The most baffling contracts of the NHL offseason – ESPN

Tom Wilson has drawn comparisons to Milan Lucic. The Capitals hope they’re getting the Bruins version and not the Oilers one. 

Aug 10, 2018

Greg WyshynskiESPN

While Erik Karlsson might disagree, it’s been an eventful offseason in the NHL from a player transaction standpoint. Not only with the free-agent frenzy producing the John Tavares blockbuster and several other notable deals, but with teams hanging onto their own players on long-term extensions.

Many of these contracts are laudable, some are risky and others are just baffling — perhaps due to the term, perhaps due to the money, perhaps due to the truly strange motivations by either management or players that pushed the contract in that weird direction.

Here are five of the most-baffling contracts handed out in summer 2018:

The deal: Six years, $31 million

Defending the virtues of Tom Wilson probably requires the round-the-clock management of a public relations crisis firm, but I’ll give it a shot:

His physicality can change the direction of a game or an entire playoff series, and his postseason offensive burst during the Capitals’ run to the Stanley Cup was impressive. That he can be thuggish and hang with elite offensive talent makes him a unique asset, and he’s only going to be 30 at the end of this contract. Rather than turning 30 after Year 3 of a seven-year deal, and having the world wonder if he’s cooked, which is what Milan Lucic — the Pokemon evolution of Tom Wilson — is dealing with in Edmonton.

All that said, I completely get the befuddlement and bemusement about Tom Wilson making $5,166,666 against the cap through 2024. When someone does one of those dollars-per-point breakdown of contracts in a few years, the Wilson deal is going to rank among

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