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Was Rich Peverley the NHL’s biggest bargain of the 2009-10 season?

Dwayne Roloson, Rich Peverley

New York Islanders’ goalie Dwayne Roloson (30) sprawls to try to protect the net as a shot by Atlanta Thrashers’ Rich Peverley, right, goes wide during the shootout to secure the win for the Islanders who won 6-5 in an NHL hockey game at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)


With free agency just a few weeks away, teams and fans alike are dreaming of finding the perfect match. General managers might want to attempt to track down big-name stars, but winning clubs often get by with bargains and “steals.” has a list of “bargains” that is pretty interesting. Now, I want to make it clear that I don’t think that point production alone is the best way to judge a player, but it’s one of the easiest ways to get a quick snapshot of an individual’s contribution. Here’s the ten best “bang for the buck” players from the 2009-10 season, from a dollar-for-point perspective.

1. Rich Peverley - Atlanta - $8,864 per point (55 points)
2. Matt Moulson - NYI - $11,979 (48)
3. Maxim Afinogenov - Atlanta - $13,115 (61)
4. Chris Stewart - Colorado - $13,281 (64)
5. Frans Nielsen - NYI - $13,816 (38)
6. Patric Hornqvist - Nashville - $13,987 (51)
7. Tomas Fleischmann - Washington - $14,216 (51)
8. Kurtis Foster - Tampa Bay - $14,286 (42)
9. James Neal - Dallas - $14,939 (55)
10. Mason Raymond - Vancouver - $16,667 (53)

Now, there are a few factors that obviously come into play. Each player on that list had a salary under $1 million. With two players each from the Thrashers and Islanders in the top 5, it’s also clear that it helps for a player to get big minutes on a weak team.

Nicklas Backstrom is the first player on that list to have 100 points or more. In fact, Backstrom is far and away one of the biggest bargains among the league’s elite. Loui Eriksson and Ryan Kesler also out-performed their contracts.

To broaden the bargain list a bit more, here’s the best bargain blueliners.

1. Kurtis Foster - Tampa Bay - $14,286 (42)
2. Kyle Quincey - Colorado - $18,103
3. Andy Green - New Jersey - $19,932 (37)
4. Duncan Keith - Chicago - $21,377 (69)
5. Anton Stralman - Columbus - $21,520 (34)

Duncan Keith is the standout on this list, as a Norris Trophy candidate. Other more productive defensemen who ranked high on this list include Keith Yandle, Tyler Myers, Marc Staal and Kris Letang.

Some might say Peverley is the biggest steal in the league, but Keith gets my vote. Of course, considering the fact that Keith’s cap hit will inflate considerably starting in 2010-11, the Blackhawks will just have to settle for him being really good.