Worst team money can buy

While reading Greg Wyshynski’s article on CapGeek.com, it got me thinking, what are the most over paid players in the NHL? I later refined that question to be, what is the worst team money can buy? By that I mean, if one built a team out using current players and their salary cap hits, what is the worst team I could come up with if I spent to the salary cap of $56.8 million?

The guidelines I went with were that I needed 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies with at least some resemblance of four left wingers, four right wingers and four centers though there are many forwards that play multiple forward positions (especially either wing) so there is some leeway here. Furthermore, I didn’t take players that were not on active NHL rosters (i.e. Michael Nylander) and I only took players with a salary greater than $1,000,000 believing that anyone making close to the league minimum is probably a reasonable value even if they aren’t that great or could be easily replaced with a decent enough player. I also had to have the total team salary above $56 million but below the cap of $56.8 million. So, with those guidelines in mind, this is what I came up with:

LW: Dustin Penner, 4,500,000
C: Chris Drury, 7,050,000
RW: Fredrik Modin, 3,250,000

LW: Jonathan Cheechoo, 3,000,000
C: Jeff Halpern, 2,000,000
RW: Radim Vrbata, 3,000,000

LW: Darcy Tucker, 2,250,000
C: Brendan Morrison, 1,500,000
RW: Colton Orr, 1,000,000

LW: Jamal Mayers, 1,333,333
C: Chris Kelly, 2,125, 000
RW: George Laraque, 1,500,000

D: Wade Redden, 6,500,000
D: Ruslan Salei, 3,025,000
D: Tom Preissing, 2,750,000
D: John Erskine, 1,250,000
D: Sean O’Donnell, 1,250,000
D: Darryl Sydor, 1,000,000

G: Jose Theodore, 4,500,000
G: Vesa Toskala, 4,000,000

Total Salary: $56,783,333

There are some decent players on that list. When forced to spend to $57.8 million you really can’t avoid not taking some decent players. The team is fairly defensively minded at center ice and has several physical/tough guy players but I think goal scoring is going to be a problem. On defense there isn’t really much of anything mostly consisting of older players past their prime or a guy like Redden who for some reason has forgotten how to play quality hockey over the past couple seasons. At $2.53 million he might be decent value, at $6.5 million he is horrible value. In goal we have a former great starter who like Redden seemingly has forgotten how to play decent hockey and a once decent backup who has yet to show he can be a decent starter.

Three players that almost made the list were Lee Stempniak (2,500,000), Chris Neil (2,000,000) and Cristobal Huet (5,625,000) but I ended up going with Penner, Orr and Theodore instead because for $2 million more I don’t think you are going to get much more offense from Penner and I believe that Huet still has greater upside than Theodore though I’ll admit with a higher salary may not be greater value. I think Neil is significantly over paid at $2 million but I had to take Orr at $1,000,000 instead because Neil would put me over the cap.

So, what do you think? What would be your worst team money can buy?