NHL is slowly approaching the 2019-20 season. With some significant contracts signed and sealed. New players are ready for the ice; there is also a fair share of bad deals which must be resolved. In NHL it isn’t as easy to get rid of a bad contract as in some of the other Major Leagues. You can’t hide them, and you can’t trade them unless you find a manager willing to take your mistakes on. With a hard cap salary, it will most probably cost you more than what you would like. So who are some of this season’s bad contracts?

Ryan Kesler for the Anaheim Ducks

With their focus set on winning the Stanley Cup, they probably knew the results of this deal working out well aren’t great, yet that wasn’t as important as the Cup at that time. The Ducks didn’t win the Cup, and they also realized that their enthusiasm regarding Kesler was overrated. During his first season, it still went well with him getting 58 points. From there though it took a nosedive to a mere 8 points during the 2018-19 season. Signed in on a $6.875 million contract, this one is going to cost them even more than just money. The assumption is that Kesler will probably not play this season and that the Ducks will give him a long term reservation on the injury bench.

Kyle Okposo at the Buffalo Sabres

NHL free agents signed deals all over during the 2016 summer. Very few of them turned out to be great. This was a lesson which the Buffalo Sabres also had to learn. They had hope for Kyle Okposo when signing him on, but they were wrong. During his first year, he did relatively spoken not so bad, with 65 games and bringing in 45 points. Then he went onto a gradual decline until reaching a low of only 29 points from 78 games. In his defence, Okposo did suffer some injuries which probably negatively affected his match. One of these had him hospitalized with signs of having a concussion. Currently, though, he is earning the salary and yet not delivering in return. His playing time also got dramatically cut, yet he is signed at a $6 million cap.

James Neal for the Calgary Flames

Last on this list, which can continue for many more pages, is the hope of the Flames which got extinguished. Neal had all the promise of being a great scorer when signed on. That was precisely what the Flames needed to fix a scoring issue. Even though Neal never scored less than 20 goals in one season before the Flames, he only managed to get out seven goals during the 2018-19 season with a mere 19 points. Maybe a bad year for Neal or maybe age catching up rudely, yet he is not contributing much to the Flames and their score concerns. Signed at a $5.75 million cap for four years, one can only hope for improvement.

Every sport has its highlights and moments of glory, but often delivering a balance to this, is a fair share of moments which just shocked the world. These are some of those shocking moments in National Hockey League history.

The Shame of Alan Eagleson

Going from a Hockey Hall of Fame to prison. Alan Eagleson is the name of NHL Players’ Association’s first director. He was a man with significant influence in the league and brought many superstars into the limelight. Names like Darryl Sittler and Bobby Orr were all from Eagleson’s camp. The success of the Summit Series in 1972 was much due to having him as a chief promoter. But Eagleson was greedy and skimmed from sponsorships and stole from both players and clients. After pleading guilty, he was sent to 18 months in prison, kicked from the Hall of Fame as well as the bar as a lawyer.

An Internal Gambling Ring

Right before the 2006 Winter Olympics, a scandal broke loose when police arrived to investigate a gambling ring within the league. It was during the period when Wayne Gretzky still stood serving Team Canada in his position as executive director. The main suspects were none other than Gretzky’s wife, Janet Jones and Rick Tocchet, serving under Gretzky as a coach. Jones got away with no charges ever laid against her. Tocchet was not so lucky. He ended up pleading guilty on charges of conspiracy.

Aggressive Approach

Sometimes aggression gets the upper hand during the heat of the game. During a match riddled with assault in March 2004, Todd Bertuzzi lost control. One punch landed him into controversy and took Steve Moore, playing for Colorado, out of the game forever. Moore ended up with some broken vertebrae and a severe concussion. Moore claimed damages after a guilty plea from Bertuzzi. Finally, the two could settle the matter ten years later in 2014.

Anger at a Different Level

It is 2004, and the Stanley Cup playoffs were just over, and the St. Louis Blues didn’t make it. This was, however, only the start of controversy for the team. Days after the playoffs Mike Danton got arrested. The charge against him was for hiring a hitman. His target was David Frost, his then-agent. Danton served five years in a US prison before being transferred to Canada for another six months before his parole. Later on, the world saw him returning to the ice at Saint Mary’s University. Then in 2010, he played in the national championship for the Huskies.

Taking on the Crowd

Sometimes the aggression runs over towards the spectators. This is what a New York fan learned during a match between the Rangers and the Bruins in 1979 after hanging over the glass and hitting a Bruins player with a program. This caused the already rowdy players to sort out the spectator in the crowd. It was when Mike Milbury whacked the man with his shoe, that police was called in to calm the crowd down. Leading to Milbury and some teammates being suspended.

