Examples from the dollar league show that at least the biggest stars’ performance does not drop, even if they have a lucrative extension contract in their pocket.
Hockey’s NHL revolves around big dollars. Clubs try to use their salary cap as efficiently as possible, while players crave even more lucrative contracts.
It is a common belief that NHL players play better when they are chasing a lucrative contract than when the contract is secured. The myth may not be true for everyone.
took a closer look at the performances of a few top Finnish and foreign players 50 games before the contract and 50 games after. There were no big differences in the number of points compared to before.
For example Connor McDavid and Tyler Seguin scored five points each and Leon Draisaitl three points more than after their contract. Finnish players only Sebastian Aho collected more points before than after his contract.
The number one center for the Dallas Stars Roope Hintz is the next Finn to get a massive contract. Hintz’s contract, which started the season brilliantly, expires this season.
In 17 matches, Senteri has scored a handsome score of 8+14=22. He has started much more effectively than, for example, last season, when he went scoreless in the first 11 matches with 0+2 performances. The season was excellent as a whole, as Hintz scored 37+35=72 points in 80 matches.
Does the contract situation cause pressure?
– Doesn’t cause any. It’s nice to play. The game has gone well at least so far. The contract will come when it’s time, Hintz told Urheilu after the Florida game.
Hintz finished with two hits in Dallas’ 6–4 win.
On the other hand, in some cases, a broken contract can force better performance. For example Kasperi Kapanen scored nine points in 38 games in the penultimate season of his rookie contract in Toronto, but scored 20+24=44 in 78 games the following season.
Respectively Patrick Laine played the previous season in Columbus before his summer extension with a point per game pace of 56 games with an output of 26+30=56. He had done it in the previous season in 46 matches with only 12+12=24 performances. This season he has suffered from injuries.
NHL history also remembers players who have failed immediately after receiving a new top contract. For example David Clarkson signed a seven-year, $36.75 million contract with Toronto in 2013.
He played the previous two seasons with an average of even half a point, but scored only 11 points in 60 games after his contract. Eventually, his career ended due to injury.
The Buffalo Sabers, on the other hand, signed an eight-year, $72 million contract by Jeff Skinner with at the end of the 2018–2019 season. He had scored 40 goals and a total of 63 points in 82 matches.
In the following season, however, Skinner scored only 23 points in 59 games and 14 points in 53 games after that. Last season, however, he scored 63 points in 80 games.
Swedish Loui Eriksson played a peak season in Boston (80 games 30+33=63), and signed a six-year contract with Vancouver. Under a contract worth $36 million, Eriksson scored just 23-29 points per season.
Florida guard Sergei Bobrovsky signed a seven-year, $70 million contract in 2019. The first season was quiet, as he scored 3.23 goals per game. Since then, he has improved his performances, although this season has still started moderately.
1. David Pastrnak, Boston
2. Jesper Bratt, New Jersey
3. Bo Horvat, Vancouver
4. Roope Hintz, Dallas
5. Joe Pavelski, Dallas
6. Troy Terry, Anaheim
7. Dylan Larkin, Detroit
8. Timo Meier, San Jose
9. Cole Caufield, Montreal
10. Patrice Bergeron, Boston