They’re Paying How Much for That Guy? 25 Worst Contracts in the NHL

1. Jason Spezza (4 years left, $7.5 million per)

The Dallas Stars picked up Jason Spezza last July from the Ottawa Senators. Good trade, right? The guy struck gold 17 times and earned a total of 62 points his first season with the Stars, which seems good until considering that was his lowest point total while playing 60+ games in a season for over a decade. The last time Spezza got into the 70+ club was the 2011-12 season, and he doesn’t have much more left in him.

Spezza is now 32, and after two back surgeries, the odds of seeing him break through his slump seems to drift farther and farther out of view. That’s not to say he doesn’t have it in him to live up to his role as a second-line center, but, for the moment, he’s banking a first-liner’s pay.

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

2. Bobby Ryan (7 years left, $7.25 million per)

The Ottawa Senators got their hands on Bobby Ryan in July of 2013. It’s no understatement saying that if the Senators want to get their money’s worth from Ryan, he’s really going to need to step it up. At 28 years old, Ryan’s numbers for the past two seasons have only shown that he’s a fighter with no fights left in him.

Ryan is a top-line winger netting 18 last season for 54 points and 23 for 48 the season before that. With his best years slipping away, it’s looking like he may go down as one of the worst deals in Senators’ history.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

3. Dion Phaneuf (7 years left, $7 million per)

The captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs just isn’t who he used to be. Dion Phaneuf has the experience of a veteran defenseman, but at 30 years old, he seems to have lost a step when it comes to working behind the blue. Earning his lowest point total last season with 29 points, it’s looking like this hard hitter is puttering out.

Of course, there’s always speculation of trade, but it’s looking more and more like the Leafs will keep him around. Can’t argue against him being an experienced rearguard, and with that hefty contract over his head, it’s unlikely any team will want to pay for his price tag.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

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