Bang for the Buck: Which teams got the best value in 2012-13?

NHL teams’ payrolls have been capped for nearly a decade now, limiting the disparity between the big-market giants and their small-market counterparts. Still, the Philadelphia Flyers, who had the highest payroll in the league last season, spent over $23 million more than the NHL-owned Phoenix Coyotes. But the money didn’t matter: neither made the playoffs, and Phoenix actually finished two points ahead of Philly in the final standings. Did the teams that made it rain in 2013 get any bang for their buck? Let’s find out.

Here, courtesy of CapGeek, are the payrolls for every NHL team this past season:

Team Spending (USD)
1. Philadelphia Flyers » $72,549,431
2. Vancouver Canucks » $70,456,167
3. Minnesota Wild » $70,120,744
4. New York Rangers » $68,711,221
5. Chicago Blackhawks » $67,343,544
6. Montreal Canadiens » $66,857,720
7. Pittsburgh Penguins » $66,739,133
8. San Jose Sharks » $66,370,996
9. Boston Bruins » $64,486,562
10. Tampa Bay Lightning » $64,082,929
11. Washington Capitals » $64,053,698
12. Toronto Maple Leafs » $63,249,222
13. Detroit Red Wings » $62,823,032
14. Los Angeles Kings » $62,025,799
15. Buffalo Sabres » $61,437,023
16. Calgary Flames » $61,027,990
17. New Jersey Devils » $59,269,410
18. Winnipeg Jets » $58,447,941
19. Florida Panthers » $57,463,086
20. Carolina Hurricanes » $57,237,054
21. Anaheim Ducks » $56,931,061
22. Colorado Avalanche » $55,641,465
23. Dallas Stars » $53,967,129
24. Columbus Blue Jackets » $53,893,247
25. Ottawa Senators » $53,806,372
26. Nashville Predators » $53,723,203
27. Edmonton Oilers » $53,648,971
28. New York Islanders » $53,004,108
29. St. Louis Blues » $52,185,361
30. Phoenix Coyotes »

$49,438,632

And here, courtesy of NHL.com, are the final standings for the 2013 season. Note that despite conference affiliations, the top 16 teams in the league turned out to be the 16 that made the playoffs.

Rank DIV GP W L OT P
1  p – Chicago CEN 48 36 7 5 77
2  z – Pittsburgh ATL 48 36 12 0 72
3  y – Anaheim PAC 48 30 12 6 66
4  y – Montréal NE 48 29 14 5 63
5  x – Boston NE 48 28 14 6 62
6  x – St. Louis CEN 48 29 17 2 60
7  x – Los Angeles PAC 48 27 16 5 59
8  y – Vancouver NW 48 26 15 7 59
9  x – Toronto NE 48 26 17 5 57
10  y – Washington SE 48 27 18 3 57
11  x – San Jose PAC 48 25 16 7 57
12  x – NY Rangers ATL 48 26 18 4 56
13  x – Detroit CEN 48 24 16 8 56
14  x – Ottawa NE 48 25 17 6 56
15  x – Minnesota NW 48 26 19 3 55
16  x – NY Islanders ATL 48 24 17 7 55
17  Columbus CEN 48 24 17 7 55
18  Winnipeg SE 48 24 21 3 51
19  Phoenix PAC 48 21 18 9 51
20  Philadelphia ATL 48 23 22 3 49
21  Dallas PAC 48 22 22 4 48
22  New Jersey ATL 48 19 19 10 48
23  Buffalo NE 48 21 21 6 48
24  Edmonton NW 48 19 22 7 45
25  Calgary NW 48 19 25 4 42
26  Carolina SE 48 19 25 4 42
27  Nashville CEN 48 16 23 9 41
28  Tampa Bay SE 48 18 26 4 40
29  Colorado NW 48 16 25 7 39
30  Florida SE 48 15 27 6 36

Now, let’s see which teams got the  best value. Playoff teams are in bold.

