players, but also because they had incredible depth. Patrick Sharp scored ten goals, Bryan Bickell had an out-of-body experience scoring 9-8-17 and finishing 2nd on the team in points.

I understand that Toews does other things to help his team win.

If you look at the Hawks possession stats from 2013 you’ll see that Toews was very good, but his teammates were very solid as well. Here are the Hawks possession numbers at 5×5.

Player  GP  TOI  CF%  CF%
rel 
FF%  FF%
rel 
SF%  SF%
rel 
Jonathan Toews 23 371 62.40% 10.20% 63.40% 11.10% 64.40% 13.20%
Brandon Saad 23 303 61.50% 8.00% 61.50% 7.50% 61.70% 8.50%
Marian Hossa 22 322 60.70% 7.00% 61.70% 7.60% 61.60% 8.10%
Viktor Stalberg 19 194 59.20% 5.60% 60.30% 6.20% 56.40% 1.40%
Duncan Keith 22 452 58.60% 5.00% 57.40% 2.40% 55.30% -0.20%
Michal Rozsival 23 390 57.40% 2.70% 58.10% 3.30% 58.20% 4.20%
Patrick Sharp 23 344 56.50% 1.30% 57.00% 1.50% 56.80% 1.90%
Nick Leddy 23 274 55.80% 0.40% 54.60% -1.60% 52.10% -4.40%
Patrick Kane 23 389 55.70% 0.20% 56.00% 0.20% 57.70% 3.40%
Andrew Shaw 23 281 55.10% -0.50% 54.80% -1.40% 53.60% -2.40%
Brent Seabrook 23 405 54.80% -1.10% 54.20% -2.60% 52.20% -5.00%
Niklas
Hjalmarsson
23 430 53.80% -2.60% 55.60% -0.40% 56.80% 2.00%
Bryan Bickell 23 322 52.70% -3.90% 52.30% -4.90% 52.20% -4.40%
Michael Frolik 23 227 52.20% -4.10% 51.70% -5.10% 49.50% -7.20%
Johnny Oduya 23 451 52.00% -5.40% 54.50% -2.20% 57.00% 2.40%
Marcus Kruger 23 231 51.00% -5.50% 51.00% -5.90% 48.90% -8.10%
Michal Handzus 23 322 48.70% -9.30% 49.60% -8.50% 49.20% -8.50%
Dave Bolland 18 220 46.80% -10.40% 47.30% -10.40% 46.40% -11.00%

Every Hawk player was above 51%CF (Corsi For) except Handzus and Bolland. Toews was the best, but Kane was 9th. Great teams win Stanley Cups, not individual players. It is interesting to note that Duncan Keith, Johnny Oduya, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Michal Roszival played more EV minutes than Kane and Toews.

You need quality D-men to win a Cup and you need depth, and you need cap space to pay for that depth.

I understand why the Hawks signed both of them, but moving forward Stan Bowman will have to make some difficult changes to his roster. Johnny Oduya is a UFA next summer, and the Hawks will need to look hard at buying out Marian Hossa, due to the potential recapture penalties. Replacing a top-four D-man and your 3rd or 4th best forward is not easy. Those would be huge holes.

WILL DEPTH PLAYERS FEEL THE PINCH?

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For years we’ve heard that the middle class NHL player would feel a cash crunch due to the salary cap. That hasn’t happened. It has gone the other way. Bickell, with one 30-point season and one excellent playoff year, is now making $4 million a year. I suspect Bowman regrets that contract. Bickell’s possession numbers aren’t good enough to argue he’s deserving of that deal either.

Some have suggested that the Toews and Kane contracts are the beginning of the elite players taking a larger chunk of the money. That might happen, but it won’t happen right away.

