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How does a team know their investment will pay off? Better yet, What would inspire a team to devote a large percentage of their cap space to one single player? This article plans on analyzing the production from “top-tier” forwards based on a seven million dollar cap hit or higher.
As of this writing there are 14 forwards making this salary or higher, with most of these players filling the scorecard adequately. These 14 forwards discussed are Jason Spezza, Joe Thornton, Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Alexander Ovechkin, Scott Gomez, Evgeni Malkin, Vincent Lecavalier, Thomas Vanek, Dany Heatley, Chris Drury and Eric Staal.
A quick glance at this list screams Drury and Gomez as the noticeable busts. Coming into a weak free agent year for centers the two cashed in on GM Glen Sather’s ludacris spending. However, a deeper look into their 2009-2010 season makes other players current production look similarly as bad.
In addition, this article will identify the best of the bunch showing exactly if and why the top salaries are actually worth it. Impending free agent Ilya Kovalchuk believes his worth to be 20 percent of the current cap, an enormous 11 plus million cap hit. With his current production, not to mention countless intangibles would you consider the 27-year-old worth it?
Well maybe our headline is taking it a bit too far, but you can’t get a better player for your money. Claimed off waivers last year from the Predators the 27-year-old now has 59 points in 58 games for the Thrashers. The undrafted free agent recently signed a 2 year contract worth a total of 2.6 million a modest raise from his current 487,500 cap hit.
Since he makes 487,500 this year, as a technicality we can put his stats over his salary to determine his cost-per-point production. Prior to joining Nashville, Pevs was a point-per-game player in the AHL showing glimpses of his potential. If the graduate from St. Lawrence University continues his pace, he may be one of the greatest bargains of all time.
He averages a goal for every 61K he makes, a small value in comparison to Dany Heatley’s 441K per goal. The center assists on a goal for every 33K paid, making Joe Thornton’s 300K per assist look like a king’s ransom. Peverley’s 22K per point is 15K less than the next player James Neal, who is coming off an entry level contract himself. Nobody can compare to his proverbial bang for the buck.