Luckily we lost a lot less than $15.5M worth of production.
Pension Plan Puppets*
* Blog contains less than 2% puppet content by weight.
Yeah, it’s arguably our three most overpaid players, but imagine last nights roster with $15.5m worth of smart spending.
This is the place where I felt like the world's tallest self-supporting tower.
So I am going to make a fan shot to analyze who our most overpaid players are. It will be pretty subjective just looking at our 5 highest paid forwards and defenseman and both of our goaltenders; then seeing who are the most overpaid. If interested, read on after the jump!
Note my conclusions are for what I believe market value would be on these players as UFAs. I believe this is (one) way to judge their contribution vs contract. You could also consider it more specifically by the situation they signed it (with us, as an RFA, as a UFA, as a UFA new to the league, fucked up by Tallon, etc).
*1 star in comparables means their cap hit is with performance bonuses
Phil Kessel - $5.4 million.
Comparables ($5.2-$5.6 million) Shawn Horcroff, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Jason Pominville, Martin St. Louis, Simon Gagne, Marian Hossa***
Comments on player: Here is an early 20s top 30 goal scorer in the league. Our only true top talent.
Conclusion Fair pay
***Marian Hossa is a lifetime contract so probably not a fair comparison
Tyler Bozak- $3.725 (with bonuses)**
Comparables ($3.525-3.925): Patrick Sharp, Travis Zajac, Sean Avery, Tuomo Ruutu, Wojtek Wolski, Taylor Hall*, Steve Sullivan, Antoine Vermette, John Tavares*, David Krejci, RJ Umberger, Steven Stamkos*, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Clowe, Jarret Stoll, Rod Brind'Amour (retired), Tyler Seguin*, Cory Stillman, Jochan Hecht
Comments on player: Here is a big college UFA signing. He is playing poorly offensively this year being given top minutes. Hopefully this is simply the dreaded sophomore slump. We are paying for potential (60 point, defensively responsible center) and probably had to over pay because of the way we got him (most wanted undrafted UFA skater that spring).
Conclusion Overpaid by $1.25 (realistically you have to pay for his kind of potential)
**MF37 pointed out that his salary will likely top out at $1.7 million. Not only would I argue this is a fair (or under payment), but here are comparables at this cap hit ($1.5-$1.9 million):
Lee Stempniak, Drew Stafford, Tomas Holmstrom, Jason Chimera, Gilbert Brule, Steve Downie, Brandon Dubinsky, Martin Hanzal, Devin Setoguchi, Matt Cooke, Boston's 09/10 Cap Overage (HAHA!), Josh Bailey, Nazem Kadri*, Alex Tanguay, Jussi Jokinen, Chad Larose, Radek Dvorak, Kyle Okposo*, Cody Hodgson* (playing in AHL), James Van Riemsdyk*, Derek Boogaard (HAH!), Chris Higgins, Kris Draper, Magnus Paajarvi*, Alexander Burmistov*, Traves Moen.
Kris Versteeg- $3.0833
Comparables ($2.833-$3.2833): Mikko Koivu (been resigned for MUCH more), Andrei Kostitsyn, Derick Brassard*, Alexei Ponikarovski, Dustin Brown, Brayden Schenn* (been sent down to AHL), Zach Parise, Rotislav Olesz, Stephen Weiss, Evander Kane*, Alexander Frolov, Nicklas Hagman, Radim Vrbata, Colby Armstrong, Milan Hejduk, Valtteri Filppula, Ray Whitney, Dustin Byfuglien (he is playing D right now), Ales Kotalik, Olli Jokinen, Steve Ott, Mikael Grabovski, James Neal, Chris Stewart, Jiri Hudler, Nino Niederreiter* (been sent down to junior)
Comments on player:Our big trade of the summer. Versteeg is a good goal scorer (not great) who actually seems to excel in playing a defensive situation where he can play smart and use his creativity to take advantage of mistakes. If we continue to use him in this regard (with PP time), I think he will prove to be a 25 G scoring, low 50 point player with defensive skill. Regardless of what he may prove, he is a consistent 20 goal forward, who is under 25 and still improving.