Kane and Toews’ contracts begin in 2015/2016, so for a fair comparison let’s look at the other team’s top two contracts for 2015/2016. **We will use $75 million as the cap ceiling for next year.***

Western conference:

Chicago: Kane/Toews = $21 million, 28% of cap. Deals expire in 2023.
Anaheim: Perry/Getzlaf = $16.8 million, 22.4% of cap. Deals expire in 2021.
Minnesota: Parise/Suter = $15.7 mill, 20.9% of cap. Deals expire in 2025.
Nashville: Weber/Rinne = $14.8 mill, 19.7% of cap. Rinne expires in 2019.
Vancouver: The Sedins = $14 mill, 18.7% of cap. Deals expire in 2018.
LA: Doughty/Kopitar = $13.8 million,18.2% of cap. Kopitar expires in 2016.
St.Louis: Stastny/Pietrangelo = $13.5 mill, 18% of cap. Stastny expires in 2018.
San Jose: Thornton/Marleau = $13.4 mill, 17.9% of cap. Deals expire in 2017.
Edmonton: Hall/RNH = $12 mill, 16% of cap. Hall expires in 2020.
Colorado: Duchene/Varlamov = $11.9 mill, 15.8% of cap. Deals expire in 2019.
*Dallas: Seguin/Lehtonen = $11.6 mill, 15.5% of cap. Lehtonen expires in 2018.
Winnipeg: Enstrom/Wheeler = $11.3 mill, 15% of cap. Enstrom expires in 2018.
Arizona: Ekman-Larsson/Smith = $11.2 mill. 14.9% of total cap. Deals expire in 2019.
Calgary: Wideman/Hiller = $9.7 mill, 12.9% of cap. Hiller expires in 2016.

*Spezza is a UFA next summer, and he will need a bounce back year to command $7 million again.

In the West only Kopitar is the only star player up for a renewal in 2016. Jamie Benn’s contract is up in 2017 as is Mark Giordano’s, but there aren’t many elite players who will command big dollars in the coming years.

I don’t see the middle guys being squeezed out right away, and I believe it will be hard for Chicago to match the depth of the other elite western teams starting in 2015/2016.

Eastern conference:

Pittsburgh: Crosby/Malkin = $18.2 mill, 24.2% of cap. Malkin expires in 2022.
NYR: Lundqvist/Nash = $16.3 mill, 21.7% of cap. Nash expires in 2018.

WSH: Ovechkin/Backstrom = $16.2 mill, 21.6% of cap. Backstrom expires in 2019.

Carolina: Staal/Semin = $15.2 mill, 20.2% of cap. Stall expires in 2016.
Toronto: Kessel/Phaneuf = $15 mill, 20% of cap. Phaneuf expires in 2021.
Tampa: Stamkos/Callahan = 14.3 mill, 19% of cap. Stamkos expires in 2016.
**Montreal: Price/Subban = $14 mill, 18.7% of cap. Price expires in 2018.
Boston: Chara/Rask = $13.9 mill, 18.5% of cap. Chara expires in 2018.
Philly: Giroux/Streit = $13.5 mill, 18% of cap. Streit expires in 2017.
Detroit: Datsyuk/Zetterberg = $13.5 mill, 18% of cap. Datsyuk expires in 2017.
Florida: Campbell/Bolland = $12.6 mill, 16.8% of cap. Campbell expires in 2016.
NJ: Scheider/Zajak = 11.75 mill, 15.6% of cap. Zajak expires in 2021.
Columbus: Wisniewski/Horton = $10.8 mill, 14.4% of cap. Wisniewski expires in 2017.
Ottawa: Karlsson/Michalek = $10.5 mill, 14% of cap. Deals expire in 2017.
NYI: Tavares/Grabovski = $10.5 mill, 14% of cap. Deals expire in 2018.
Buffalo: Moulson/Myers = $10.5 mill, 14% of cap. Deals expire in 2019.

**I project Subban to get at least $7.5 million on his new deal this summer.*

Columbus is already in contract talks with Sergei Bobrovsky, and he will be close to Rinne’s $7 mill/year starting in 2015 so the Jackets will
jump up around 17%. Ryan Johanssen will likely have to settle for a short-term
bridge deal before he gets a significant jump.

Steven Stamkos and Eric Staal need new deals in two years, but not many others big names stars need new deals.

I don’t see how the top stars will take away from the middle class. It could happen over time, if the cap flattens out, but teams that have cap space or no big name stars will always overpay the middle tier players in the hopes they will improve their team. We might see the bottom tier players feel a bit of a pinch, but even then I doubt it is league-wide.

