Oct 012013
 

It appears that Phil Kessel’s is on the verge of signing an 8 year, $8M/yr contract with the Leafs so this is a good time to compare this contract to a couple other elite wingers who have signed contracts in the past year or so. Corey Perry and Zach Parise. I have also chosen to include Rick Nash in the discussion because he is a comparable goal scoring winger with a comparable salary even though he signed his contract several years ago. Before we get into contracts though, let’s take a look at production levels by age.

KesselGoalsPerGameByAge

 

In terms of goal production, both Nash and Kessel got their careers started earlier than Perry or Parise and both had their best goal production years earlier int heir careers. Kessel of course had his best goal production year playing a significant amount of time with one of the best playmakers in the league at the time, Marc Savard. He has yet to match that level in Toronto but of course he is playing with Tyler Bozak in Toronto. Aside from Perry’s career year at age 25 he has generally been at or below the production level of the other three at the same age while Nash has generally been the more productive player. Note that I have removed Parise’s Age 25 season as he missed the majority of the year to injury. Nash’s age 20 season was lost due to a lockout. Ages are based on draft year (first season after draft year is age 18)

 

KesselPointsPerGameByAge

Not really a lot different in the points/game chart which kind of makes sense because all these players are wingers and more goal scorers than play makers. Parise once again had his peak season at age 23 while Perry again had his at age 25. Nash has maintained a little more consistency fluctuating between 0.8 and 1.0 since his age 21 season though one should remember that Nash’s age 21 season was 2005-06 when goal production was inflated due to obstruction crackdown and far more power plays. Kessel appears to still be on the upswing and he has shown more play making ability with Lupul or van Riemsdyk on the other wing and the absence of a play maker at center.

Age Length Total$
Parise* 27 8 $80M
Perry 27 8 $69M
Kessel 25 8 $64M
Nash 25 8 $62.4M

*Parise’s salary over the first 8 years of his contract.

Parise’s salary is a little wonky as he signed his contract under the old CBA which was a back diving contract in which he earns $94M over the first 10 years and $4M over the final 3. Perry is the easiest to compare with as he is the most recent contract signing while Nash signed several years ago when the salary cap was lower. All things considered Kessel’s contract is at least fairly priced if not a slight bargain.

In conclusion, even though the others may have had higher ‘peak’ seasons (though it is certainly possible, maybe likely, that Kessel hasn’t reached his peak) it is fair to suggest that Kessel is deserving to be considered similarly talented to the other three which makes his $8M/yr salary not only fair but maybe a slight bargain.

 

Sep 292010
 

Ok, let me start by stating that Wade Redden is not worth $6.5M.  He may be never was and the contract (6 years, $39M) the Rangers gave Redden was one of the worst ever handed out in NHL history.  In part because he is not worth that and in part because there is no evidence that any other team had any interest in offering anything close to that amount so the Rangers were bidding against themselves and still paid well over market value.  But that isn’t the point of this article.  The point I want to make is that Redden was, and still is a good defenseman that should be in the NHL.

Ok, now for some straight forward stats:

Year Team GP G A PTS Pts/GM
2005-6 OTT 65 10 40 50 0.77
2006-7 OTT 64 7 29 36 0.56
2007-8 OTT 80 6 32 36 0.45
2008-9 NYR 81 3 23 26 0.32
2009-10 NYR 75 2 12 14 0.19

As you can see there is a clear drop off in his offensive production.  The question is, can Redden be fully blamed for that dropoff?  Here are his teams goals per game production during that time compared to Redden’s points per game production.

Year Redden Team
2005-6 0.77 3.76
2006-7 0.56 3.45
2007-8 0.45 3.11
2008-9 0.32 2.39
2009-10 0.19 2.64

Clearly Redden’s offensive production, up until last year, was in part due to the fact that his teams overall offensive production dropped.  In Ottawa it was due to losing some quality talent off the team as well as becoming a more defensive team than an offense first team.  Then he went to New York where the Rangers offense was awful because they played a defensive style and had no real elite offensive players.  Not all of Redden’s offensive production drop off can be explained by team influences but a good chunk of it can.

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Mar 042009
 

Derek Morris has been traded to New York Rangers for Dmitri Kalinin, Nigel Dawes and Prucha.

Dominic Moore has been traded to Buffalo for the Carolina Hurricanes second round pick. Details to follow.

Erik Christensen traded from Atlanta to Anaheim for Eric O’Dell, Anaheim’s second round pick from last year.

Jay Bouwmeester has not been traded.