[Author's note: Every sports website on earth dedicated to covering just one league publishes a weekly power ranking, and we here at Puck Daddy have finally decided to do the same. However, the problem with power rankings in general is that they are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.]
6. Contracts Signed This Summer
We're now deep enough into the season that it's fair to start evaluating some of the big contracts signed this summer and boy oh boy are there some absolute stinkers. And because no team wants to be the one that signed the worst contract, there's bound to be a lot of discussion about exactly who messed up instead.
You might want to start with the logical choice: The reigning Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. It's not because any deal they signed this summer was more egregious than the others in the conversation (which, again, there are many), it's because there were two of them. Corey Crawford and Bryan Bickell both got big raises because they played well in the playoffs, and both have promptly returned to sucking pretty hard once they got their nice, fat raises.
Crawford's — $6 million against the cap for the next six years — hasn't even kicked in yet and he's got a save percentage six points below his already below-mediocre career average. This isn't an accident. Bickell, meanwhile, put up 17 points in the postseason last year, including two game-winners, and got bumped up to four years and $16 million. So far in 22 games this year, he's got five goals and an assist, and that's with having shot 14.3 percent.
Fortunately for Stan Bowman, Dave Nonis isn't about to take this kind of thing lying down, and that David Clarkson deal is looking worse by the day. Yeah, he'll be making $5.25 million against the cap for the next seven (SEVEN!) years, and he might even be able to keep more than two-thirds of that if he can stop being suspended for five minutes. He's already been banned for 12 of the first 35 games of his Leafs career, and even when he's in the lineup, he's been flat out awful. Two goals and four assists in 24 games. Leafs fans are already turning on him.
Not that they're wrong, mind you. Even if he surges in the latter 50 or so games, this is an awful start; does he even get into the double digits?
But not even Nonis was outdone by a guy widely and repeatedly hailed as one of the finest general managers in the league, who gave out a contract so bad Rick DiPietro is spinning in his retirement home. Ken Holland's decision to give Stephen Weiss five years and $24.5 million seemed a curious one even by the usual “well he's one of the better free agent centers on the market” standards. He almost certainly already regrets the decision. In 26 games, the 30-year-old Weiss has just 2-2-4 and is getting less than 15 minutes a night. That deal sucks now. It's going to be a disaster in two years.
At least the cap is going up, though, right?Read More »from Puck Daddy Power Rankings: Dumb Christmas videos, bad signings and NHL suspensions