The Hawks needed to keep Kane and Toews, but their cap flexibility will be hampered starting next summer, and it is going to be extremely difficult for them to compete with top teams who are paying less to their star players.

Recently by Jason Gregor:  

  • Randaman

    How could they demand that much if they want to see the team be successful at the end of the day, really handcuffed the organization for there personal gains

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Completely agree. They’re commenting that they want to bring more championships to their loyal fans, but I don’t see how that will be possible now.

      • Muji

        Well for 6 mil contracts you would get a 60 point player in FA. And since the Oilers can really only go up from here lol. I just assume that Ebs and Nuge will benefit from the defensive support.

        But yea Hall top 3 guy in the league left side….

        6 mil is just awesome for what he brings.

      • Joe Mamma

        Good Lord, did he compare them to Kane and Toews? No, just that they were going to be good value at 6 mil. Which they are, so what kool-aid is he drinking?

        Maybe it’s just me, but the number of negative, grumpy, conclusion-jumping jerks just spoiling for a fight on this site is starting to make the comments sections unreadable.

        • Randaman

          Not intended to be negative or start a fight at all. The overvalueing of certain players in Edmonton continues. Being a realist. I understand that there was no comparison but…

          • Joe Mamma

            Based on the salaries being handed out around the league, 6 mil will be a steal for both Eberle and RNH. That’s realism, not over valuation. Calling antagonistic and negative commentary realism doesn’t make it so.

          • Oilers89

            I don’t think anyone is overvaluing anyone in this case. The truth is that Hall-Nuge-Eberle will make 18 million total in the same year that Kane-Toews make 21 million. The Oil will have 3 million and an extra player. Sure they aren’t Toews-Kane, but they are still good players and the Oiler’s top line. Their deals look incredible by contrast.

            Edit: Joe Mamma seems to have beaten me to it haha

          • Joe Mamma

            But…you were negative.

            When you throw around “kool-aid”, you are being insulting.

            Eberle and Nuge are overvalued? Are being a “realist” with that one?

          • Dwayne Roloson 35

            Its funny you say theres no comparrison. hall is making his case for best LW in the game. putting up 80pts and being 6th place at 1.07 pts per game is elite. thats also without duncan keith and seabrook passing to him.

            RNH is a great defensive player even though he had a bum shoulder for the entire lockout season and made it back after surgery a few games into the season this year. now that hes getting an off season to train, we could see him hit career numbers. theres a good chance he can put up 60-70 pts all while playing a great 2-way game.

            Eberle is a great compliment to that line. similar to kane with the great hands they both have. eberle has outscored kane in 2 of his 4 seasons in the NHL.

            the truth is that they are very similar to kane and toews without a solid D-core behind them making great passes or a bottom 6 that helps them out. hall,rnh,ebs have been putting up solid numbers pretty much by themselves. Its no stretch to say that they will be the best line in hockey in 1-2 years. we already saw the last 20 games how they dominated the opposition .they dominated the ducks top line and outplayed the sharks top line…by themselves(combined for 13G in those 2 games).

            kane and toews have won cups because of guys like sharp,hossa,keith,seabrook and surprise performances from bolland, dustin buflyugien and others. they had a team around them to help is the difference.

          • Jason Gregor

            Absolutely. Which is why I cant understand why some fans are basting Mac for his offseason moves. Yes we need a 2C but he has plugged some gaping holes on the backend and the bottom 9 forwards.

            Mac said that when they went to the final in ’06 that they had the supporing cast but not the elite level tallent. Well, it seams like now its the opposite and hes doing a pretty good job aquiring the supporting cast.

      • The Soup Fascist

        I dont think he was compairing them to Toews and Kane. Just simply saying in a year or two 6 mil a season will be very affordable for all 3 of them. Hall especially.

      • Dwayne Roloson 35

        Must be a Hawk fan!! Those two players are telling Chicago that they have done enough for the city now pay me. its about $$$$$$ Not about leaving a legacy.. Its because of these type of contracts that there will never be another Dynasty!!!

    • CMG30

      I totally agree. A lot of people complained when they signed them to those deals because it was a lot of money for players who maybe could have been signed to a bridge contract but it’s going to mean we have them signed in the prime of their careers for a very reasonable amount.

