Ryan Malone Worth More Than Iginla

This is how the NHL owners messed up the first time (actually, not for the first time.) Players who didn’t deserve big contracts were for some reason being overpaid. What this does in the simplest terms is put marginal players at a premium thereby driving the whole salary expectations for all players up. At the end of the day, players hold out for more money, owners pay it out, and 5 years from now we wonder why there’s a lockout. The only difference this time around is a ‘salary cap’ exists restricting the money teams can shell out (or it would be a free for all for rich teams.)

That begs the question, “who’s overpriced” and who will become “overpaid” in the free agent market set to open July 1st. One thing is for sure, nobody is ‘overpriced’ if the team is worth spending the money. Take the case of Ryan Malone, a 51 point getter in a ‘break out’ season for the Penguins last season.

Apparently his upside is SO HUGE, and expectations of his incredible scoring upside, that the Tampa Bay lighting are paying him between 7-8 million for the first two years of his contract. That would put him beyond the salary of Jarome Iginla, a mere 98 point getter. Something amiss here?

Two things, Jarome is underpaid, Malone is overpaid. But when will the madness end?

Let’s check out last the last two years for stats comparing the players:

Season Team GP G A Pts PIM
2006-07 Calgary Flames NHL 70 39 55 94 40
2007-08 Calgary Flames NHL 82 50 48 98 83

2006-07 Pittsburgh Penguins 64 16 15 31 71
2007-08 Pittsburgh Penguins 77 27 24 51 103

Something is a miss, or maybe Malone is worth every penny. Something tells me Tampa overpaid and will enjoy another year in the cellar.