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Who Was The Highest-Paid Edmonton Oiler In 2011-12?

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"...Shawn Horcoff, the $7 million man..."

-nearly every mainstream sports writer in Edmonton in 2009-10.

Nevermind the terrible understanding of cash vs. cap (a concept many Edmonton fans fail to understand, as I've learned on Twitter whilst discussing a possible Nikolai Khabibulin buyout) from said sports writers, and nevermind that Horcoff's actual cap cost was $5.5 million, and nevermind that those writers are attempting to purposefully cast Horcoff in a specific light for media consumers in Edmonton, Shawn Horcoff was and is a vitally important member of the Edmonton Oilers. We know this by measuring qualcomp and certain other responsibilities, but we also know this through time on ice.

Most of the time, a player's total icetime is reflective of the amount of trust his coach has in him and therefore becomes a proxy for his importance to his team. Since different players take on different roles, one way to measure "highest paid" is by dividing a player's cap hit by his time on ice. Vitally important players should be paid more, cogs and plugs less - if that holds, the Cap Hit / Min should line up in a similar order and become a comparative number for team contributions per player.

First up, the forwards led by Shawn Horc...
Player Pos TOI Cap Hit Cap Hit / Min
Darcy Hordichuk L 187.05 $825,000 $4,410.59
Ryan Smyth L 1564.75 $6,250,000 $3,994.25
Shawn Horcoff C 1586.43 $5,500,000 $3,466.90
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C 1091.55 $3,775,000 $3,458.38
Ales Hemsky R 1214.40 $4,100,000 $3,376.15
Taylor Hall L 1111.33 $3,750,000 $3,374.33
Ben Eager L 538.10 $1,100,000 $2,044.23
Sam Gagner C 1288.70 $2,275,000 $1,765.34
Magnus Paajarvi L 540.25 $906,757 $1,678.40
Eric Belanger C 1149.23 $1,750,000 $1,522.75
Lennart Petrell L 578.00 $802,703 $1,388.76
Ryan Jones L 1218.62 $1,500,000 $1,230.90
Anton Lander C 594.40 $690,811 $1,162.20
Jordan Eberle R 1372.58 $1,158,333 $843.91

That's right. They highest-paid forward on the squad was Darcy Hordichuk. Hordichuk raked in over $4,400 per minute of ice time, while leading scorer Jordan Eberle made just $843 per minute.

The defense has an even bigger overpayment:

Player Pos TOI Cap Figure Cap Hit / Min
Cam Barker D 459.02 $2,250,000 $4,901.78
Ryan Whitney D 1069.12 $4,000,000 $3,741.41
Andy Sutton D 867.57 $2,125,000 $2,449.38
Nick Schultz D 1616.07 $3,500,000 $2,165.75
Ladislav Smid D 1630.53 $2,250,000 $1,379.92
Theo Peckham D 911.30 $1,075,000 $1,179.63
Colten Teubert D 303.40 $282,432 $930.89
Jeff Petry D 1588.52 $951,351 $598.89
Corey Potter D 1236.75 $525,000 $424.50

Sure, the Hordichuk number is laughable, but Hordichuk pales in comparison to Cam Barker, the highest-paid player on the team at $4,900 a minute. If you thought Eberle was a bargain at $843, top-paring defender Jeff Petry at $599 is a steal.

Normally, I would give a team a pass on an injured player like Whitney, but the team knew (or didn't because they didn't do any due diligence, which only makes things worse) what they were getting in Whitney.

The goaltenders, ah the goaltenders:

Player Pos TOI Cap Figure Cap Hit / Min
Nikolai Khabibulin G 2260.5 $3,750,000 $1,658.93
Devan Dubnyk G 2653.5 $800,000 $301.49

Nikolai Khabibulin was paid more than 5x as much as Devan Dubnyk.

Maybe Mr. Massey has a joke for this one. I've got nothing.