    • Craig1981

      hahaha Holik was the poster child for the need of a salary cap. If he hear him talk about it in an interview other teams were offering him close to as much too!!!!!!!

      Grabovski will average 6.8 million cash each year for the next 4 years so not all if fixed!

  • T__Bone88

    This is how the NHL is suppose to be in regards to elite players contracts. For years teams were finding loopholes and placing the ‘dummy’ years of $1 million/yr to artificially lower the cap hit. No one can fault Toews/Kane or the Blackhawks, it’s just reality now. The only players this will hurt going forward are the Dave Bolland’s of the world getting paid 1.5-2x what they are worth simply due to supply and demand. In 5 years it should balance out in that GM’s are going to be cautious in handing out big deals to secondary players (ie. Bickell).

  • T__Bone88

    Capable NHL journeymen will sign one or two year deals below market value to be a part of a winner.

    They’ll boost their profile by showcasing their effectiveness in supporting roles, and then sign fat ufa contracts elsewhere.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Elite players have been significantly underpaid relative to their contribution to winning in the NHL, ever since the cap came into effect.

    Before the cap, guys like Sakic, Lidstrom, et al, were making $12m per season when scrubs were making $250k and the average team payroll was half what it is now.

    The front-loaded contracts corrected this to some degree (ie Weber getting something like $12m in real money this year), but the stars are still relatively underpaid compared to the scrubs.

    An Oilers 3rd line and 3rd defence pairing of Pouliot, Gordon, Purcell, Ference, and Nikitin, will be making in the same ballpark of what Toews as Kane are making.

    I’d rather have Kane, Toews, and 3 orange traffic pylons on the ice, than the Oilers depth players.

    The gap in salaries between the elite and the ‘pretty good’ players is nowhere near as big as the gap in their relative contributions to their teams.

      • The Last Big Bear

        Well, Purcell, Pouliot, and Nikitin have a bigger cap hit than Patrick Sharp, Brad Richards, and Duncan Keith.

        Tell me that doesn’t turn your stomach as an Oilers fan…

        It’s not the elite player contracts that ruin a team, it’s the overpriced contracts for depth players.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          Oh I agree that it sucks but as I mentioned in a previous blog players will come to Edmonton and even Calgary on the cheaper side when the Oilers/Flames start showing signs on winning.

          Brad Richards contract came on the cheap because he signed with the Blackhawks after having some shotty seasons with the Rangers. Duncan Keith will get paid once his contract is up without a doubt and who knows it might not be with the Blackhawks because of the Toews/Kane signings.

          As for the Oilers depth signings yes they are all overpriced but the important thing with all of them minus Pouliot is that they aren’t long term and none of them have NMC/NTC.

  • JSR

    Based on Gregor’s analysis one might conclude defencemen should get paid a premium because they are on the ice more. It will be interesting to see if the Habs have the same perspective wrt Subban.

  • JSR

    I was watching “That’s Hockey” on TSN last week, and Jamie McClennan was commending the two for leaving money on the table, so the Hawks could sign more players. McClennan figured they could have received $12 million each on the open market.
    It’ll be really interesting to watch the Oilers contracts over the next 5 years…

  • JSR

    Jason : With such elite players finding secondary personnel at discount rates is often the reward , as players like to flock to those teams to be part of it and their (generally) high standings . Not to many I see that have a problem there . We have that problem because we have not had our youth breakout as yet , not elite yet .

  • The Soup Fascist

    You alluded to it in your blog Jason, but it is important to note that the two Stanley Cup winners in the same 29 – 28% range for the top two paid stars included two and one defensemen, respectively.

    Pronger, Niedermeyer and Lidstrom all were capable of playing 30 minutes and did it routinely, especially in playoffs. I think that it is a huge advantage to have your elite, world-class players on the ice for 50 to 60 minutes a game, rather than 42 – 45 minutes per game.

    Chicago still has a very good defenseman in Duncan Keith who is locked up at a good value contract for a lot of years, which helps the Hawks cause (how keen he is that he is making 1/2 the money of Batman and Robin is another story, but that will play itself out). Seabrook may be a tough one to re-sign in a couple of years.