Team Spending (USD) Points USD Spent/Point
1 Anaheim Ducks $56,931,061 66 $862,591.83
2 St. Louis Blues $52,185,361 60 $869,756.02
3 Chicago Blackhawks $67,343,544 77 $874,591.48
4 Pittsburgh Penguins $66,739,133 72 $926,932.40
5 Ottawa Senators $53,806,372 56 $960,828.07
6 New York Islanders $53,004,108 55 $963,711.05
7 Phoenix Coyotes $49,438,632 51 $969,384.94
8 Columbus Blue Jackets $53,893,247 55 $979,877.22
9 Boston Bruins $64,486,562 62 $1,040,105.84
10 Los Angeles Kings $62,025,799 59 $1,051,284.73
11 Montreal Canadiens $66,857,720 63 $1,061,233.65
12 Toronto Maple Leafs $63,249,222 57 $1,109,635.47
13 Detroit Red Wings $62,823,032 56 $1,121,839.86
14 Washington Capitals $64,053,698 57 $1,123,749.09
15 Dallas Stars $53,967,129 48 $1,124,315.19
16 Winnipeg Jets $58,447,941 51 $1,146,038.06
17 San Jose Sharks $66,370,996 57 $1,164,403.44
18 Edmonton Oilers $53,648,971 45 $1,192,199.36
19 Vancouver Canucks $70,456,167 59 $1,194,172.32
20 New York Rangers $68,711,221 56 $1,226,986.09
21 New Jersey Devils $59,269,410 48 $1,234,779.38
22 Minnesota Wild $70,120,744 55 $1,274,922.62
23 Buffalo Sabres $61,437,023 48 $1,279,937.98
24 Nashville Predators $53,723,203 41 $1,310,322.02
25 Carolina Hurricanes $57,237,054 42 $1,362,787.00
26 Colorado Avalanche $55,641,465 39 $1,426,704.23
27 Calgary Flames $61,027,990 42 $1,453,047.38
28 Philadelphia Flyers $72,549,431 49 $1,480,600.63
29 Florida Panthers $57,463,086 36 $1,596,196.83
30 Tampa Bay Lightning $64,082,929 40 $1,602,073.23

Finally, let’s take a look at the differential between teams’ spending positions and their standings positions:

Position Differential Rank Team Spending Position Standings Position Position Differential
1 St. Louis Blues 29 6 +23
2 Anaheim Ducks 21 3 +18
3 New York Islanders 28 16 +12
t4 Ottawa Senators 25 14 +11
t4 Phoenix Coyotes 30 19 +11
t6 Columbus Blue Jackets 24 17 +7
t6 Los Angeles Kings 14 7 +7
8 Pittsburgh Penguins 7 2 +5
t9 Chicago Blackhawks 5 1 +4
t9 Boston Bruins 9 5 +4
t11 Toronto Maple Leafs 12 9 +3
t11 Edmonton Oilers 27 24 +3
t13 Montreal Canadiens 6 4 +2
t13 Dallas Stars 23 21 +2
15 Washington Capitals 11 10 +1
t16 Detroit Red Wings 13 13 0
t16 Winnipeg Jets 18 18 0
18 Nashville Predators 26 27 -1
19 San Jose Sharks 8 11 -3
20 New Jersey Devils 17 22 -5
t21 Vancouver Canucks 2 8 -6
t21 Carolina Hurricanes 20 26 -6
23 Colorado Avalanche 22 29 -7
t24 New York Rangers 4 12 -8
t24 Buffalo Sabres 15 23 -8
26 Calgary Flames 16 25 -9
27 Florida Panthers 19 30 -11
28 Minnesota Wild 3 15 -12
29 Tampa Bay Lightning 10 28 -18
30 Philadelphia Flyers 1 20 -19

So what can we take away from all these numbers and charts?

  • Despite making the playoffs, one might have expected the Sharks, Canucks, Rangers and Wild to accrue more points and make deeper runs.
  • Payroll-wise, the Coyotes and Blue Jackets overachieved big-time despite missing the playoffs.
  • Only two of the ten highest-spending teams — the Flyers and Lightning — missed the playoffs.
  • Three of the ten lowest-spending teams — the Ducks, Islanders and Blues — made the playoffs.
    • None of the three made it past the first round.

      EDIT: Reader Matt spots an error in our analysis:

    “4 of the bottom 10 spending teams made the playoffs…. And the one you missed also made it to the second round… the Ottawa Senators.”

Let’s check out, as of today, how much each NHL team will be spending in 2013-14, again courtesy of CapGeek:

