Contract Evaluation: NHL Long Term Deals

Contract Evaluation: NHL Long Term Deals
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Contract Evaluation: NHL Long Term Deals

The Spotrac team looked at all the current contracts that have a length of 10 years or longer (excluding goalies) to determine if players that signed extremely long term deals payoff right away for the teams that sign them. Points per game (PPG) for the season leading into and after the signing were determined. Points per game were the chosen statistic because it normalized each player per year based on the actual number of games played.

Ilya Kovalchuk (NJD) - LW
Signed: 2010
Length: 15 years
Amount: $100 million
2009 2010 % Change
Games Played 76 81  
Points 85 60  
PPG 1.12 0.74 -34%
Duncan Keith (CHI) - D
Signed: 2010
Length: 13 years
Amount: $72 million
2009 2010 % Change
Games Played 82 82  
Points 69 45  
PPG 0.84 0.55 -35%
Alex Ovechkin (WAS) - LW
Signed: 2008
Length: 13 years
Amount: $124 million
2007 2008 % Change
Games Played 79 78  
Points 112 110  
PPG 1.42 1.41 -1%
Marian hossa (CHI) - RW
Signed: 2009
Length: 12 years
Amount: $63.3 million
2008 2009 % Change
Games Played 74 57  
Points 71 51  
PPG 0.96 0.89 -7%
Mike richards (LAK) - C
Signed: 2008
Length: 12 years
Amount: $69 million
2008 2009 % Change
Games Played 73 79  
Points 75 80  
PPG 1.03 1.01 -1%
Henrik zetterberg (DET) - LW
Signed: 2009
Length: 12 years
Amount: $73 million
2008 2009 % Change
Games Played 77 74  
Points 73 70  
PPG 0.95 0.95 0%
Jeff Carter (LAK) - C
Signed: 2011
Length: 11 years
Amount: $58 million
2010 2011 % Change
Games Played 80 55  
Points 66 34  
PPG 0.83 0.62 -25%
Johan Franzen (DET) - C
Signed: 2009
Length: 11 years
Amount: $43.5 million
2008 2009 % Change
Games Played 71 27  
Points 59 21  
PPG 0.83 0.78 -6%
Vincent Lecavalier (TBL) - C
Signed: 2009
Length: 11 years
Amount: $85 million
2008 2009 % Change
Games Played 77 82  
Points 67 70  
PPG 0.87 0.85 -2%
Nicklas Backstrom (WAS) - C
Signed: 2010
Length: 10 years
Amount: $67 million
2009 2010 % Change
Games Played 82 77  
Points 101 65  
PPG 1.23 0.84 -31%
Christian Ehrhoff (BUF) - D
Signed: 2011
Length: 10 years
Amount: $40 million
2010 2011 % Change
Games Played 79 66  
Points 36 27  
PPG 0.46 0.41 -10%
Observations

There are no current active players with signed contracts of 10 years or more with a postive percent change from the year before they signed the long term deal to the first season of the deal (see graph below). The majority of the active players had between -1% and -35% decrease in production, while there was one player, Henrik Zetterberg, who had no change in his production on the ice.


Offense
It seems teams are taking a chance on signing potential number-one centers to long term deals, mainly because great centers are hard to come by in the NHL; therefore, they are willing to go out on a limb and sign high-profile centers to extended deals to solidify that position for years to come.

Defense
Teams seem to be reluctant to spend long term deals on defensive players. While the Buffalo Sabres spent 10 years $40 million on Christian Ehrhoff, the 10% decrease in production was not as substantial as when the Chicago Blackhawks signed Duncan Keith to a 13 year $72 million contract where the initial impace was a 35% decrease.

Final Thought: Initially, long term deals don't seem to pay off.
Michael Ginnitti, Managing Editor of Spotrac

Michael Ginnitti

As the managing editor of Spotrac, his role includes much of the player data entry, content generation/development for our Research & News sections, social media marketing, & all things public relations (including media requests).

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