    Chicago could become a bit hamstrung with these two forward’s contracts. Having said that Sportsnet TV money kicks in next year so the salaries are likely heading up anyway.

  • The Soup Fascist

    poor chicago, dont see them perfroming so well once those contracts set in. its tough to sign depth when you dont have the cash for it. i know they are elite and deserve big money but i think the agents got greedy and really burned the team. but is toews worth both sharp and kieth? cause i dont think so. now when all of the other elite playes on that team are up for renewal they have set a precident for paying out the bum. which they cannot do. hope they got a tonne of draft depth to fill the holes of all the players that are going to have to jump ship.

  • The Soup Fascist

    I think the percentage cap hit is a valid point, but that does neglect the simple fact that 72% of 75 mil remaining gives Chicago more flexibility than 72% of 60 mil. And before you say that all salaries will increase, depth players can be found for bargains every summer if you know where to look. Not only that, but great players attract depth players who know salary offers will be similar from most teams and want to win the cup. Yes, Brad Richards just got bought out but how else do you explain that contract? It would have taken 4-5 per season to come to edmonton even with the buyout considered. So signing those guys was the right move. Long term is always the risk but caps have only been going up so it is a reasonable bet to say that in 2017 and beyond the percentage will be lower still.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Johanson should push this issue and only accept a 1 yr deal. Maybe a year from now the Jackets can have their sorry arses vulnerable to an offer sheet for Ryan.

    Screw the Blue Jackets if they think last season was a fluke. The submissive 2nd contract died along time ago with Lowe/Penner. Pay the kid his money if you want to keep him happy.

    Nobody cares where their money came from 10 yrs after the fact. As long as they have it is far more important. There’s a dozen teams who’d gladly do it this early I’m sure. Where it comes from matters little.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Hall’s contract is very reasonable!

    It should be attractive to the other teams when Hall demands a trade. The Oilers should be able to get a first round pick in return…..

    WW

    • The Soup Fascist

      The troll act is getting very tedious. At least some of the other guys looking for attention from other posters are somewhat inventive or even artful in their fishing techniques.

      By contrast you are just boring, uninspired and frankly, a little sad. Going forward I will simply skip over the transparent “look at me” drivel you insist on offering.

      Be well, Walter White. Be well.

  • Randaman

    THis will go one of two ways for the Hawks, either it will be Kovalchuck all over again and the team will spend half the year with 15 guys trying to figure out how to ice a full team and stay under the cap. Or the Gm will work some pretty incredible magic.

    I could see Chicago trading a guy like Hossa or Sharp for young, cheap, but really effective players to meet cap requirements. They have done an amazing job at building through the draft by making good depth selections that have paid big dividends.

    Personally, I’m rooting for the team to be gutted and parts sent our way, but I just can’t see a GM saying, “that’s a future me problem.”

    As for the Oilers’ top line contracts. If you really believe that those players on 6 mill deals for a long period of time is not insanely good value, then you know nothing about how hockey runs as a business.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Will it be “insanely good” when Yak demands 6×6 as well next year, or he will join his buddies in the KHL?

      Also: if you were given $40M when you were 20; how hard would you be working right now ?

      Still convinced it is good for business……?

      WW

      • Dwayne Roloson 35

        “Also: if you were given $40M when you were 20; how hard would you be working right now ?”

        i would be working extremely hard to play the game i love.

        its easy for the average joe to say that they wouldn’t work hard but thats because the average joe hates his job and wants to retire a millionaire.

        Also, yaks will get a bridge contract. hes a rfa. we hold the cards and no arbitrator would give him 6M. hes also said he wants to play in the NHL which is why he played in north america in junior.

        dont know why i even bother showing the flaws of a troll comment.

  • Serious Gord

    As has been noted above and elsewhere (mcown on sportsnet has discussed it one several occasions) one of the real values in the player market is with stars. $ paid versus value to the team both on and off the ice is much better than established middle rank players. Another way of putting it is that established mid-level talent is overpaid.

    And that certainly is the case with Crosby, Toews and Kane. Clearly they (and their agents) take a bit of a discount to leave room for their employers to hire supporting players. Such is the nature of team sports in a cap world (Brady took a mammoth discount on his contract with the patriots).