Team Salary Payroll

Cap Payroll

1. Philadelphia Flyers » $76,194,117 $69,153,522
2. Boston Bruins » $65,440,000 $70,223,810
3. Pittsburgh Penguins » $70,810,000 $65,398,333
4. Detroit Red Wings » $68,200,000 $67,947,879
5. San Jose Sharks » $63,756,666 $65,131,667
6. Los Angeles Kings » $68,810,000 $64,386,894
7. Edmonton Oilers » $58,841,666 $67,774,167
8. Chicago Blackhawks » $67,760,000 $62,946,795
9. Columbus Blue Jackets » $60,976,667 $66,808,809
10. New York Rangers » $65,226,666 $62,881,667
11. Winnipeg Jets » $57,701,000 $63,201,357
12. Dallas Stars » $58,368,334 $62,993,611
13. Tampa Bay Lightning » $64,953,572 $63,990,477
14. Minnesota Wild » $67,152,778 $65,265,534
15. Montreal Canadiens » $64,465,000 $63,610,833
16. Anaheim Ducks » $57,145,000 $62,795,833
17. Vancouver Canucks » $64,489,000 $59,952,778
18. Nashville Predators » $62,326,666 $62,862,976
19. Carolina Hurricanes » $59,365,000 $59,425,000
20. Toronto Maple Leafs » $58,996,434 $59,704,167
21. Washington Capitals » $56,725,000 $58,634,295
22. Phoenix Coyotes » $52,300,000 $58,176,667
23. St. Louis Blues » $56,991,667 $57,925,833
24. Calgary Flames » $51,717,500 $57,321,250
25. New Jersey Devils » $55,383,333 $59,720,834
26. Colorado Avalanche » $55,565,000 $58,833,333
27. Buffalo Sabres » $54,745,833 $54,645,357
28. Ottawa Senators » $50,877,500 $53,835,833
29. Florida Panthers » $50,176,209 $57,140,375
30. New York Islanders » $44,431,500 $49,496,976

Who do you think will outperform their payroll in 2013-14? Who is spending the most on a pile of crap? Tell us in the comments!

Related Reading:

Panther Parkway lists the NHL’s five best “Puck for Your Buck” Contracts

Sports Illustrated looks at the smartest deals of the summer

Elliotte Friedman said today that some within hockey circles believe the cap could rise to as high as $80 million by 2017-18

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The Top EA Sports NHL Video Game Characters of All-Time

Fortunate enough to have a Super Nintendo as a youngen, I have been glued to the television screen, playing video game hockey since NHL ’93.

In the early days, I gained a competitive edge by tricking my younger sister into believing her team’s back-up goalie, “Pull”, was her best option. As the years went on, I moved up to whooping Silverman’s ass every Friday after High School (*Editor’s Note: BULLSHIT). Most recently, I could be found throwing my controller across my college dorm room out of frustration while playing online. I was all about the NHL video game series.

As we await the release of the latest installment of EA Sports’ NHL series, which will seemingly include an homage to past NHL series greatness, I counted down my personal favorite players to light the lamp with over the years. In no particular order, here are probably the 5 most unrealistic, overrated and misrepresented video game characters who have ever taken over my living room.

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NHL 93 – Cliff Ronning

Throughout his tenure as a Vancouver Canuck in the early 90’s, Cliff Ronning was a consistent 20-30 goal scorer. This was not the case in NHL 93. Ronning was the deadliest offensive weapon in hockey video game history, way ahead of any other name on this list. With one tap of the B-button, Ronning would be halfway down the ice and he was always a sure thing to bury a nasty one-timer. His NHL ’93 counterpart was so dominant that the name Ronning will be forever be more well-known as a video game character than as an actual human being. By far the most talented video game athlete ever created, and yes that includes your Create-A-Player self.

Most of the overly epic player-renderings on this list are more than likely the result of happenstance. But Cliff Ronning says his video game greatness was no accident; Our friends over at Puck Daddy discovered its true source:

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NHL 02 – David Legwand

The early 2000’s weren’t the NHL’s most scoring-filled years, so in order to give fans their fix, EA gifted us with David Legwand and his ridiculous one-timer skills. Pass this guy the puck anywhere on the ice surface in NHL ’02 and he’d slap that biscuit home with ease. Unmatched strength, precise accuracy and a wheelhouse the size of an Olympic swimming pool propelled the Predator forward into the next level. The former No. 2 overall pick only had only two campaigns of 50-plus points in his career, but the video game David Legwand could routinely tally 100-plus goals in season mode.

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NHL 09 – Byron Bitz

Size, puck control, speed, vision and a wicked wrister: Am I describing Zdeno Chara or Milan Lucic? No. I’m talking about another Bruin, albeit one who is no longer on the team or even in the NHL: the former 4th rounder out of Cornell, the NHL 09 version of Byron Bitz. Coming off arguably his best season — he potted a whopping 4 goals in 35 regular season games and added one more in 5 playoff games — the crew at EA Canada decided to give this guy an extra helping of boss sauce in NHL 09.

Don’t be deceived by his low overall rating and his spot on the Bruins’ depth chart, the ’09 video game Bitz was a diamond in the rough. At 6’5″, 215 lbs, Bitz was nearly impossible to knock off the puck. All you had to do was walk in, snipe and repeat. Yes, it was that simple.

