3 worst signings of the offseason
The offseason: a time when the most thunderous hits come to the wallets of NHL clubs.
The 2015 offseason may go down as one of the more tame signing periods, as most teams weren't willing to make crazy splashes in free agency or on contract extensions.
However, clubs didn't shy away from dishing out money, and though not many deals may stick out as clear losers, there are still a handful of head-scratchers.
Here are the three worst signings of this offseason:
Looking to add size and skill, the Colorado Avalanche took a chance and inked Boston Bruins forward Carl Soderberg to a hefty five-year, $23.75-million contract.
That contract is surprisingly big for someone whose NHL resume is only a couple lines long.
Soderberg is coming off just his second full season in the NHL, in which he tallied 13 goals and 44 points in 82 games. These numbers are actually slightly worse than his first NHL season, where he had four more points in nine fewer games.
Prior to the signing, reports surfaced suggesting Soderberg was seeking $5 million a season from interested clubs.
He settled for just beneath that figure, but still got longer term and more money than a second-year player with 29 goals to his name deserves.
With the departure of Soderberg and the trade of Milan Lucic, the Bruins made it their offseason objective to fill the void left by those towering bodies.
The club landed on Anaheim Ducks forward Matt Beleskey as a replacement. The 27-year-old, coming off a career year with 22 goals, was looking for a promotion - and he found it.
The Bruins signed Beleskey to a five-year, $19-million deal. Like the Avalanche did with Soderberg, the Bruins committed long-term to a player that hadn't produced consistently prior to 2014-15.
Belesky scored 21 goals combined in the three seasons before his breakout campaign.
The winger does fit the Bruins' sandpaper style of play, but at $4 million for the first four years of the contract and five seasons total, Boston is really hoping Beleskey's first 20-goal campaign isn't his last.
The same night the Buffalo Sabres drafted generational talent Jack Eichel, they also acquired forward Ryan O'Reilly from the Avalanche.
The move was a big step in the right direction for a franchise that had finished the previous two seasons in the league's basement.
Upon acquiring the talented two-way player, the team inked him to a massive seven-year, $52.5-million extension. The contract will kick in during the 2016-17 season and is heavily front-loaded, with O'Reilly making $11 million the first year.
But what makes O'Reilly a bad offseason signing is the unusual structure of his deal.
The 24-year-old's contract will be almost entirely paid to him in signing bonuses, minus $1 million in base salary annually. That means the club essentially can't ever buy O'Reilly out, with all but the $1 million guaranteed to him over seven years.
The deal's structure commits Buffalo to O'Reilly for the long haul. With Eichel and Sam Reinhart as potential centers expected to eventually climb the ranks, the Sabres could face a tough decision on which one to move in the future - a decision complicated by a strange, potentially crippling contract.
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