Conclusion Fairly paid. many would say he is overpaid because of Tallon's screw up in his offersheet, and as an RFA he is overpaid by probably 600 000 or so. That being said this is market value for a 20 goal scorer.
Colby Armstrong - $3 million
Comparables ($2.833-$3.2833): Mikko Koivu (been resigned for MUCH more), Andrei Kostitsyn, Derick Brassard*, Alexei Ponikarovski, Dustin Brown, Brayden Schenn* (been sent down to AHL), Zach Parise, Rotislav Olesz, Stephen Weiss, Evander Kane*, Alexander Frolov, Nicklas Hagman, Radim Vrbata, Kris Versteeg, Milan Hejduk, Valtteri Filppula, Ray Whitney, Dustin Byfuglien (he is playing D right now), Ales Kotalik, Olli Jokinen, Steve Ott, Mikael Grabovski, James Neal, Chris Stewart, Jiri Hudler, Nino Niederreiter* (been sent down to junior)
Comments on player:This was simply an overpayment. Burke made the mistake that he wanted a specific guy in free agency this summer and paid a premium to get him (instead of just aiming for a player with similar skill sets and getting a cheaper one). This is simply a failure in salary cap efficiency in my mind. He is a 14-18 G scorer, 30-35 point player, big hitter, and pretty good defensively.
Conclusion Overpaid by 1 million
Mikael Grabovski - $2.9 million
Comparables ($2.833-$3.2833): Mikko Koivu (been resigned for MUCH more), Andrei Kostitsyn, Derick Brassard*, Alexei Ponikarovski, Dustin Brown, Brayden Schenn* (been sent down to AHL), Zach Parise, Rotislav Olesz, Stephen Weiss, Evander Kane*, Alexander Frolov, Nicklas Hagman, Radim Vrbata, Colby Armstrong, Milan Hejduk, Valtteri Filppula, Ray Whitney, Dustin Byfuglien (he is playing D right now), Ales Kotalik, Olli Jokinen, Steve Ott, Kris Versteeg, James Neal, Chris Stewart, Jiri Hudler, Nino Niederreiter* (been sent down to junior)
Comments on player: I tried to keep this short and sweet, but I love Grabs. He seems to be the prototypical GOOD second line center. He can score 20 goals and has played at a 50 point pace, while being a consistent league leader in penalties drawn (particularly vs taken). If we had a good PP he would be that much more valueable. This year he looks to be able to bump that to a 60+ point pace.
Conclusion Based on previous years fairly paid, but based on this year underpaid by about 500 000 (Think Stajan
******Please note for Grabs and Army I just copied and pasted Versteeg's list so it is not the most accurate comparison. There comparables will include some of the same and some lower paid players).******
Dion Phaneuf $6.5 million
Comparables ($6.3 million-$6.7 million): Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Boyle, Ed Jovanonski, Kimmo Timonen
Comments on player: Dion was the 'franchise defenseman' brought in via trade last year in January and made captain this summer. While he (apparently) brings leadership in the locker room, eats minutes, and hits like a bull dozer; he was signed to that massive contract for his elite offensive skills portrayed in his first couple of years and the potential that represented. Unless he improves his goal scoring he is WAY overpaid.
Conclusion With his pathetic goal scoring on the leafs (assists are okay (still poor)) he is being over paid by probably about 3-3.5 million. He is still a big intimidating player, who puts up decent offensive numbers (relative to other defenseman) and draws players to blocking his shot. That (if utilized) can be very useful.
Mike Komisarek $4.5 million
Comparables ($4.30-$4.7 million): Ron Hainsey, Dan Hamhuis, Scott Hannan, Shea Weber
Comments on player: Komi is a pure defensive defenseman, who can play shutdown minutes. Through his career his best game has actually been played when he is not necessarily playing on a shutdown line. It is instead apparent when he plays with a more offensive player creating a more balanced pairing. You know what he brings to the ice with big hits, good positioning, and a lot of blocked shots. This year I have actually also been impressed with his ability to hold the zone and decent passes from the offensive blue line which can create some offense. His biggest fault is when he tries to do too much (and makes stupid plays) or takes stupid penalties. When he plays a smart and simple game he is an extremely good defensive defenseeman
Conclusion As a more or less one dimensional defenseman (he has shown decent offense this year), he is overpaid by about 1.5 million (IMHO).