    As i noted before on this site Scotty bowman said the trick is to unload established mid-level talent for younger cheaper, undeveloped players that a team can develop to replace what has been traded away and to make room for the star contracts. And certainly the team he works for has followed this path with considerable success.

    Essentially what the hawks are doing is going heavy on the two value areas for players – super elite players prepared to take less than market value in order to support the team and young, unestablished players usually on their rookie contracts – and minimizing rostering with expensive mid-level talent.

    Acknowledging that EDM is in a very different place than the hawks – they clearly have been acquiring the kinds of players that chi has been unloading. Long term, continuing that strategy is the path to failure.

    Developing depth across the board in the prospect ranks AND taking no prisoners in creating an excellent development system for them has to be done. And perhaps even more important a similar direction has to be applied to pro-scouting – an area which I would argue might be THE worst in the league over the past ten years.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Star players taking less is a league wide sham to say they can “add depth”. All that means is that plugs get paid.

    If the star players weren’t talked into this nonsense, Nikitin’s don’t get $9 million for 2 years, Bolland’s, Clarkson, etc. That money should be allocated to the star player. This so called “depth” isn’t there.

    Chicago’s “depth” came from value contracts out of the likes of Shaw and Saad. And Bickel BEFORE he got paid. In their first cup, their “depth” was Buf, Laad, etc. They got paid AFTER providing depth for a cup winner, not after.

    LA had a bunch of “depth” come from that area too. Not some signing of a “depth” player. What are those pluggers worth now? And what would they be worth if Kopitar and Doughty took max?

    League wide, the stars would have to start taking their money for this lie to stop? It doesn’t add one bit of depth. It over pays a lesser player a year after a playoff run, and we call it a depth signing…… for $25 million over 5 years. That is all. Hello Pisani.

    And that’s the question? The agents have most to lose if the pluggers get less, as the agents would then need STAR players to get paid as in a cap world only so much moneyh to go around. The agents have most to gain by talking stars into less to add this bogus notion of FREE AGENT depth? It spreads the money around for them too.

    I’d rather a Toews and Kane get $15 million per season that a guy like Bickel getting his wage. That much is a fact. Adding depth? I don’t think so. Depth usually is a “value contract”. Once that “depth” is signed to a huge deal, no value left IMO. And all made possible by star players charity.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I had to laugh when John Shannon was spouting off non sense on your show and stated that his reasoning behind the signing of Toews and Kane was “cuz you have to.”

    And Spec isn’t allowed on the show? Boo hiss TSN. Every guest should be allowed regardless of employer or shareholder.

  • PlayDirty

    If anyone in the league besides Crosby deserves $10m , I think it would be Toews. Kane is really good, but I don’t think he’s that good. I like the Hawks but think this may bite them.

    Oh well, not my money.

  • The Last Big Bear

    “but teams that have cap space or no big name stars will always overpay the middle tier players in the hopes they will improve their team. ”

    You mean like Ference, Pouliot, and Gordon? Or trading for Hendricks and Purcell?

    Oilers and Florida well keep the middle tier swimming in dough…

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    These contracts look like the NHL may be following the path of the NBA and the NFL re: contracts for superstars and stars in a salary cap world. In those leagues the top players get the big $$$ and the rest of the roster is filled with veteran UFAs on favorable contracts looking to win a championship and, most importantly, a pipeline of young players on value contracts that can contribute. Drafting and developing prospects is critical as you keep the core pieces and change the ones around it. While the Hawks may have some constraints with the Toews and Kane contracts, if you look at their drafting/acquiring and development of role players over the past few years it may not be as big of an issue. A team like the Oilers, on the other hand, that are in the early stages of developing the young complementary player pipeline, cannot do that.

  • Wax Man Riley

    So basically what you’re telling me is that Hall’s contract is going to be one of the best bargains in the NHL soon.

    RNH is good, but hasn’t hit really good or elite yet, so we’ll see if he lives up to it this year. the Eberle contract is looking like a bit of overpay, but he is also Jordan Eberle, so that scores him an extra mil at least.