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10 worst contracts in the 2023-24 NHL season

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With new contracts signed, and previously agreed-on deals now kicking in, what are some of the worst NHL contracts 2023-24 offers?

10 worst NHL contracts 2023-24

No general manager of a team sets out to sign a player to one of the worst contracts in NHL history. Some deals look too expensive right away, but most contracts involve waiting at least a couple of seasons to determine if the amount of money and the number of years were appropriate for the player’s performance.

Finding the perfect contract for the team and the player is an almost impossible task. Spending too much on a player could cost the team the extra depth they need to compete for a championship. However, if the team feels the player is asking for too much, they could risk losing a key contributor for nothing.

It is not all on the general manager though, as some players end up dealing with injuries or never reach their full potential. Here are the 10 most overpaid hockey players in 2023.

10. Nicklas Backstrom – 5 years, $46 million

Nicklas Backstrom will be getting paid $9.2 million each year for the next two seasons by the Washington Capitals.


It is difficult to put Backstrom on this list, as he has done so much for the Capitals throughout his career. He has over 1000 points in the NHL and has spent his entire career with Washington.

Backstrom will be 36 years old by the end of the calendar year and has not played more than 55 games in a season on his current contract, which he signed back in 2020. He has struggled to stay healthy the previous four seasons and only played 39 games last year. The contract was going to look bad the moment he signed it, but the deal was a way the Capitals could reward Backstrom for all he has done since being drafted by the team in 2006.

9. Jeff Skinner – 8 years, $72 million

Jeff Skinner currently has four years remaining on his eight-year $72 million contract he signed with the Buffalo Sabres in 2019.

Skinner’s contract looked bad at the start, as he had just 37 points across the first two seasons under the new deal. He did have his best season yet in 2022-23 though, averaging more than a point per game.

One season is not enough to justify being paid $9 million a year for eight years, but if he is able to perform at a similar level to last season again, Skinner will soon find himself off of this list.


8. Ryan Strome – 5 years, $25 million

Ryan Strome is heading into the second year of his five-year $25 million contract that pays him $5 million per season through 2026-27.

Despite staying healthy and playing in all 82 games with the Anaheim Ducks last season, Strome only registered 41 points. That was his lowest point total since the 2018-19 season.

Strome is already 30 years old, and it does not make much sense why the Ducks signed him to a long-term deal in the first place. It looks like Anaheim is making its rebuild tougher by tying $5 million each season to someone who will be well outside his prime once the team becomes competitive again.

7. Cal Petersen – 3 years, $15 million

Goaltender Cal Petersen signed a three-year $15 million contract in 2021 with the Los Angeles Kings.

Last season, in the first year of the deal, Petersen played in just 10 NHL games. He spent the majority of the season playing in the AHL for the Ontario Reign. To put his contract in perspective, Petersen is making the same amount of money as Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark for the next two seasons.

The Kings traded Petersen to the Philadelphia Flyers this offseason in a three-team deal that also included the Columbus Blue Jackets.

6. Sergei Bobrovsky – 7 years, $70 million

Sergei Bobrovsky has a cap hit of $10 million each season for the next three years with the Florida Panthers.

Although he had a good postseason, Bobrovsky struggled in the regular season. He had a 3.07 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage throughout the 2022-23 season.

Bobrovsky will be 35 years old by the start of the season and will be 37 by the time his current contract expires. Considering the best goaltenders in the league are all getting paid less than Bobrovsky, his contract makes him one of the most overpaid hockey players in 2024.

5. Jonathan Huberdeau – 8 years, $84 million

All eyes will be on Jonathan Huberdeau as he enters the first year of his new contract worth $10.5 million annually.

Huberdeau is coming off of an underwhelming season. In 79 games played, Huberdeau scored just 15 goals and had 55 points. For one of the highest-paid players in 2023-24, his performance last season should make Flames fans nervous about the potential aging of his deal.

He will need to have a season similar to 2021-22 if he wants to quiet the noise around his new contract. The back end of the deal is also worrisome, as Huberdeau will be in his late 30s in the final years of the contract.

4. Darnell Nurse – 8 years, $74 million

Darnell Nurse has a cap hit of $9.25 million each season for the next seven years.

The contract is very expensive for someone who has never had more than 43 points in a single season. Nurse also has not been great in the postseason with just 15 points in 47 career games in the playoffs.

With the deal paying Nurse into his mid 30’s, the contract is likely to look worse over time for the Edmonton Oilers.

3. Tyler Seguin – 8 years, $78.8 million

Ever since Tyler Seguin’s new deal began, his play has significantly regressed.

Seguin’s eight-year $78.8 million contract has four years remaining. He had six straight seasons of 72 or more points, but after his new contract kicked in, he has not had more than 50 points in a season since.

Injuries hurt him in the earlier years of the contract, but it also looks like the best years of Seguin are in the rearview mirror.

2. Seth Jones – 8 years, $76 million

Seth Jones is another defenseman who is greatly overpaid at $9.5 million a year for the next seven seasons.

Jones only had 37 points in 2022-23 in his first season under the new contract. He currently has one of the highest contracts in the league by a defenseman.

Jones will be 29 years old at the beginning of the upcoming season. Considering that many of the league’s top defensemen are getting paid less than Nurse this year, the Chicago Blackhawks should already be regretting paying Jones a massive deal with a full no-movement clause.

1. Marc-Edouard Vlasic – 8 years, $56 million

As far as worst NHL contracts 2023-24 go, Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s tops the list.

Vlasic is 36 years old and has a cap hit of $7 million this upcoming season with the San Jose Sharks. His production has been minimal, as Vlasic has 38 points in the last three seasons combined. He has not hit the 20-point mark since the 2018-19 season.

What makes this contract look even worse for the Sharks is that Vlasic still has two more years remaining after this next season. He will be carrying a $7 million cap hit while being 39 years old and well beyond the prime of his career.

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