NHL 03 – Saku Koivu

After returning to the Canadians at the end of the ’01-’02 season, having successfully beaten  Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and leading his team past the heavily favored Bruins in the first round of the playoffs, the Montreal media was ready to anoint their captain as the next Habs legend. Apparently so were the programmers. Koivu was, and still is, a hero to the Montreal faithful, which must have included half the staff over at EA Canada.

The combination of the latest in deking technology and video-game Koivu’s new-found, unquenchable thirst to dangle filthily launched the Finnish center into EA sports immortality. Although the real Koivu posted a career best 71 points in the subsequent season, doubling those numbers would’ve been child’s play if he had nearly half the skills of his video game self.

NHL 94 – Jeremy Roenick

I’ll stick to my guns: ’93 Ronning is the best there’s ever been. But if anyone comes close it’s this guy.

Jeremy Roenick is well known for his skills on the ice. Today, he is identified by younger hockey fans as an analyst, small-time actor and overall badass (well at least until he cried on live television). In other words, Roenick transcends all realms of the entertainment industry. As one of the more recognizable American hockey players of his time, you’d expect JR to be the stud on an already-loaded Blackhawks roster in NHL ’94. Those expectations were well beyond exceeded. The pixelated, thumb-sized version of Roenick was a Super Nintendo mega-beast/borderline-god.

Forever cemented into video game history by this infamous scene in movie history in which he destroyed the great one himself, JR was sprung into EA Sports stardom.

This cemented video-game Roenick as “the guy behind the guy behind the guy.” Seriously, he was so f’n money.

Comments? Concerns? Questions? Answers? Opinions? Random gibberish? Go ahead and post your thoughts in the comment section.

Follow Joe Naftol on twitter: @JNaftol

Blues Fan: ‘Hate the Hawks, Respect the Cup’


The Chicago Blackhawks revolt me. The fact they won the Stanley Cup last month (is there a stronger word than revolts?) me. So when I found myself in Chicago this weekend, surrounded by Indian Heads, I tried to suppress the rage by gritting my teeth and pursing my lips. I’ve gotten over their Cup win to a certain extent. But still, seeing so much red and black was like watching someone next to you on a train or bus pick their nose. It’s disgusting, and you don’t want to acknowledge you saw it; you know it’s there, but try to convince yourself it’s not.

At Wrigley Field, before Saturday’s Pirates-Cubs game, Joel Quenneville took the Cup out to the mound, hoisted it and then threw out the first pitch. Of course, you probably expect that I’d almost have a stroke, if the mere sight of the logo caused me so much distress. Not to mention, it was our (the Blues’) former head coach. I didn’t have a stroke, nor did I boo. In fact, my response was mild and contemplative. At that moment, with Coach Q standing in a sacred place, fresh off a second Stanley Cup win in 4 years, the thought that overcame me was “Respect the Cup.”

In stride back to my seat, I stopped in my tracks. Immediately, I found a picturesque view of the field, “Because it’s the Cup.”

I know how hokey that phrase has become to us puckheads; it’s an easy punchline. But in this case, it rings true. That trophy, year after year, inspires such passion. Bergeron playing through the injury gauntlet. Niklas Hjalmarsson doing the exact same thing as Greg Campbell and getting 0% of the media coverage Campbell got. And on and on.

Not to mention the scores of fans the Cup consumes for 2 months every year. The memories we make and the fun we share as fans, in pursuit of it, are the ones we hold nearest to our hearts. It commands respect, no matter who won the Cup.

So I stood for a moment, stopping short of applauding (for the Blackhawks), and admired that any group of men could dedicate itself to something so thoroughly and passionately. No, they’re not dedicating their lives exactly, but we do get to watch their sacrifice play out on national TV, so it’s the best drama we got.

I declined to touch the Cup when I was at the Hall of Fame. A superstition, perhaps—the Blues have never won it— but a deference to the sheer effort poured into that Chalice. It’s called the greatest trophy in sports, but until Saturday, I had merely accepted that as fact. It wasn’t until I saw my rival hoisting it again that I understood why it’s the greatest trophy in sports.

Who would you rather party with: Patrick Kane or Tyler Seguin?

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Patrick Kane and Tyler Seguin are hockey’s undisputed top-two party animals. But which one would you rather party with?

