Worst 2024 NHL Free Agency Contracts

NHL teams never seem to learn from past mistakes in free agency.

Every year, despite the salary cap, they sign contracts that quickly become burdensome.

This year was no different, with several questionable deals made on the first day of free agency .

Let’s look at five of the worst contracts handed out so far. But first, some honorable mentions:

Honorable Mentions

Elias Lindholm, Boston Bruins ($7.75 million x 7 years)
The Bruins desperately needed a top-six center and paid a hefty price for Lindholm. However, his performance has dipped since his 82-point season in 2021-22. If he doesn’t return to that form, this contract could be a big mistake.

Sean Monahan, Columbus Blue Jackets ($5.5 million x 5 years)
Monahan’s injury history makes this deal risky for Columbus. While he’s shown flashes of brilliance recently, betting on him to stay healthy and productive for five years is a gamble.

Brett Pesce, New Jersey Devils ($5.5 million x 6 years)
Pesce is a solid player but signing him for six years as he approaches 30 is risky. Trading John Marino to make room for Pesce might not have been the best move either.

Chris Tanev, Toronto Maple Leafs ($4.5 million x 6 years)
Tanev fits well with the Leafs’ defensive needs but signing a 34-year-old to such a long-term deal seems unwise. Fans might think this isn’t the smartest strategy .

Joel Edmundson, Los Angeles Kings

Four years ago, Montreal gave Edmundson almost the same deal he got this summer—$3.85 million AAV for four years—and it didn’t work out then either! Now at age 31, it’s baffling why LA would repeat Montreal’s mistake when there are better options available at lower costs.

Brandon Montour, Seattle Kraken

Seven years at $7,142,857 AAV is steep for Montour despite his impressive offensive season in 2022-23 with 73 points. His overall resume isn’t strong enough to justify such an investment; plus he had major surgery last year which raises more concerns about his future performance.

Brady Skjei, Nashville Predators

Skjei got lucky being one of two big names available among defensemen during free agency but seven years at $7 million AAV? That’s too much! At age 30 already showing signs slowing down defensively doesn’t bode well long-term especially given how fast-paced NHL games can get nowadays!

Chandler Stephenson , Seattle Kraken

Seattle went all-in paying top dollar signing Chandler Stephenson seven-year deal worth $6 .25million annually making him their highest-paid forward . He’s improved lately yet still maxed out scoring only around mid-60s points range mostly playing alongside Mark Stone who often injured anyway leaving huge question marks whether able maintain same level without elite support around him consistently throughout entire duration contract period .

Nikita Zadorov , Boston Bruins

Until recently didn’t think much about Zadorov beyond being decent bottom-pair defenseman capable filling top-four role pinch if needed . However sudden surge attention due trade request followed by playoff goals looming contract status led cashing unexpectedly big time resulting overpayment likely hurt team financially moving forward considering limited cap space left address other pressing needs roster wise !

What do you think? Are these contracts as bad as they seem or will some prove us wrong?

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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