NHL: Each Metropolitan Division team’s best contract

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 04: Wayne Simmonds /

Regrettable contracts are often talked about but the diamonds in the rough are worth noting as well. Here are the best contracts that each NHL team in the Metropolitan Division can boast.

Good contracts are like good in the NHL. Since it’s a league with a hard cap, value is everything. You need to get a lot of value out of your contracts if you want to optimize your chances of winning the Stanley Cup. The Metropolitan Division is among the most competitive divisions in the NHL, so it’s not a surprise there are multiple choices for each team as far as the best contract is concerned.

This list does not include entry-level contracts because those are obvious. By definition, pretty much any ELC is a huge bargain, even after factoring in bonuses. Which player on each Metropolitan Division team has the best contract? Let’s take a look.

Carolina Hurricanes – Jaccob Slavin (Seven years/$5.3 million per season)

More from Puck Prose

The Carolina Hurricanes have one of the best and youngest defensive cores in the league. The best deal, however, has to be Jaccob Slavin. He’s only 24 years old but has played two complete seasons plus 63 games in his rookie year. He leads all players in ice time (22:35) and plays on the first pairing with Justin Faulk or Brett Pesce which means he gets all the tough assignments.

Despite that, he still put up 30 points last season and had a Corsi of 54.6 percent. He’s been starting to shoot more which will be really useful for the Hurricanes and will add another dimension to his game. Slavin is only 24 and has plenty of time to grow which makes this deal really good for the Hurricanes.

Related Story: 5 Best Fits For Justin Faulk

Columbus Blue Jackets – Seth Jones (Six years/$5.4 million per season)

Seth Jones is second on the Columbus Blue Jackets in points and he’s a 23-year-old defenseman. He plays on the first pairing with Zach Werenski and they make a dangerous pair. They are great at shot suppression but are also a constant offensive threat.

Jones leads the team in ice time at 24:36 and even though he gets the toughest opponents, he can still put up really impressive offensive numbers. He recorded 16 goals and 41 assists in 78 games last season.

Jones’ Corsi For percentage is also really good as well at 54.1 percent and he can do it all, including leading the first powerplay unit and playing on the penalty kill. Such a useful guy for only $5.4 million dollars is a great deal for the Blue Jackets.

New Jersey Devils – Taylor Hall (Seven years/$6 million per season)

Taylor Hall is coming off a Hart Trophy year in which he recorded 39 goals and 54 assists for 93 points in just 76 games played. $6 million dollars is a lot, but for such a dominant player like Hall, that seems like a small price to pay.

He led the entire New Jersey Devils roster in points by 41 points and is one of the biggest reasons why New Jersey ended their five-year playoff drought. He finished sixth in the league in scoring and he’s only 26 years old. Before with Edmonton, he experienced a lot of staff and teammate changes but now with the Devils, he can finally settle down. An NHL MVP for so little is such a steal for New Jersey.

New York Islanders – Josh Bailey (Six years/$5 million per season)

Josh Bailey finished third on the New York Islanders in scoring with 71 points (18 goals and 53 assists) in 76 games. With John Tavares gone, he will take on a bigger role and Daily Faceoff has him centering the first powerplay unit for next season.

Tavares is a big reason for his offensive explosion, but their relationship is not as one-sided as it is made out to be. Last season, Tavares recorded 84 points, the second highest of his career and a large part is due to Bailey feeding him with great passes. Now, he will be on a line with Matt Barzal and will get to feed him next.

Must Read: Islanders 2018 Offseason Outlook

New York Rangers – Mika Zibanejad (Five years/$5.35 million per season)

Mika Zibanejad is the highest paid forward on the New York Rangers and for good reason. He’s 25 years old and is a part of the youth transition that New York is trying to do. Last season, he played 72 games and had 27 goals and 20 assists. He centers both the first line for the Rangers and the first powerplay units and is a huge leader for the rebuilding team.

Philadelphia Flyers – Wayne Simmonds (Six years/$3.975 million per season)

This is by far one of the best contracts in the NHL. Wayne Simmonds is such a good hockey player with his speed, strength, and his offensive prowess makes him a top line forward for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Last season, he played through many injuries including tearing his pelvis and a fractured ankle and it was a torn thumb ligament that led to him missing seven regular-season games. Despite all that, he still had 24 goals, 22 assists, and over 18 minutes of ice time every night.

His determination to play is unmatched and is lethal on the powerplay. Before all the nagging injuries, he had two straight seasons of 30+ goals and is a constant offensive threat. Such a player for less than four million dollars is unbelievable.

Related Story: Flyers Top 10 Controversial Captains

Pittsburgh Penguins – Sidney Crosby (12 years/8.7 million per season)

Paying the best player in the world 8.7 million a year is crazy. Of all the players in the league, Sidney Crosby‘s cap hit is eighth behind names like Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews. Not to take anything away from those players, but are they better than the Pittsburgh Penguins captain? I doubt it.

In five straight seasons, he’s recorded over 80 points and has recorded over 100 points 5 times in his career. Gold medals, World Cups, Stanley Cups, you name it, Crosby’s got it. He is one of the greatest players to ever play hockey and to have a cap hit of less than 9 million is straight up hilarious.

Washington Capitals – Lars Eller (Five years/$3.5 million per season)

In Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, Lars Eller broke the 3-3 tie in the third period with a goal that he will never forget. At the age of 29, he has become the first Danish player to ever win the Stanley Cup. Eller played a huge role in helping the Washington Capitals finally win a Stanley Cup.

Next: Best Contracts In The Atlantic Division

His regular season numbers are not astounding, but when his team needs him, he has proven that he can step up. During the playoffs, Niklas Backstrom missed four games to a hand injury.

That should have been a massive blow to the Capitals but Eller stepped up and scored five points in four games. Now to mention, when the Capitals needed a goal to break the tie in the Finals, Eller was the one who delivered. Such a clutch player for $3.5 million dollars is really lucky for the Capitals.