Since the Boston Bruins’ decision to trade 21-year-old forward Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars due to concerns about his “professionalism” (and probably his lack of production in the Bruins’ recent Stanley Cup Finals loss), the Boston media has made sure to air Seguin’s dirty laundry. Without getting into which reports are true and which aren’t, the gist of it is that the 2nd-overall pick in 2010 likes to party, which the hockey world has known since he raged with his teammates after winning the cup as a 19-year-old rookie. Seguin made matters worse by allowing “a hacker,” more than likely one of his buddies, to tweet out a borderline-homophobic line from Full Metal Jacket mocking his new home state of Texas, where he will be playing for the Dallas Stars.

So while Seguin finds himself in hot water, fellow hockey party boy Patrick Kane must be on top of the world. Kane led his Blackhawks to a second Stanley Cup in four years and the NHL rewarded him with the Conn Smythe trophy, which goes annually to the MVP of the Playoffs.

How did Kane — three years Seguin’s elder — celebrate his triumph? By raging face, naturally.

Now, remember, Kane has caught his fair share of flack, especially prior to the Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup victory. But goals and wins are what count in the hockey business and that’s what Kane has consistently brought the Hawks.

But we’re not here to discuss whether there is a Seguin-Kane double standard or if it’s fair. The question we want answered here in Hockey Falls is “Who would you rather party with: Kane or Seguin?” Here are a few things to consider before voting in our Hockey Falls poll…

Style

This is truly a bro-tastic matchup for the ages, as the two bring very different party styles to the table.

“Frat. Frat. Frat.”

Patrick Kane would’ve loved college

On one hand, let’s revisit Kane’s infamous Cinco de Mayo bender in Madison, Wis. First, notice Patty’s truly frat-tastic homemade shirt (above) featuring a festive Spanish phrase that translates roughly to “Two Fives equals a Ten.” Yes, that’s Bro for “scoring with two ugly chicks is just as good as one hottie.” We’ll get to the caliber of Kaner’s female companions later, so consider this foreshadowing.

Over the course of the weekend, Deadspin readers claim to have witnessed Kane drunkenly passing out at a local bar, declaring girls “not good enough” to their faces, getting kicked out of a fraternity house for choking an uninterested female target, drinking beer “like a girl”, making anti-Semitic remarks and hooking up with a “Ten” to cap it all off.

So basically, Patty Kane doesn’t give a F*&%. He’ll show up unwelcome to your frat party after sleeping with your president’s girlfriend (again, per Deadspin), assault whoever the hell he wants to and then just head over to Kappa with another group of smoking hot college girls; Guy should’ve gone to college.

Tyler Seguin: The Shirtless Wonder

Peaking at 19?

When the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, Seguin became the youngest NHL player since 1955 to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. Imagine being 19 years old and reaching the summit of hockey greatness. I think it’s fair to say just about anyone would’ve guzzled and gamed their ass off, and that’s exactly what Seguin did.

Cameras captured Seguin contributing to the Bruins’ $156,000+ bar tab of infographic fame by opening wide as Grey Goose was poured down his throat and popping the cork off some champagne. Seguin and equally-shitfaced teammate Brad Marchand found time to dance shirtless together between posing for pictures, and who knows what else, with girl after girl.

Fast forward to this past weekend when the young Canadian threw a Cape Cod soiree for the 4th of July which, coincidentally, happened to be the day the Bruins traded him to the Stars. Once again, social media delivered a blow to Seguin’s reputation, but not before Seguin hosted what looks like an epic bash. The best documentation of the night came in the form of a video that shows Seguin in a frat tank and backwards trucker hat grinding on a female party guest.

In other words, Tyler Seguin is a pimp.

Bottom Line: Roll with Kaner and you might wind up in a bar fight. Schmooze with Seguin, and you’re bound to get lucky.

Trouble with the Law

Nothing kills a partier’s buzz quite like a run-in with the refs, I mean, cops. Of the two puck daddies in question, only Kane can attest to that. In 2009, after a night out in his hometown of Buffalo with his cousin James Kane, Kane was arrested and charged with second-degree robbery, fourth-degree criminal mischief and theft of services after assaulting and robbing a cab driver over a measly 20 cents. Kane ultimately got off with a slap on the wrist by pleading guilty to noncriminal disorderly conduct charges, but still, it was both a major headache an a low-point for the fallen party boy and his cousin/wing man.

As far as we know, Seguin has never seen a night of partying cut short by flashing lights in the rear view, despite the aforementioned, blatant underage drinking after winning the Cup in 2011. So, by default…

Edge: Seguin

Puck Bunnies

Here at Hockey Falls we generally frown upon the objectification of women based on looks. But when it’s for the purpose of objectifying two of the “brohans” likely doing some objectifying of their own, we’ll let it slide.

Seguin:

Kane:

 

So who would you rather party with? Vote in our poll and justify in the comments!