In the NHL, you tend to hear more about the bad contracts than the good ones. Here’s a look at the best deal on each team heading into the 2019 season.
It’s summer, which means it’s that time of the year when NHL general managers give out huge deals, most of which they will regret within a few years. However, what about the good contracts? General Managers get insulted for their bad deals, but rarely complimented for their best ones.
After analyzing each of the 31 rosters around the league, we’ve picked out the best deal for each team. We considered factors such as age, value, term, and player trajectory. Since entry-level contracts are, by definition, value contracts, we excluded them. Also, only deals that are effective as of the 2019-20 season were considered.
We’ll go through this list alphabetically, so let’s start with the Anaheim Ducks. All contract data is courtesy of CapFriendly. Stats are courtesy of Hockey Reference, Natural Stat Trick, and Evolving Hockey.
Anaheim Ducks – John Gibson
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Contract: $6.4 million cap hit over the next eight years
The Anaheim Ducks have some bad contracts, but John Gibson’s is one of the better value deals in the NHL. He had a down year last year, finishing with a .917 save percentage, which is his lowest since the 2014-15 season. That said, the Ducks left him hanging for most of the year. When Gibson is on his game, very few, if any, goaltenders are better than him.
Honorable mentions: Rickard Rakell had a down year, but at under $4 million a year for the next three years, he’s still a good bargain.
Hampus Lindholm ($5.205 million over the next three years) is a top pairing defenseman. Judging by the going rate for those these days, his deal looks better every day.
Ondrej Kase ($2.6 million over the next two years) is quietly one of the best deals in the NHL. He could be on this list next year. Despite only playing in 30 games, Kase had the third-highest WAR in the Ducks, according to Evolving Hockey.