Tomas Kaberle $4.25 million
Comparables ($4.05-$4.45 million): Eric Brewer, Anton Volchenkov, Keith Ballard, John-Michael Liles, Chicago Cap Overage 09/10, Mark Streit
Comments on player: Kabby is an elite power play quarterback, who (IMHO) actually plays a solid (not spectacular) positioning based defensive game. He is NOT a physical defenseman and his O-numbers have slipped in the last couple of years. I think this has more to do with lack of someone to pass too than his diminishing skills.
Conclusion At his elite-level of offensive production and age I would say he is underpaid by about 1 million
Francois Beauchemin - $3.8 million
Comparables ($3.6-$4.0 million): Zybnek Michalek, Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney, Joni Pitkanen, Marek Zidlicky, Andrej Meszaros, Marc Staal, Dennis Wideman, Pavel Kubina, Jaroslav Spacek,
Comments on player: Beauch is a minute eating defenseman who plays the tough minutes. He can play in any situation, consistently puts up decent offensive numbers and can quarterback a second PP unit. Add to that he has experience with success (a cup ring anyone) and brings maturity to a young team. His biggest drawback (IMHO) is that he seems to HAVE to make 1 or 2 bone-headed plays a game, while playing a great game besides that. In my mind the prototypical #3 defenseman.
Conclusion Fairly paid
Luke Schenn- $2.975 million (with bonuses)
Comparables ($2.775-$3.175 million): Kyle Quincey, Marc-Edouard Vlasic (remember this guy?), Christian Erhoff (SJS salary dumped the WRONG defenseman), Cam Barker, Colin White, Niklas Kronwall, Toni Lydman, Dustin Byfuglien (also plays RW sometimes), Jordan Leopold, Ian White, Rotislav Klesla, Matt Greene, Bryce Salvador, Bryan Allen, Fedor Tytim
Comments on player: OLAS IMHO is our best defenseman this year. He is everywhere in the defensive end making smart checks, rarely out of position and tying up sticks well. He is making good short passes to the neutral zone and is manning the blue line very well in the O-zone (the Kabs-OLAS pairing is great). He is keeping it in and using his BOOMING shot to create offensive chances. He is a player who knows his strengths and is playing to them.
Conclusion Until this year would have been fairly paid, but at this rate he is under paid by about 825 000 (pay him about the same as Beauchemin).
****I made the comparables a little bigger range because of how few goalies there are****
Jean Sebastien Giguerre - $6 million
Comparables ($5.7-6.3 million): Cam Ward, Ryan Miller, Nicklas Backstrom, Miikka Kiprusoff, Tomas Vokoun, (Cristobal Huet is 5.625 HAHAHAHA)
A former Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup winning goal tender, Giggy was a truly elite goal tender in this league 3 years ago. That being said, his game has fallen off in that time and he was traded to us in a salary dump. While his numbers aren't very good, I believe he has been making key saves (besides the softy vs Vancouver) that have kept us in the game. I think he is also playing the "veteran mentor" to an young goal tender and doing the job well.
Conclusion Overpaid by 4 million
Jonas Gustavsson - $ 1.375
Comparables ($1.075-$1.675 million): Michael Neuvirth, Michael Leighton, Johan Hedberg, Dan Ellis, Chris Osgood, Ty Conklin, Marty Turco, Tuukka Rask, Peter Buday, Mathieu Garon, Josh Harding, Scott Clemmensen, Ondrej Pavelec, Jose Theodore
The monster is playing near the top of the league. With a 0.922 S% and a 0.954 S% at ES he is playing incredible. He is still young and doesn't have much of a sample size. He was signed to a much smaller contract than many of us expected last summer and if he keeps it up will be a huge bargain.
Conclusion Underpaid by 375 00 based on last years play, or underpaid by 2.625 million based on this years play
Therefore I believe our three most over paid players are Phaneuf, Komi, and Giggy.