The Contrarian – Motivational Forces

Thomas Drance




Motivated, hungry, cheap – on free agents, one-year contracts and redemption seasons.

Lately there is talk about cheap one year contracts given out to players in the hopes that they redeem themselves and prove to the hockey world that they are deserving of more.

Players like Mike Ribeiro, Dany Heatley and Derek Roy.

The talk goes something like this.


“He had a bad year last year and wants to prove that he can be a positive force for the team.”


“He’s going to come to camp hungry and be ready to fight for those top line minutes.”


“If he wants to earn the kind of money that he did before he has to prove that he still has what it takes. Prove that last season was an aberration.”


“He’ll be motivated because he’s only making a little more than the minimum salary.”
It sounds logical but it is true?


I took a look at the players who signed one year contracts last summer at a reduced salary.


These seven players were good signings: (all salary values were compiled from


Jaromir Jagr: He has earned 121.3 million dollars in his career but last season he took a two million dollar contract with New Jersey. He got 67 points in 82 games which was not bad considering that he is over 40 years old. It was about the same points per game pace that he set the year before.


Benoit Pouliot: He has earned 12.9 million in his career but was earning only 1.3 million playing for the Rangers last year. His career average would have been to get 33 points and he got 36.


Mason Raymond: He racked up 45 points playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs while earning one million dollars. His career average would have been 39 points. The previous season he tallied 22 points in 46 games so he did bounce back nicely. By the way, he has earned 13.6 million over his career.


Tom Gilbert: He had 13 points in 43 games during the shortened season. He was earning $900,000 with the Florida Panthers last year while he got 28 points in 73 games. It’s a bit lower than his career average but not by much. He has earned 28.2 million over his whole career.


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