There’s no shortage of ill-advised contracts in the NHL. Most teams have at least one player earning more money than his contributions warrant. But while it’s disappointing to watch a $4-million player toil on the fourth line or third defensive pair, that disappointment reaches new levels when the player becomes a healthy scratch – when he’s getting paid not to play.
A coach’s greatest weapon is his ability to control his players’ ice time, and sometimes, sitting an under-performing millionaire is the perfect way to get him motivated.
Other times, becoming a healthy scratch simply signals that a player is on the down side of his career.
Either way, a healthy scratch inherently sparks questions about a player’s future. Is he on the trading block? Will he walk as a free agent this summer? Is his career in jeopardy? And how is the team going to deal with his big-money contract?
Here are the most expensive players to draw a pay check from the press box this season.