Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Good Contract, Bad Contract

11/24/2020 at 7:22am EST

from Emily Kaplan of ESPN,

In this exercise, we identified the best contracts on every team, the ones with which the player provides the most production per dollar. We also identified the worst -- you know, the ones that drive both fans and general managers up the wall.

Detroit Red Wings
Best:
Dylan Larkin 24, C, $6.1 million through 2022-23

The Red Wings were bottom-feeders last season, as they are in total revamp mode. Steve Yzerman is essentially trying to build a winner from scratch, though the top line of Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi (all 26 and under) is worth building around. The best of the bunch is Larkin, a fiery leader and likely next captain of this team (he currently wears an "A"). Having your No. 1 center count about $6 million against the cap is a coup in today's NHL.

Worst: Frans Nielsen 36, C, $5.25 million through 2021-22

For the better part of the decade, the Red Wings have been saddled by bloated, poorly aging contracts -- the aftermath of 25 consecutive playoff appearances. Ken Holland passed the torch to Yzerman, who has been slowly cleaning up (and waiting out) the salary-cap mess. The last big contract on the books belongs to Henrik Zetterberg, who hasn't played since 2017-18 but is in his final year of a 12-year, $73 million contract extension signed in 2009. Since Zetterberg is on LTIR, our choice here is Nielsen, who scored just four goals and five assists in 60 games last season, saw his average ice time dip to 13:41 and is signed for two more seasons.

30 more teams...

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