Published abril 13, 2020
The best contract for every NHL team
since the free service dust settles, rosters are starting to solidify to the 2018-19 season. it’s never too early to look forward — but in this case, we are reflecting on previous moves of gms.
we examined the rosters of all 31 teams and chose out the very best contract on each one. for each decision, we considered era, trajectory, market value and term. we’re also not including entry-level contracts for gamers like auston matthews and mathew barzal, since those are one of the most team-friendly deals in all of professional sports.rickard rakell, 25, rw
$3.78 million cap hit during 2021-22 season when we think of the ducks, we believe of their aging core. sneakily, rakell has emerged as anaheim’s most dangerous scoring threat. and he is only 25. the swede’s salary at less than $4 million per year is a ridiculous bargain, considering he’s put up 30-plus goals in consecutive seasons (the sole duck to do so in this interval ).
antti raanta, 29, g
$4.25 million cap strike through 2020-21
the coyotes made many powerful moves this offseason, but when they are going to have any chance at a winning record in 2018-19 (and likely beyond), the secret is raanta. arizona needed a strong second half last season, permitting the league’s fourth-fewest targets from february on — that coincided with raatna’s return to form after injury. he carries the 21st-highest cap strike one of nhl spread picks goalies; raanta has performed far above this mark.
brad marchand, 30 $6.125 million cap hit through 2024-25
yes, he’s a tongue-happy agitator, however, marchand is also among the most proficient forward in the league. since debuting in 2010-11, his 226 targets rank third among left wingers, trailing only alex ovechkin and jamie benn. the expression here is a win for the bruins. honorable mention to torey krug, whose $5.25 million is incredibly reasonable, although the 27-year-old d-man has only three more years on the deal.
rasmus ristolainen, d, 23 $5.4 million cap hit through 2021-22
the sabres have requested ristolainen to shoulder insane obligation — he led the team with 26:30 in average ice time last season, over three minutes over any other defenseman on the team — and then secured him in at a more rapid pace. ristolainen will continue to guy the very best pairing until no. 1 overall selection rasmus dahlin is seasoned enough to join him. (that shouldn’t take too much time ).
sean monahan, 23, c
$6.38 million cap hit through 2022-23
the calgary flames have a youthful, exciting heart, and really, we might have picked either among their two top-line centerpieces (another being johnny gaudreau) because the reason behind why the flames are put up to win soon. both players would be due big paydays if they were not already locked . monahan’s expression is a year more, and his cap hit is a tad less expensive than gaudreau’s. plus, it’s difficult to obtain an elite top-line centre at this price; maybe the only comparable is mark scheifele at winnipeg.
jaccob slavin, 24, d
$5.3 million cap strike through 2024-25
a color over $5 million each year for a no. 1 defenseman? that’s money well spent. slavin is only 24, and he led the canes in ice time last season (22:35) and can be trending up. slavin gets a slight edge over his top-pairing partner justin faulk, who comes in at $4.83 million — but is under contract only through 2019-20.
the nhl’s potential in esports
2018 nhl free service: all the latest signings, trades, grades
the largest concerns in the nhl this summer
duncan keith, 34, d $5,538,462 cap hit through 2022-23
no, keith isn’t what he once had been. but he is closer to peak keith compared to a shell of keith. he’s proved pretty durable and is not regressing at the same rate as the d-man he’s often linked together with, brent seabrook. actually, keith is likely still a top-pairing defenseman on at least half of the league’s teams. with that cap strike, he remains a good deal.
nathan mackinnon, 22, c
$6.3 million cap hit through 2022-23
narrowly finishing because the runner-up for the hart trophy last season, mackinnon is trending up. then again, gm joe sakic always knew his no. 1 choice was the real deal (mackinnon won the calder trophy, after all) and locked him up for the long haul if he had the chance. mackinnon has been in the league for so long as it’s easy to forget he is only 22.
columbus blue jackets
seth jones, 23, d
$5.4 million cap strike through 2021-22
this could be one of the greatest bargains from the league. at 23, jones is currently a top-10 defenseman in the league, and he is locked in for another four seasons in a discount rate. it might be embarrassing when columbus’ other young elite d-man, zach werenski, surpasses jones in wages (werenski’s entry-level contract expires next summer), but that is just business.
john klingberg, 25, d
$4.25 million cap hit through 2021-22
klingberg’s leading first half had the young defenseman leading the norris trophy conversation. that graduated klingberg from one of the best-kept secrets at the league to mainstream status. the stars were well ahead of the curve here, which has put them in a positive cap situation — permitting for several free-agency mistakes, the significant contract to jamie benn and coming cash for tyler seguin.