NHL Salary Bands Masterpost (Defense)

Alright, I know y’all have been waiting with bated breath for the follow up post and more charts! Everyone loves charts!

Here are the NHL Salary Band Charts for all 30 teams for Defensemen with over 500 minutes. Again, this is historical salary data, not cap hit, from 2006-2015 in all situations, because penalty kill & power play time are important when signing a player. Because it’s an average of every contract a team has touched during this timeframe, usually there is more than one player per band, so it’s intended to be an overarching view of how GMs value Dmen, not a measure of whether a specific player is good or not (though you can pick out a couple players in the higher price bands. Hi, Ryan Suter!).

Unlike the forwards, there is very little consensus across teams on what Dmen should be paid for the kind of work they do, so the usage charts are all over the place.

To kick things off, here are the NHL averages:

NHL Averages

NHL FA60 & Usage- Dmen

NHL FF% & Usage Rel Dmen

A couple of quick notes:

1) FA60 & FF% Rel stand for Fenwick Against per 60 and Fenwick For % Relative (to when the team is playing without the player).

Fenwick is much like Corsi, only it tracks just Missed Shots and Shots on Goal (no Blocked Shots), which makes it a better measure for Defense, because a large part of playing defense is positioning. If you’re blocking shots, then you’re not doing a good job of suppressing shots in the first place. For FA60 you’re looking for a low number, for FF% Rel, you want a high number. Both are heavily influenced by how a player is used, so take that into consideration.

2) TOI% stands for Time On Ice %, aka the percentage of TOI a player recieved of the total amount of TOI available.

This (and Points) are the only real correlation to how Defensemen get paid, which tells me that GMs haven’t put a lot of thought (historically) into what makes for a very effective Dman, instead going with a Dman they can work to death.

3) You’ll notice that Zone Start % shoots up for the higher price bands, which indicates that GMs are willing to pay more for Dmen who can score, particularly on the power play.

4) Overall, Defensemen are paid less than Forwards. Several teams have no salaries past the $5-6m bands, so take the very high end band data with a grain of salt, as the sample size is much smaller.

Again, there are some unanswered questions from these charts:

1) How is this picture changing over time? Is there greater consensus now that analytics are becoming popularized?
2) Does landscape change during UFA/RFA years?
3) Does this change significantly if we pull out ELCs?
4) What is the impact of a single GM? What about different coaches?

So that said, here are all 30 teams, in alphabetical order by location, presented without commentary.

Anaheim

ANA FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D ANA FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Arizona (includes time spent as Phoenix)

ARI FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D ARI FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Boston

BOS FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D BOS FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Buffalo

BUF FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D BUF FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Calgary

CGY FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D CGY FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Carolina

CAR FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D CAR FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Chicago

CHI FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D CHI FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Colorado

COL FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D

Columbus

CBJ FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D CBJ FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Dallas

DAL FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D DAL FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Detroit

DET FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D DET FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Edmonton

EDM FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D EDM FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Florida

FLA FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D FLA FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Los Angeles

LA FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D LA FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Minnesota

MIN FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D MIN FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Montreal

MTL FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D MTL FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Nashville

NSH FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D NSH FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

New Jersey

NJ FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - DNJ FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

New York Islanders

NYI FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D NYI FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

New York Rangers

NYR FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D NYR FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Ottawa

OTT FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D OTT FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Philadelphia

PHI FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D PHI FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Pittsburgh

PIT FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D PIT FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

San Jose

SJ FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D SJ FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

St Louis

STL FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D STL FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Tampa Bay

TB FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D TB FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Toronto

TOR FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D TOR FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Vancouver

VAN FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - DVAN FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Washington

WSH FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D WSH FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Winnipeg (includes time spent as Atlanta)

WPG FA60 & Usage Salary Bands - D WPG FF% & Usage Rel Salary Bands - D

Looking for Forwards Salary Bands? Click this link!

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