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Sharks Gameday: The 9 Million Dollar Hockey Team

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You guys are both way too expensive to be on my team.
You guys are both way too expensive to be on my team.

There are two things you need to know to understand today's post:

1) There's a chance we could lose part or all of the next NHL season to a lockout. No fan wants that to happen but it's a grim possibility.

2) I am soon going to be very very wealthy. Once I conclude my business with Mr. Peter CHANG Lee I will be receiving 50 percent of 19 millions, 5 hundred thousand United State dollars. My calculator tells me that equals: LOW BATT.

Wait, no. Hold on.

$9,750,000. That's how much money I'll be getting from this deal. And if I somehow manage to NOT spend it all on jet skis and cocaine, I can't imagine a better use for the money than starting my own hockey team.

So even though I don't think the NHL is going to be dumb enough to lose another season to a lockout (knock on graphite composite) let's assume for a moment that the worst happens. No NHL in 2012-2013. All those NHL players unemployed.

And me, with 9 million dollars to spend and a blistering cocaine high.

Let's make a hockey team!

Here are the rules:

1) I have $9,750,000 to spend to put together a hockey roster.

2) I will pay players what they were paid in the 11-12 season, including their base salary plus performance bonuses (but not signing bonuses).

3) Since trying to fill a full roster is impossible (the average player salary would be lower than the NHL minimum salary) I'll go for two forward lines, four defensemen, and one goalie. This should be more than enough for my team to play exhibition matches or enter tournaments or paint my house or carry me around on a big platform like Madonna at the Super Bowl.

4) My team will be called the Piñatas.

I asked Rudy for help with this since he's better at salaries and knowing obscure players on other teams than I am, and he basically picked the entire roster for me. So if you think these choices are awesome or awful it's all his fault.

Top Line

LW Jamie McGinn ($680,000)

C Adam Henrique ($900,000)

RW Jordan Eberle ($1,187,500)

-Jamie McGinn is currently on a weird cheap one-year "prove yourself" contract with the Sharks. He used to score a ton in the minors but has struggled to find any sort of consistency in the NHL. With the recent depletion of the Sharks forward lines, however, McGinn has been given a chance to play more minutes with better players, and already has career highs in goals and points (only 11 goals and 20 points, but still).

-Adam Henrique has seen time on the top line for the Devils this season, and currently has 34 points. Obviously he's the worst man on the line with Parise and Kovalchuk, but he must have some talent if he's able to keep up with those guys. He's doing this as a rookie as well, so there's a lot of potential upside here.

-Jordan Eberle had a strong rookie season last year, with 43 points in 69 games, and this year he's doing even better. He already has 24 goals and 30 assists this season, and the Piñatas are going to count on him to continue his scoring ways. I'm very happy with Jordan Eberle as the highest-paid non-goalie on my team.

Second Line

LW Tyler Ennis ($875,000)

C Frans Nielsen ($550,000)

RW Matt Read ($800,000)

-Tyler Ennis has been hurt for much of this year but scored twenty goals last season in his first full year in the NHL. He's still on his first contract so he's a steal at $875,000.

-Frans Nielsen led the league in short-handed goals last season, and Doug Weight called Nielsen "our best overall player." He's scheduled for a well-deserved pay-raise next season and will be making $2 million - if there isn't a lockout. For our scenario we're going to need Nielsen to be a team player and accept $550,000 for another season.

-Matt Read is another rookie who has been scoring a lot this year. He has 32 points and scored four points in a game earlier this season. He also had an impressive showing in the accuracy event in the All-Star skills competition, which is exactly the same as real hockey.

Defensive Pair 1

D Mike Weaver ($900,000)

D John Carlson ($787,500)

-Mike Weaver is a good defensive defenseman. Seriously, he's actually very good. He doesn't score a lot and he is only 5'9" so people don't notice him and he doesn't make a lot of money, but he's a solid addition to any team. Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon has signed Weaver for $1.1 million starting next year but we're going to snag the short bastard for his current $900,000.

-John Carlson is 22, scored 37 points last season, has scored 25 points already this season, and only costs $787,500. Welcome aboard!

Defensive Pair 2

D P.K. Subban ($875,000)

D Jason Garrison ($675,000)

-P.K. Suban is in the last year of his entry-level contract, so he's getting paid much less than he is really worth. We are going to continue to underpay him on the Piñatas.

-Jason Garrison is another Panthers defenseman. He's not amazing or anything but he's solid, has thirteen goals this season, and, most importantly, he is cheap.


G Tomas Vokoun ($1,500,000)

-In the real NHL it has recently become fashionable to look to reduce the amount of salary spent on goalies, since there isn't a huge difference between a pretty-good starting goalie and an elite starting goalie. While I agree with this reasoning, I also can't pass up the chance to have Tomas Vokoun on my team for only $1,500,000, even if that does make him the highest-paid player on the Piñatas.

With all these players on the roster I am left with exactly $20,000 to spend on a jet ski and team jerseys and stuff.

What do you think? How did I (but really Rudy) do? Can you recommend someone we overlooked? Let us know in the comments.

If you would like to try your hand at making a hockey team for less than $10 million, here is the spreadsheet I used:

9 million dollar hockey team

Next Game

Chicago Blackhawks
@ San Jose Sharks

Friday, Feb 10, 2012, 7:30 PM PST
HP Pavilion

Complete Coverage >

It turns out I was correct to be somewhat dubious about the Sharks' minor winning streak. In their last two games they've lost to teams that probably won't make the playoffs. Dan Boyle is battling the flu and, even if he plays, won't be 100%. On the positive side the Sharks have been finding ways to score goals, even in losses, so now they just need to get the defense sorted out and hopefully everything will fall into place.

The Blackhawks are a good team, and San Jose would face them if the playoffs started today.

A win would be nice.

Prediction: Two teams worth much more than $9.75 million a piece shoot pucks at each other.

My 31st-favorite movie is Millions. I feel like today's post captured the spirit of that film perfectly.