On the surface, the contract for Colton Sissons seems like a stroke of genius.
The Predators lock in a good player for a fair price for seven years.
Sissons is a player everyone likes - he grinds, he can score a bit, he is versatile.
Ultimately though, while it's easy to cheer for the underdogs, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that he's a 15 goal 20 point player in a career year.
Last season his shooting percentage was up 5 percentage points to 12% and his PDO was 102. So banking on what he did last year is foolish. He is highly unlikely to repeat.
He is also a player who has only ever put up one season in which he was a positive possession player relative to his team.
His 1.44 p/60 are a 4th line scoring rate lower than the Leafs Frederick Guathier (often listed, though incorrectly, as the worst offensive player in hockey).
No doubt that Sissons is a very good defensive player. The stats show this, as does his usage. But he doesn't drive play and he doesn't score.
But NHL players who don't score don't get paid.
And they usually don't get term.
If you look at WAR/60 you can see that 10% of NHL players (over 1000 minutes) have a much larger impact than the rest of the league.
The NHL has been proven to be a strong-link game, like basketball. This means that the team with the best player, or the most elite players, is going to win over the long run.
It is better in hockey to have more elite players than it is to have depth. So a team with the best bottom six in the NHL is going to lose more than it wins against a team with the worst bottom six, if that team happens to have more elite players.
Therefore, money should be spent on elite players, or players who have the chance to become elite. It is theoretically a bad move to give anyone like Colton Sissons more than the league minimum.
Sissons might be slightly better than Nick Shore, but not enough that it warrants paying the $2 million dollar difference. At the end of the day, the Leafs can use the two million dollars in savings on a player like Mitch Marner.
And Nick Shores are available for free, always. The Leafs signed about nine of them yesterday.
In a vacuum, it's not a bad contract.
But in the context of the NHL as a salary cap value game, it's a big loser.
In the end, it's a foolish contract that will hurt the team.
info for this article from capfriendly, hockeydb, evolving-hockey, cosica, and naturalstattrick.com