2009-2010 NHL Mid-Season Report

Photo Courtesy of AP

The middle of the NHL Season is upon us and it’s time to look back at what has been an exciting first half of the season.

Best Team: This was a tough one. I’m giving it to the San Jose Sharks, but the Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils are not far behind. I’m giving this to the Sharks, because they have lost seven games in either the overtime and shootout while Chicago has had just three. This means that San Jose had the potential to gain more points than Chicago did. Chicago earned their points by going 8-3 in shootouts and overtime. Chicago has also played 24 home games to just 18 away games while San Jose has had just 20 home games to 22 away games. The Sharks have won eight straight and are playing their best hockey right now and that’s why they earn my pick as the top team from the first half of the NHL season.

Worst Team: The Carolina Hurricanes win this award easily. The Hurricanes are embarrassingly bad. They have the fewest points in the league with 29, seven worst than Edmonton who has the second fewest points. Carolina’s goal differential is also worse in the league at -44 and they have accumulated just 10 points in 20 away games. To cap it off, the Hurricane’s power play and their penalty kill are both 26th in the league. Carolina is the only team truly eliminated from the playoffs and for that they are the worst team from the first half of the season.

MVP: Marian Gaborik earns this award not just for his incredible stats, but for how he has carried the Rangers the entire year. Gaborik leads the league in goals with 27 and is third in points with 52. He is averaging over 22 minutes of time on ice yet has just 14 penalty minutes on the year. Incredibly though, Gaborik is the only Ranger with double-digit goals. While New York has allowed seven more goals than they’ve scored, Gaborik is +6. Gaborik has more than just the best stats in the NHL, he is the reason the Rangers have 43 points and currently sit in 8th place in the Eastern Conference. Continue reading “2009-2010 NHL Mid-Season Report”

Crazy NHL Contracts

The Chicago Blackhawks signed Marian Hossa to a TWELVE YEAR, $62.8 million deal today in what can only be classified as an idiotic contract. It’s not that Hossa is not a great player or that he does not deserve the deal. It’s the length of the contract.

Unlike the NFL and MLB, the NHL (and NBA) has a salary cap, meaning that each team can only spend to a certain, defined amount. For next season, the cap is $56.8 million, a $100,000 increase over the cap last season. Hossa’s contract is worth $5.233 million per year so that means that nearly 10% of the Blackhawks’ money is tied up in Hossa next season. Hossa is just one of twenty plus players that Chicago will have on its roster next season.

Now, that still leaves a large amount of money for Chicago to spend on the rest of their roster. Hossa is a terrific player and he will certainly help the Hawks next season, but next year is not the problem with the contract. Five years from now, what is the cap going to be? Continue reading “Crazy NHL Contracts”