NHL contract scores: Ducks pay for Alex Killorn

Contract

Alex Killorn signs a four-year, $6.25 million AAV deal with the Ducks.


Shayna Goldman: There we have friends, the biggest overpayment yet. Stanley Cup rings tend to have a positive effect on salaries, at least for the player. And Alex Killorn has two trips, as well as a third trip to the final. But those contracts tend to run out pretty badly for a team, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see that happen here.

Combined with a championship pedigree, Killorn is an effective winger with an offensive upside. He can recover pucks to keep offensive plays alive, contribute some shots out of the cycle, and is known for his hand-eye coordination in the forward net area. But the fact of the matter is, he’s 33 years old, and he can only be expected to perform at this level for so long moving forward. That age doesn’t scream a four-year deal and he’s not that capped – especially when there’s such a huge gap in talent from his former Tampa Bay entourage to his new environment. There is a very good chance that his production will decline faster than expected in his new team.

A team like Anaheim, which isn’t very competitive and has plenty of space, might be able to afford that. But it doesn’t make sense for them to do that, frankly. Yes, it can help to bring in players with leadership qualities to help keep emotions in the locker room when an on-ice product is bringing everyone down but committing to this four-year contract is still a leap management didn’t need to take.

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Killorn probably couldn’t get that payday elsewhere. And those who could take a swing at it probably won’t, and it’s their right to consider how this decade progresses. Sometimes a player in his position will have to choose between money and competition. It seems that he won his cups and chose the first, which is his right. It’s just an odd choice. While there is some interesting up-and-coming talent in Anaheim, this team is a long way from what it was just a part of. He may be flipping the Ducks late in the decade, but how big is a portion of him by then?

contract degree: Dr
appropriate grade:C+

Eric Duhacek: So back in the day NHL teams started looking for trades almost from the opening bell, you were waiting and wondering to see if any team might go back to the old free agent strategy of massively overpaying for a veteran, his best years, in all likelihood behind them. Yes finally! It took about 2 hours for this to happen but it eventually did. The Ducks gave Killorn, 33, a four-year contract, worth $6.25 million, after he came off a career-high season in which he scored 27 goals and 64 points. Of course, he scored those points playing in the top six for a Tampa Bay Lightning team that included the likes of Brayden Point, Nikita Kocherov and Stephen Stamkos. He wouldn’t have that luxury in Anaheim.

Current Anaheim General Manager, Pat Verbeek, worked alongside Steve Yzerman for years in Tampa Bay and was with the Lightning as Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel when Killorn broke into the league. Therefore, there is a lot of familiarity between the player and the manager. Presumably, the explanation is that Killorn is filling a need for veteran leadership in a young team led by junior coach in Greg Cronin next season. The Ducks will focus on Killorn’s intangibles, as much as on the ice. But this decade is going to age badly. Almost every other team in a similar situation – looking for the right dressing room chemistry – has managed to add a veteran piece at a discount today. Anaheim paid a premium.

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I mean, annually, Killorn would earn $2.5 million more than Nashville’s Ryan O’Reilly would, added to help rebuild the culture. Sure, the market is upside down this year. Teams needed to capitalize because who knows how long they might last? Ducks didn’t.

contract degree: F
appropriate grade: C-

(Photo: Mike Ehrman/Getty Images)

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