Many people have been criticizing the contract Lou Lamoriello gave to Ilya Kovalchuk, saying that it is the main reason the team started out with the short roster early on, and is the main reason as to why one or several moves must be made once everyone as healthy. Ill explain why after the jump.
I'm a little late in getting this done, but the main reason I am writing this is because I was watching hockey night live a few weeks ago, and Dave Maloney was bashing the Kovalchuk contract and saying that it was the main reason that the devils were struggling. To top it off, the homer had this idiotic grin that was basically saying "stupid devils, what a horrible contract ahahahahah." After hearing this for about the 100th time since the contract was signed, id had it so i decided to put this together just to show that everyone who has said this couldnt be more wrong. Im going to break things down so it will make better sense.
First lets look at the contract itself; 15 years for 100 million. thats a cap hit of 6.66 million. This brings me to my first point. The previous season Ilya Kovalchuks cap hit was $6,389,300. Thats an increase of less than $300,000. Now im not totally sure, put if its prorated from the time the devils got him, then it would be a cap hit of $2,129,766.67. (roughly one-third since he played 27 games) but if it was prorated, then Johnny Oduyas salary needs to be included which would be about 2,333,333.33. (3.5 million times 2/3) if you add the two (im not including bergfors because im lazy) you have a cap hit of $4,463,100. If thats the case than his cap hit in regards to the team went up about 2.2 million. even so, this is not so terrible. Remember his is not the only person who received a new contract from the devils.
Now im going to try and show all new contracts/cap hits besides kovalchuks, and the corresponding players that were replaced/retained with these contracts. First i will start with Jason Arnott. He was acquired for matt halischuk and a draft pick. his salary is 4.5 million. This is all extra salary that was not on the team the year before. But for fun, Ill say that Arnott replaced Rob Niedermayers spot on the team (not on the depth chart, just in terms of a roster spot) Rob made 1 million last year. Thats still an extra 3.5 million in cap hit that was not there last year. next we will go to David Clarkson. He went from a cap hit of 837,500 to 2.66 million, an extra 1.8 in cap hit. Now we will address free agency. First goaltending. Yann Danis made 500,000 last year. Johan Hedberg is make 1.5 million, which gives an extra cap hit of 1 million. Now defense. Henrik Tallinder was essentially signed in respons to Paul Martin leaving. The Devils actually gained cap space since his cap hit is 3.375 million and Paul's was 3.833, so they actually gained about 450k in space. Now Anton Volchenkov. You might ask who did he replace. Well technically nobody, he was signed because the team felt it lacked a physical presence on the blue line, not because they lacked actual players. But once again for fun, since he adds so much size, lets say he replaced both mike mottau and martin skoula. They made a combined cap hit of $1,337,500 (575,000 for skoula, and 762,500 for mottau). Anton makes 4.25 per year. Thats almost 3 million more in additional cap space. Now im going to add it all up and compare what kovalchuk added to the team.
Total +11.05 in extra cap hit compared to last season.
Kovalchuk's percent of this = 2.2/11.05=.199 or 19.9 percent.
He essentially was responsible for one-fifth of the increase in cap hits, and thats if his contract was pro rated last year. if not than he only adds about 3.3% of the increases. (300k/9.15 million). Im not trying to say that any of these signings were bad in any way.Of course some players may be overpaid, but thats the nature of free agency. Im just trying to point out that hes not the only one that added salary to the team, and that the cap situation doesnt solely fall on his contract. So think about that Dave Maloney the next time you bash Lou Lamoriellos cap management like Glen Sathers is better. But i guess if you think about it, that Redden contract was pretty good since there was no NMC :) This was my first post, I hope you guys liked it, and please provide any criticism/pointers or anything i missed. all cap data was from capgeek.