The 10 Worst Long-Term Contracts 2015

by Tom Collins on July 13, 2015


Here are the 10 worst long-term deals, from a fantasy standpoint…



A few weeks ago, we looked at the top-10 best long-term contracts.

I held off writing about the worst long-term deals, as there were other things happenings, such as the draft and free agency, which I thought would add a few names to the list (which didn’t happen).

This list is a big varied at times. While there’s some third- and fourth-line forwards listed, there are also names that are way better in real life than in fantasy hockey. In cap leagues, the values of those great players take a huge hit.

For this list, I’m looking specifically at players who have at least five years left on their deal to show how there are plenty of players with horrible long-term options.

All contract details come from   


10. Kris Letang

When healthy, Letang is definitely worth his $7.25 million salary for the next seven years. After all, he does score, racks up points, hits double digits in plus-minus, gets penalty minutes, takes plenty of shots, hits and blocks shots. The problem is, he’s too injury-prone to be relied on consistently. In the last four seasons, he’s missed 31, 13 (in the lockout-shortened season), 45 and 13 games. And a lot of it is not for small things: a major knee injury, a concussion and a stroke. It’s tough to manage a cap lineup when a guy is constantly headed to the injured reserve list.


9. Jordan Staal

Staal has been overrated for most of his career, and in cap leagues, any rating is too high. He’s due $6 million a season for the next eight years, which is a crazy high number for someone who’s career high is 50 points. There’s always been a bevy of excuses for Staal: he was the third wheel in Pittsburgh, he never got enough ice time, his linemates in Carolina aren’t as good, etc. But the fact remains, he’s 26 years old and has never made good on the promise of a second overall pick. Throw in the fact that he’s not a threat to score power play goals, take a lot of shots, pick up penalty minutes, or block shots, and he’s pretty useless in cap leagues.


8. David Krejci

Krejci probably got his huge contract based on playoff numbers. Remember, last postseason, there were many hockey pools where Krejci was chosen over guys like Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane and Anze Kopitar. But that’s bad news for his cap league owners, where he can never live up to his paycheck. He is making $7.25 million for the next six years, which is scary when you think that he’s never scored 25 goals in a season, and has only broken 70 points once (way back in 2008-09). He not a threat to score on the power play (just seven power play goals in the last five seasons combined), and doesn’t take a lot of shots. Worse, his plus-minus seems to fluctuate wildly (since he’s been a full-time NHL: minus-three, plus-37, plus-eight, plus-23, minus-five, plus-one, plus-39 and plus-seven).


7. Jonathan Toews

He may be worth the money in real-life, but in fantasy hockey, he has no business being the highest-paid player. Yes, 28 goals and 66 points sounds good, but for $10.5 million a year for the next eight years? It’s ridiculous. Even in the peripheral categories, he doesn’t contribute enough to be worth the cap hit. This past season, he had just 36 pims (224th in the league), six power play goals (60th), 192 shots (74th), 56 hits and 16 blocked shots. In a $75 million cap league, Toews takes up 14 per cent of your cap hit. That’s too much money for a player who won’t be a top-20 player in your league.


6. Dion Phaneuf

With a cap hit of $7 million a year for the next six years, both Leaf fans and fantasy GMs are weeping. After all, in the last three years, he’s played 198 games, but has only managed 88 points. Those are okay numbers, but not nearly good enough for his hit in cap leagues. This past season, for example, he had just three goals, 29 points, a minus-11 and two power play goals. That’s not far off from the previous season, when he had eight goals, 31 points, a plus-two and two power play goals. Not great numbers when you’re pulling in the dough that he is.


5. Bobby Ryan

Sens fans are defending this contract, but so far, there’s no reason for optimism. Bobby Ryan hasn’t been a great NHL player for about three years, and he’s now getting paid like one. Despite scoring just 41 goals and 102 points in his two seasons with the Sens, the 28-year-old is at the start of a bloated contract that will pay him $7.25 million for the next seven years. His plus-minus has never been great, he hasn’t had a season of more than six power goals in six years, and he doesn’t block shots. Although he does take a lot of shots and is average in hits, it’s not enough to make up for his long-term deal.


4. Travis Zajac

I don’t think even Tyler Bozak or David Desharnais has need to rely on superstar linemates as much as Zajac has had to. When he was playing with Zach Parise, he was a 25-goal, 60-point guy. Ever since Parise left the swamp, the Devils are left with a first-line centre that doesn’t score, gets less than 50 points a season (he was at 25 points this past season), and is making $5.75 million for the next six years. Unless a major free agent signs in New Jersey soon (and no, Jim O’Brien and Paul Thompson are not those major signings), then Zajac owners are pretty much stuck with an overpaid bench player.


3. Zach Bogosian

Way back in 2008, Bogosian was the third overall pick in the NHL draft, taken one spot behind Drew Doughty and one ahead of Alex Pietrangelo. Other notable defencemen taken in that first round includes Luke Schenn, Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson, Jake Gardiner, Michael Del Zotto, John Carlson. In later rounds, we saw Vyacheslav Voynov, Roman Josi, Justin Schultz, T.J. Brodie, Jared Spurgeon, and Jason Demers selected. Bogosian, who will get paid $5.14 million a season for the next five years, makes more money than everyone except for Doughty, Pietrangelo, Myers and Karlsson. Why the high paycheck? He’s hit 30 points once in seven seasons, has one power play goal in five years, is frequently injured (he hasn’t played 70 games in a season since the Jets were in Atlanta), and he is routinely a minus player.


2. Dustin Brown

Is it his hard-nosed style that has slowed down his production, or has he played too much hockey? He has only missed 15 games combined in the last 10 seasons. In that time, he also played in three World Championships and two Olympics, and also played 64 playoff games in a three-year period before the Kings missed the postseason this year. Whatever the reason, the Kings captain has seen a serious decline in his play the last couple of seasons, but not in his pay. Brown can now only be counted on to produce hits, but there are much cheaper options in cap leagues than his $5.875 million a year for the next seven years. When a player making that kind of money can only score 11 goals and 27 points a season (to go along with a minus-17 and 26 penalty minutes), that doesn’t bode well for owners.


1. David Clarkson

A year ago, I called Clarkson’s contract the worst for cap leagues. It’s still awful, but at least we now know it’s tradable. Clarkson is due to get $5.25 million for the next five years. He will be injured for about 30 per cent of it, and underperform for 65 per cent. He’ll probably have a few good months at some point that will make someone trade for him or right before his next contract is due. But let’s look at what we know: In 118 games with the Leafs, and three with the Blue Jackets, Clarkson had 15 goals and 26 points. He was a minus-26, had just two power play goals and missed 43 games. For his career, he’s only ever been above 20 goals once, and has never hit 50 points. His best plus-minus season was a plus-three, way back in 2009-10. Sadly for Clarkson owners, it’s the worst long-term contract for cap leagues. 



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