The All-Bargain Team

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Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the crowd before the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been over a month since the free agent bonanza began and all the major free agent deals we’ll see have been consummated for several weeks now.  We fans have had a chance to review them, ridicule them, and thank the heavens our team wasn’t the one to sign them for some ungodly amount.  But what about those players on fair contracts?  It seems that we are quick to spew venon at a general manager, but how about a pat on the back for the few times they get something right?

Well, it’s time to pay homage to the best team-friendly deals in the NHL.  Now don’t feel too bad for these guys.  None of them are eating Ramen tonight.  But if any of these guys hit the free agency market tomorrow, you can bet your house they’d sign a deal that easily trumps their current contract.

Some groundrules before we dive in:

  1. We’re focusing on cap hits only (courtesy of capgeek.com).
  2. Players on entry-level deals were not considered.  Yes, Nathan MacKinnon‘s cap hit and he are phenomenal.  But he also could only sign for a certain amount with his entry-level deal.  Sorry Nathan.  We’ll check back with  you in three years.
  3. The length remaining on a deal is a factor.  If a player has a cheap cap hit now but is a season or two away from tripling his income, they were shoved to the back of the line.  Sorry Christian Ehrhoff.
  4. This is about value.  For my money Shea Weber is the best defenseman in the NHL.  However he’s also carrying a cap hit a shade under $8 million.  He is getting paid in line with what  a top defenseman should.

There are plenty of good candidates, but there can only be six.  With those rules out of the way, I present the All-Bargain Team:

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