Examining Kyle Turris’ Cap Hit Comparables In The NHL


One of the best moves that Bryan Murray has ever made as GM of the Ottawa Senators was acquiring Kyle Turris. The price? just David Rundblad and a 2nd round pick. While at the time it looked like a complete overpayment, ever since Turris has blossomed into a top line centre. I am a big believer in his abilities and I have outlined my thoughts on him before.

The best thing about Turris is that his contract is one of the best bang for your buck deals out there. His cap hit is a measly $3.5 million, and he still has three years remaining on the deal while he is only 25 years old. At the time of the deal it was risky, but int he first two years of his new contract he has elevated his game immensely. I thought it would be interesting to look at his cap hit comparables around the NHL, and also examine how much money other centres are making that put up similar numbers.

First let’s just look at all position players who are making between $3.5 million and $4 million (in other words, a slightly higher salary).

Here is part of the list that I found particularly amusing:

This is sorted by descending cap hit, and all 16 of these players make more than Turris on average every year. There are a few very solid players like Anders Lee, Brendan Gallagher, Mikkel Boedker, and Erik Johnson, but as a whole there isn’t a single player that I would take over Turris. I mean, it’s laughable that Brad Stuart, Mattias Ohlund, Matt Beleskey, and Karri Ramo are actually making more than Ottawa’s first line centre.

Now, this is more a case of Turris being very underpaid instead of others being overpaid, but that doesn’t make some of those contracts any better. There wasn’t enough room to fit the rest of the six players on the bottom of the list, but they included Luca Sbisa, Luke Schenn, Mikael Backlund, Jaromir Jagr, Mike Ribeiro, and Alex Tanguay. Besides an ageless Jagr, those names don’t exactly scream franchise player.

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Jagr, Ribeiro, and Tanguay have the same $3.5 million cap hit as Turris, as do Nicklas Grossman, Ladislav Smid, David Desharnais, Cam Atkinson, Lars Eller, and Mark Stone. The latter four of the aforementioned are good players, but Grossman and Smid shouldn’t even be in the same conversation as Turris for cap hits.

So those are some of the players that are just ahead of him in salary, and it’s quite amazing to see. There isn’t a single player that I mentioned that matched Turris’ production last season except…Mark Stone.

How does he look amongst other top centres though? Here are the top 30 centres in scoring from the past season:

You’ll notice that Turris sits comfortably in the top 30 centres at #18. Furthermore, he stands out in a different way. The only centres on this list that have smaller cap hit than him are Tyler Johnson, Sean Monahan, and Filip Forsberg, while Mike Ribeiro is also at $3.5 million. However, Monahan and Forsberg are both on their ELC’s with them both having one year left on those deals.

So they will get paid quite a handsome sum before next summer for sure. Johnson is in the same boat as Turris, as at the time of his deal it wasn’t such a slam dunk like it is now. Ribeiro can still produce, but he’s also 35 years old so he doesn’t provide nearly as much value as Turris.

Out of this top 30, the only player that legitimately has a better contract than Turris is Johnson, as it’s a smaller cap hit, he is still an RFA at the end of it, and he is becoming a top-10 forward in the game. The one downside to Turris’ contract is that he is unrestricted at the end of it, but I’m sure it won’t be much of an issue anyway.

The contract for Turris is an absolute steal, and it will continue to be for another three years

The next thing I wanted to do was look at the average salary amongst the top 30 centres. So in total, these 30 centres are making $177, 021, 893. On average then, their cap hit is at about $5.9 million. That’s pretty impressive considering Ottawa is saving about $2.4 million on a first line centre. Never mind the fact that they are misspending in other places.

If you remove Turris, Monahan, and Forsberg from the equation, then it looks even better. In that case, the average centre is making about $6.36 million.

The contract for Turris is an absolute steal, and it will continue to be for another three years. So while Ottawa is still paying Colin Greening, Chris Neil, and Jared Cowen, at least we can marvel at the beauty of this contract.

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