This week's Capped explores some big contracts that failed to produce in their first-round losses.
Well that was an exciting first round of hockey! Unfortunately though, half of the teams are now booking tee times, and their general managers are wondering what went wrong. Though the picture may be clearer for some teams, there were certain players on every squad eliminated in the first round that failed to live up to their salary.
Brent Seabrook (D) – Chicago Blackhawks
Cap Hit – $6,875,000
The whole Chicago Blackhawks team was a bit of a disappointment in their first round against Nashville, but the numbers look especially bad for Brent Seabrook. In the four-game sweep, Seabrook had zero points, and even though he put seven shots on net in that time, he had a shot differential of minus 27 in the series. Numbers like that are not acceptable from the third highest paid player on their roster behind only Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
With General Manager Stan Bowman promising changes, the 32-year-old Seabrook is a primary target to be moved. In order to be moved, he would have to waive his no-movement clause, otherwise this is a moot point. However, Chicago doesn’t have too many other options if they want to go for a real shakeup, and Seabrook could fit in as the number one defencemen on quite a few other teams.
Mikko Koivu (C) – Minnesota Wild
Cap Hit – $6,750,000
It’s tough to pick on the captain here when Minnesota did well in their first-round series, but someone has to shoulder the blame. Minnesota dominated the shot attempts in their first round, but unfortunately they ran into a brick wall named Jake Allen. Mikko Koivu only had six shots in the series loss, netting one goal and one assist. After a regular season that saw him with 58 points in 80 games, the 0.40 points per game was disappointing.
Koivu’s last season under contract is also going to see him making over $9 Million in actual salary. Minnesota has to make up their mind soon on what kind of direction they will be taking with Koivu, an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018. With so much money already tied up in the incumbents, not to mention the monster contracts being paid out to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, Minnesota may be better off not bringing back their captain past next season.
Max Pacioretty (LW) – Montreal Canadiens
Cap Hit – $4,500,000