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?