The Red Wings own the title of owning the worst contracts in the NHL? You don’t say…

According to The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn, the Detroit Red Wings are the proud owners of the NHL’s worst contracts on a team-wide basis, and they captured the title by a country mile’s worth of Ken Holland’s bad contracts:

Last, and certainly least, it’s Detroit. How could it be any other team? With four contracts in the D-range on the books, the Red Wings are in a four-way tie for the most bad deals in the league. Where Detroit differs is that the other teams have a few more above average deals to offset the pain. Not Detroit who have as many toxic deals as above-average ones. Those belong to Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi and Andreas Athanasiou – four forwards that provide the bulk of the team’s on-ice value. Without them, this team would be cooked.

The biggest issue for Detroit is how much the team is spending for a marginal win over the remainder of their contracts. It’s not just the alarming number of poor deals, or the certainty in how bad those deals are, but the fact that those deals are mostly for players that bring huge negative value. The team is spending $14.5 million per win, the league’s second-highest mark. That contributes to the team’s 35 percent average for positive value probability which is the league’s lowest mark, stemming from seven deals sitting at an under 20 percent success rate.

The team signed a replacement level forward to a two-year deal worth $3 million per, and it’s somehow not even close to being the worst deal on the books. That honour could go to Trevor Daley or Danny DeKeyser or Jonathan Ericsson or Darren Helm or Frans Nielsen or Justin Abdelkader and the fact the team has this many options is why they’re ranked so low.

Continued (paywall), and, as Luszczyszyn concludes, Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has his work cut out for him…

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

5 thoughts on “The Red Wings own the title of owning the worst contracts in the NHL? You don’t say…”

  1. Not really surprised and KH signed with Oilers ony to be closer to home.

    This has become an embarrassing fact that I hope starts to go away next July 1. One has to wonder what KH was thinking for so many very poor deals. Was he ever one of the best GMs or did he buy winners and with a lot of help from European Scout H Andersson? I think Seattle was smart and Edmonton screwed themselves again.

  2. At least Dan Cleary is off the books. That was money well spent. Remember when Nyquist was buried in the AHL for the first 25 games because we had Cleary on the roster. Finally one of Kenny’s golf buddies got hurt…Nyquist gets called up…and scores 28 goals in 50-some games. Great job Kenny!

  3. This opinion may not be shared by many but….I think Ken Holland’s biggest “shortcoming” was that he was too loyal and kindhearted to the players and others in the organization. Most people hated him as GM of the Red Wings, but he’s the kind of person most people would love to have for a boss.

    1. Not just loyalty to players, but to staff as well. Our pro scout Merkosky played with Kenny in the 1970’s. Best buds. So Kenny get him around despite our pro scouting team being complete garbage. The list of trade acquistions and UFA signings is ugly.

      Yzerman booted Merkosky almost immediately. One look at the actual results left Yzerman no other choice. But Kenny let his friendship get in the way of a smart decision. Just like how Kenny used to babysit Helm’s wife or how Kenny spent his summers golfing with Cleary and Maltby.

      Yzerman is all business.

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