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Is Clark Worth The Money?

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Already tonight, I've raved a bit about the Brett Clark signing - a signing that hasn't exactly been received with open arms with the Avalanche community. Most people think $3.5 million for an average defenseman is too much. Me? I wonder what sport they've been following.

This is the new NHL, where owners are so strapped for cash...oh, wait. Sorry, I was reading a press release from 2005. This is actually the new NHL, where owners are throwing money at players like Charlie Sheen does with hookers.

Since the lockout, Brett Clark has 78 points or an average of 38 points. For kicks, I made a little list of players with similar point totals...say, from 67 points to 81 points. Below 67 points and you run into a lot of crappy defenseman. And 81 points seems to be the upper threshold of "average" contracts. The 3 guys above that threshold are Wade Redden, Zdeno Chara and Rob Blake - all making $6 million (or more).

Since the lockout, Brett Clark has 78 points or an average of 38 points. For kicks, I made a little list of players with similar point totals...say, from 67 points to 81 points. Below 67 points and you run into a lot of crappy defenseman. And 81 points seems to be the upper threshold of "average" contracts. The 3 guys above that threshold are Wade Redden, Zdeno Chara and Rob Blake - all making $6 million (or more).

I took out the two guys (Andrej Meszaros and Marc-Andre Bergeron) who haven't hit free agency. Here's the list...with their salary and 2-year point totals.

Tom Preissing $2,750,000 81
Marek Zidlicky $3,500,000 79
Brett Clark $3,500,000 78
Joseph Corvo $2,750,000 77
Michal Rozsival  $2,100,000 74
Sami Salo $3,750,000 70
Teppo Numminen $2,600,000 70
Alexei Zhitnik $3,500,000 69
Tom Poti $3,500,000 67
Mathias Ohlund $3,500,000 64

Average salary? $3,145,000.

A lot of these guys are one-way offensive specialists. Whatever you might think of Clark's defensive abilities, he's more responsible than most (all?) of the guys on this list. $3,500,000 is a lot of money for you or me to fathom. But, for a NHL defenseman averaging 35-40 points a season it's, basically, just a tad above average.