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Many Thought These Contracts Would Be Impossible To Move

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

On the day the NHL season ended, if you’d listed all the contracts that absolutely positively couldn’t be dumped on anyone by the time training camps opened in September, you’d probably have settled on two: Brian Campbell’s eight-year, $56.8-million (all currency U.S.) deal with the Chicago Blackhawks and Dany Heatley’s six-year, $45-million deal with the San Jose Sharks.

Campbell’s contract came in at a $7.1-million annual average and, even though he’s coming off a decent season, it wasn’t $7.1-million worth of decent. As for Heatley, whose contract runs out in 2014 and has a cap hit of $7.5-million a season, his struggles to score in the playoffs on behalf of a Sharks team that was entertaining Stanley Cup dreams were well-documented. Heatley had had two erratic seasons under his belt in San Jose. The plans to play him with Joe Thornton stalled at the end of the first season and in 2010-11, playing with Logan Couture and Ryan Clowe, the two-time 50-goal scorer sniped just 26 times in the regular season – and his playoff numbers were worse.

Who, in his right mind, would take on those financial albatrosses? It just wasn’t going to happen – that is, until it did.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+campbell, dany+heatley


NHLJeff's avatar

Agreed. Heatley’s isn’t that terrible compared to a lot of the contracts out there.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 07/04/11 at 11:25 PM ET


Contracts that, in my estimation, are unquestionably worse than Heatley’s:

- Scott Gomez ($7.4 million through 2014)
- Vincent Lecavalier ($7.7 million through 2020)
- Rick DiPietro ($4.5 million through 2021—not that the Islanders care)
- Wade Redden ($6.5 million through 2014—not that the Rangers care)

Contracts that are arguably in the same ballpark as Heatley’s:

- Eric Staal ($8.25 million through 2016 for 70-80 points annually. Don’t get me wrong, Staal’s a great player—but fourth-best-in-the-entire-NHL great? Not even close.)
- Rick Nash ($7.8 million through 2018 for a guy who has only cracked 70 points once in his career. Fifth-highest-paid player in the NHL.)
- Thomas Vanek ($7.1 million through 2014 for a talented but very inconsistent goal scorer)
- Jason Spezza ($7 million through 2015 for a one-dimensional center)
- Ilya Bryzgalov ($5.7 million through 2020 for a goalie that may well have been a product of his system)
- Shawn Horcoff ($5.5 million through 2015 for ... Shawn Freaking Horcoff)

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/04/11 at 11:57 PM ET


Oh, and also Kovalchuk’s $6.4 million through 2193.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/05/11 at 12:00 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Nash carries an entire team on his shoulders. His contract won’t move because it’s too high, but because without him Columbus has nothing marketable on the ice.

Vanek (like all Sabres) runs in streaks. He’s a few consistent plays from a breakout year. He can be clutch when it matters. I think a team with the roster and cap space would take him if Buffalo would let him go (they won’t).

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 07/05/11 at 03:27 AM ET


These trades and transactions always remind me of an NHL axiom:

There is no single thing so incredibly stupid and self-destructive that an NHL GM won’t try it, eventually.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/05/11 at 08:06 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

(beating dead horse) With regards to Campbell, the writer did a nice job of not bringing up how many trades Florida and Chicago have made since Dale Tallon left the Hawks to take over the Panthers.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/05/11 at 10:34 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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