PKSubban

 

What does Subban's new deal mean for his cap league value?

 

One of the big stories of the summer has been the signing of P.K. Subban to an eight-year, $72-million contract with the Montreal Canadiens. Judging by the amount of activity discussing the topic on the forum, this is clearly a controversial contract signed by a controversial defenseman.

 

The contract itself is massive to say the least. Its length is the maximum allowed and the cap hit of $9 million is the highest among all defensemen by a fairly wide margin. Subban only trails Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin in cap hit among all NHL players.

 

In order to earn such a contract, Subban became a true star over the last two years. After finishing in a tie for first among all defensemen in points in 2012-13 and capturing the Norris trophy, he finished tied for fifth this year before helping the Canadiens reach the Eastern Conference final. Beyond his obvious points-only value, Subban also offers excellent multi-category numbers, most notably in PIM, hits, blocks, PPP and SOG.

 

Cap league value

 

Despite their inflated cap hits, the stars of the NHL are still worth the money in cap leagues. Obviously, the goal is to build a team that can produce more fantasy points than all of your opponents. Your stars will offer a ton of this production while occupying a single roster spot which will clearly help you achieve that goal.

 

At $9 million, Subban is at the top of the heap but not to the point where he becomes too expensive to own in most league setups. He remains a star that can carry your fantasy team’s blueline and has probably not reached his peak yet. But where does he rank among hockey’s star defenders?

 

Sample of stars

 

In order to look into this deeper without going too deep in the weeds, we will look at the eight defensemen that potted 50 or more points last year to do a cap hit comparison. Not only will we look at point output, but also peripheral stats for blueliners producing at or close to the elite level.

 

Name

Team

GP

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

Hits

BkS

PPP

SHP

SOG

CapHit

Erik Karlsson

OTT

82

20

54

74

-15

36

122

101

31

0

257

6.50

Duncan Keith

CHI

79

6

55

61

22

28

36

89

21

1

198

5.50

Shea Weber

NAS

79

23

33

56

-2

52

169

173

26

0

195

7.85

Victor Hedman

TAM

75

13

42

55

5

53

86

101

14

6

170

4.00

P.K. Subban

MON

82

10

43

53

-4

81

135

125

23

0

204

9.00

Keith Yandle

PHO

82

8

45

53

-23

63

22

105

31

0

241

5.25

Alex Pietrangelo

STL

81

8

43

51

20

32

24

164

18

1

164

6.50

James Wisniewski

COB

75

7

44

51

0

61

101

73

28

0

166

5.50

 

What really stands out in this list is the difference in cap hit between Subban and some star-level defenders producing equally. The same story will repeat itself in offense-heavy formats as well as multi-cat. There are simply other top-level options out there that cost much less.

 

Over time, the other star defensemen will have their current contracts expire and will obviously cash in, in some cases at a much higher cap hit than Subban’s $9 million. Unfortunately, that day is not coming any time soon. Among the defensemen listed above, only Yandle (2016), Wisniewski (2017), Hedman (2017) and Karlsson (2019) have their current deals expire before 2020. The full list of top paid defenders can be found here.

 

Clearly, Subban will remain the top paid defenseman for a while. In fantasy hockey time is an underrated factor in determining player value. Simply put, too much time will pass before Subban’s cap hit becomes more normal compared to his elite peers. This hurts his fantasy value.

 

Conclusion

 

Even though Subban’s new contract hurts his value among star defensemen, it does not mean he should not be owned. It just means that his trade value or draft position should be adjusted accordingly. If you can draft him in a good spot after the other top blueliners are gone, you can make it work by doing your homework and discovering cap bargains in your league format. Much like NHL teams, fantasy teams go beyond one single player. In cap leagues everything hinges on finding the right balance throughout the roster to combine good production with a legal budget.

Comments  

#4 JHM 2014-08-11 19:47
Cap leagues, straight points, it gets pretty tough to have Subban. If you're in a multi-cat league, it gets a bit bettee. In a format that counted g, a, pts, hits, blocked shots, PM, PPP, SHP, +/- you'd only get 60% to 70% of the points required for that amount of cap space, on his career years. The problem may be even larger in the event that he had an injury.
#3 Jakelesnake 2014-08-08 00:10
why would the cap go down? Cap raised by 4M$ and the Sportsnet deal hasn't really kicked in yet.
#2 ericdaoust 2014-08-07 21:53
if the cap goes down there are going to be tons of problems throughout the league
#1 donpaulo 2014-08-07 06:08
and if the cap goes down ?

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