As many of you may know, I am not a big fan of Long term Contracts.
That said, to get in the Festivus 'spirit', an unedited rant about long term contracts:
First, we'll start with "Lessons all GMs should have learned four years ago" section, also known as "Mike Milbury sucks"
Alexei Yashin (IM LOOKING AT YOU LOU): The original titanic contract that everyone should have seen coming. I mean, the guy got into contract hissyfits like every 3 years and had Kovalev-itis times a million. Yet every stupid GM thinks "I can deal with this guy" and throws bags of money at them, somehow expecting them to bother trying. Let this be a lesson to all GMs: When dealing with players that clearly are about fame and fortune, don't go throwing a lifetime's worth of fame and fortune at them and then expect them to care. They won't. 5 good years, and 10 more years dealing with your mistake. Lou, if your plan wasn't "I don't care because i'll be retiring to the Caribbean in five years anyway", then you've clearly gone senile and should have already retired to the Caribbean.
Rick Dipietro: Never ever sign a goalie long term. Their backs/joints can randomly explode at any time. Also, DiPi has, so far, made over 126 grand per GP. That's more than Ovechkin is currently making per game played. I only expect this number to go up. (THIS MEANS YOU KEVIN LOWE)
I'll also throw in a few other serious offenders:
Ryan Malone: This guy, at the time of his contract signing, had scored 87 goals in four seasons. So of course the Lightning needs to give him a contract paying 31.5 million dollars over seven years, because 20 goal scorers are such a valuable asset. The guy has a good 20-game stretch in the Penguins first Stanley cup final run, and he's suddenly worth 10 times his weight in gold. I consider this to be a separate type of stupid contract than the ones given to superstar players. Of course, now everyone has to sign these type of contracts, because it clearly is a good idea because other GMs did it. I swear, if a GM jumped off a bridge and posthumously won a cup ring, at least sixteen other GMs would try it next season.
FlyersCap Circumventers: First off, 7 players on their team are currently on contracts longer than 5 years in length. Second, the wondrous "Mike Rathje on IR for three years" silliness. Third, they're not even competent enough to read the CBA and see that they couldn't sign Pronger to a cheater contract. GMs are going to look at the Flyers and go "Aha! long term contracts are obviously good", totally ignoring this in 3-4 years when all these guys start down-trending and the team wallows in a pit of epic failure. Then they'll blame something else, like goaltending, not CAP KILLING CONTRACTS. The Cap Circumventers currently have somewhere around 300 million dollars in future player payroll obligations.
On a less angry note: I do accept (though with much grumbling) contracts like Alex Ovechkin and its earlier predecessor Wayne Gretzky. That's because i accept these contracts were not signed for Alex Ovechkin, hockey player, but signed for Alex Ovechkin, hockey icon/player. Look at the lineup for their alumni game and you'll see why the Caps needed to sign him forever. (though Olie the Goalie is, strangely, missing)
Seriously. How can someone be so arrogant to think they want someone on their team 6 years from now. Insanity is what it is.
Parting shots/lesser grievences: Kevin Lowe, Brett Lebda, Toronto Sun, Jim Basille, Glen Sather's boss, Scott Gomez, 2006 Carolina Hurricanes, the Islanders cardboard arena, people who don't believe in statistics, people who think that
Winnepeg Winnipeg is a more lucrative hockey market than Pheonix Phoenix, and the lack of a supplementary discipline committee (even if one of those people is Colin Campbell.)
(Edit: Mirtle points out my inability to spell city names.)