Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become more important holidays in the U.S. than Thanksgiving. And all that gleeful consumerism has spread itself to Canada, where Thanksgiving came and went a month and a half ago.
As the NHL winds past the quarter pole, there are quite a number of “bargain find” players giving the best bang for their franchises’ bucks.
Now, we will remind you that a player in the top 40 in scoring making over $2 million is not a “bargain” the the average Joe eking out a living on 60K, but in hockey terms that’s money well spent.
Last year, Lee Stempniak was an inexpensive boon to both Boston and New Jersey. He scored 51 points in 82 games, all while making the paltry sum of $850,000. Pretty darn good when you consider fellow right winger T.J. Oshie made five times that to score the same number of points.
In the spirit of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here are 15 players (who are not RFA) earning every cent of their modest salaries this season.
That the L.A. Kings are still in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference is a minor miracle. Jonathan Quick, their workhorse star in net (he played 140 games between 2014-15 and 2015-16) when down after just one period this season. Sure, the Kings are a great possession team and even an average goalie could post decent stats behind them, but Quick gave the team the confidence to attack and had their backs when they did turn the puck over. After Quick went on the IR, back-up Jeff Zatkoff followed, forcing the call-up of NHL veteran turned AHLer Budaj. The $600,000 two-way deal he signed turns out as a stroke of luck. The 34-year-old Slovakian has been full value, with a 11-6-1 record, 2.10 save percentage and two shutouts in 19 games.