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People Should Stop Talking

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As I've said before, I don't consider myself a hockey expert.  I'm just here to provide what I think I see, and hopefully in an entertaining way.  But I've heard way too much talk about how Versteeg and Barker especially were given contracts out of whack for what they're worth.  A quick perusal of the defenseman who also finished around the 40-point mark and what they are currently paid:

Filip Kuba- 3.7 million

Bryan McCabe- 5.7

John Michael Liles- 4.2

Pavel Kubina- 5.0

Ron Hainsey - 4.5

Joe Corvo-2.6 and many beaten wives

Christian Ehrhoff- 3.1

Now, obviously, Barker is a different type of player than most of these, and younger than all of them.  He's more all-around than McCabe (so am I) and Corvo, and probably Kuba.  So Liles and Ehrhoff are fair comparisons, as they're big, two-way d-men, and Liles even can QB a power play, and both in their 20's.  And Barker comes in at exactly that value.  Now, you could make the argument that if there hadn't been all these shenanigans, with his RFA status you could have played hardball and brought him in at a lower number.  But maybe Barker wasn't going to accept a lower number, and then you'd have to deal him at 75-50 cents on the dollar.  It's happened before.  Considering Barker's age, this is a pretty good deal.

Versteeg is another matter, and it's hard to be as accurate with him because it's hard to see what his ceiling is.  Most, like me, think he may have reached it.  But scouring the players who put up similiar numbers as VERSTEEG!, which you can be sure his agent did, here's what we come up with:

Shawn Horcoff - 5.6

Ryan Clowe 3.6

Alex Burrows -2.0

Brooks Laich- 2.0

Chris Kunitz -3.7

Dustin Brown - 3.1

Michael Ryder -4.0

Milan Michalek- 4.3

Now, most of these players are better than Kris (oh if only he were Dustin Brown).  The closest comparison I think we find here is Michalek, a young forward, though with more size than Steeger.  Michalek has three 20 goal seasons to his name, but I don't see any reason why Versteeg wouldn't be consistently cracking the 20 goal plateau, which is probably all he is.  Michalek, however, usually finds himself on Thornton's or Marleau's wing, even Pavelski is a better offensive center than Steeg found himself playing with, when he was paired with either the out of position Sharp, at center himself, and then the defensive Pahlsson.  So while not the bargain I think Barker's deal will turn out to be, and maybe even a tad pricey, it's hardly scandalous. 

And he's probably getting moved anyway...