The Dallas Stars do not have a high season behind them. They had heavy blows from injuries suffered during the season and are hoping to regain new depth with signing contracts with veteran players.

Corey Perry

Perry just signed a one-year contract to the value of $1.5 million. This contract is weighing heavy towards a bonus side with the amount of $1.75 million being paid as bonus money should Perry perform according to expectations. This is because Perry himself didn’t have a high season after returning too soon after surgery to his knee due to an injury and thus he only had ten goals from 31 matches. Perry is also not the most influential hockey player in the history of NHL, but the Stars do consider him to be a low-risk addition to strengthen their lineup. The Stars management is expecting that Perry will be able to bounce back to his former glory of being a scorer of 50 goals. Depending on Stars coach, Jim Montgomery’s combination choices for the forward group, Perry will slide in between Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov, Tyler Seguin, Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski.

Since 2003, Perry knew no other NHL home except the Ducks where he has been at since they initially drafted him. Perry also stated that there is nothing wrong between him and his old team and was, in fact, grateful for the opportunities he had there from playing NHL to bringing the Stanley Cup to Florida. They did decide to let him go when his performance was going down, and they bought him out of his last two years of his contract valued at $17.5 million. That way, they felt that they could give both him and the team a better chance to succeed. Now being in the Stars again is a promising turn of events and joining this developing team, was a natural choice for Perry to make.

Andrej Sekera

The future which Montgomery has planned for Sekera is still slightly uncertain. He is a left-handed defenseman and former Edmonton Oiler forward and now being third on the Stars depth chart, with Miro Heiskanen and Esa Lindell exceeding him. Montgomery does feel stronger with having between seven and eight defensemen from NHL on his team. The uncertainty remaining about Johns and whether he will be returning, lead to stocking up on defensemen by James Nill. Therefore except for the signing of Sekera, Taylor Fedun and Roman Polak were also re-signed. Sekera is also signed to a $1.5 million contract, and the possibility of bonus payouts based on the number of games played as well as postseason performance. This amount for his bonus payouts is set at $500 000. Sekera is also coming from a buyout background, and therefore he got the same kind of deal as Perry, having to prove what can be delivered to earn.

These two players signed indeed a low-risk deal with which the Dallas Stars can either earn excellent delivery or lose out with a minimal price to pay.

History

The Hockey Hall of Fame was established in 1943 with James T. Sutherland in the leadership position. It introduced its first class of honoured members in 1945. It moved to Kingston in Ontario in 1958 after the NHL withdrew support from it. This was its first permanent location. In 1993 it moved premises to Toronto’s downtown and is currently situated inside a historic Bank of Montreal building and Brookfield Place. It serves as an ice hockey museum as well exhibiting memorabilia and is also home to the Stanley Cup.

New Class

Since 2009 new members could be inducted into the Hall of Fame as either on-ice officials, players or builders, which included coaches, managers, team owners and commentators. Annually a commission elects the names of the next class to become part of the Hall of Fame. The class for 2019 bears the following titles. Representing the male players are Guy Carbonneau, Vaclav Nedomansky and Sergei Zubov. On the female side, the one person who stood out for exceptional performance was Hayley Wickenheiser. Jerry York and Jim Rutherford represent builders.

Hayley Wickenheiser

This Canadian lock has 18 goals from 26 games to her name. She has four Olympic gold medals and seven IIHF World Championship golds. Her performance is outstanding, and her name just became synonymous in Canada with women’s hockey. This was the first year which she was eligible for the Hall of Fame, and clearly, she deserves to be inducted.

Guy Carbonneau

He played in 1 318 games in 19 seasons and was part of three victories of the Stanley Cup Championships. In his long career, he had 260 goals and 663 points. He won the Selke Trophy three times during 1988, 1989 and 1992. He was also the former Canadian captain and contributed significantly to the sport during his career.

Vaclav Nedomansky

Being part of the Czechoslovakian team earning the silver Olympic medal in 1968 as well as the world championship in 1972. When he moved over to play for the Detroit Red Wings, the Rangers and the St. Louis Blues, he became the first player from the behind the Iron Curtain to change sides from behind it.

Sergei Zubov

A defenseman from Russia won the Olympic gold medal in 1992 as well as the World Junior Gold Medal in 1989. He is standing at 888 points from 1 232 regular NHL season and playoff games during his career at the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Dallas Stars and the New York Rangers. He was humbled by the honour and spoke of gratefulness for being able to be part of this beautiful game all his life.

Jim Rutherford

Being the general manager for Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins, his career stretches over many years. During his time as team leader, his teams brought home the Cup in 2006, 2016 as well as 2017.

Jerry York

The man with the most wins in any active NCAA Division and coach to Boston College and Bowling Green has five national titles to his name.