A couple weeks ago I posted the worst 20 players in 2011/12 by their Corsi rating. Worst on the list was Nick Schultz who split the year between the Minnesota Wild and the Edmonton Oilers and posted a -367 Corsi rating. When Schultz was on the ice in 5 on 5 situations, his opponents were in control of the puck and had 367 more attempted shots on goal than his team.
Schultz is a defensive defenceman with little offensive ability. He posted only seven points all season. He played on poor teams. He played in defensive situations with a significant number of defensive zone starts. This is the perfect situation for a player with limited ability to post a bad Corsi rating.
In 1996/97 Mario Lemieux became the highest paid player in league history. He was paid $11.35 million that season. That season was 16 years ago. The highest paid player next season barring future signings will be a four way tie between Brad Richards, Tyler Myers, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Each of whom is to be paid $12 million next season. Since the NHL deals with average salaries as salary cap hits, each of these players will see reductions in salary in the future to keep their salary cap hits down. In terms of salary cap hit no player has an average salary greater than Alexander Ovechkin who has a slightly greater than $9.5 million.
The highest paid players in the NHL have not seen any raise in their pay in sixteen years. The highest paid players next season are not the best players in the league. Thus superstar talent players are underpriced in the NHL market. As an example we can look at the contract Sidney Crosby recently signed.
I make my cases using the Keltner List. This is a series of qualitative questions popularized by Bill James in baseball, but the same idea works well in hockey as well.
The class of the 2012 free agent class is Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. They are both all star capable players who are young enough to remain in their primes. Teams have been chasing them since free agency opened up on Sunday. Today we learn they are both headed to Minnesota. Both players signed 13 year deals worth a total of $98 million. This gives them a salary cap hit of $7.538 million each. While these are big numbers, the salary cap is constantly going up and a potential salary rollback in the new CBA would make these numbers smaller in practise.
Parise was born in Minneapolis while his father J.P. Parise was playing there. Suter is from the nearby state of Wisconsin. Both players have played together several times in international competitions for the US and chose to play together.
I am returning to my Hall of Fame case posts for the 2012 inductees. I have written posts for Pavel Bure and Adam Oates. Today I move onto Joe Sakic. I will give his Hall of Fame case using the Keltner List. This is a series of qualitative questions first publicized by Bill James in baseball that capture a player’s Hall of Fame case.
Today it was announced that Alexander Radulov signed a four years contract with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. This contract will pay him around $9.2 million per year. Presumably this means Radulov is returning to the NHL after a short return to the NHL. The NHL bent over backwards to bring a player of Radulov`s calibre back into the fold but it wasn`t enough.
Radulov walked out on the final year of a valid contract with the Nashville Predators in 2008 to play in the KHL. After the season ended in the KHL this year, Radulov was convinced to come back to the NHL.
As free agency is just beginning today we wonder where the players on the 2012 All UFA Team might wind up. We also wonder how good they might be as a group. To get an idea let`s look at the 2011 team and see how well they did last year.
Last year the consensus was that there were few game breakers led by Brad Richards and Tomas Vokoun but that isn`t exactly how it turned out.
Every year I like to pick the best possible team of unrestricted free agents in order to gage how good a team that would have been if one team signed them all. Thus we get a good idea how important unrestricted free agency is for building teams and how it changes over time. Here is last year’s team that was headlined by Brad Richards and Teemu Selanne.
In order to qualify for the team you must be an unrestricted free agent in 2012. I will update this team should any of its players sign before free agency begins tomorrow.
Free agency is looming in the NHL. Big name players are already signing some big contracts and the real madness does not begin for a couple years. Yesterday we saw Sidney Crosby sign a 12 year $104.4 contract with Pittsburgh and Jonathan Quick sign a 10 year $58 million contract with Los Angeles. Potential free agent Dennis Wideman signed a five year $26.25 million contract after his rights were traded to Calgary. The length and value of these contracts are significant and clearly show that there are teams that are willing to pay some significant amounts of money to lock up some talent. This is the case with the healthy NHL teams. They are growing in revenue and are anxious to lock up as good players as possible for their future.
The Gary Bettman NHL wants changes to the CBA to lower the player’s share of revenue and likely to reduce the length of contracts. This makes the money being thrown around this summer likely phony money.
After the Hall of Fame announcements, like to post my take on the Hall of Fame case for each of the players inducted. Yesterday I posted the case for Pavel Bure. Today I follow up with Adam Oates. In the future I will do Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin.
I use the Keltner List a series of qualitative questions that are borrowed from baseball that do a good job of capturing what should be the important points of a Hall of Fame case for any player.
About The Puck Stops Here
Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.
Why am I blogging? I want to.
Why are you reading it? ???