3. Johnny Boychuk
Cap hit: $6 million
Production: 3 points
I like Johnny Boychuk. I like the way he plays the game. I like his current role on the team. And I loved it when the New York Islanders acquired him in 2014. But it’s been four years since that trade and Johnny Boychuk isn’t the same player he was when he signed that deal with the Islanders.
A few months after acquiring Boychuk from the Boston Bruins via trade, the New York Islanders gave him a seven-year $42 million deal. He along with Nick Leddy were going to make the Islanders better defensively. And they did. For a bit.
But again. That was some time ago. Johnny Boychuk is 34 now, going on 35. In terms of the NHL, Johnny Boychuk isn’t young. And you can tell by watching him on the ice.
Johnny Boychuk is now a third pairing defenseman. Again, that’s perfect for him. He’s playing fewer minutes which should maximize the number of games they get out of him. With the way that Johnny Boychuk plays, he’s never on the ice for a full season.
But even though his role on the team might fit what they need from him and his skill set, that doesn’t mean his cap hit is equally good. With a $6 million cap hit he’s the joint top earner with Jordan Eberle on the team. Again, Boychuk is playing third pairing minutes. He’s averaging three minutes less a game then he was last season.
In terms of salary structure, Boychuk is being paid like a top pair guy when in actuality he’s at the bottom of the pile. That’s not good value.