Is an RFA worth 4 first rounders?

Quick disclaimer, this is not a sign Zach Parise post but a look at what it means to sign a player to an offer sheet and to get the maximum compensation of 4 first rounder and the affect it has on a franchise 9 years later.  All teams used are just for demonstrative purposes.

Here is the imaginary scenario:

It is July 4th, 2002 The Chicago Blackhawks made headlines signing star RFA player X to a long term contract from the Calgary Flames.  The Flames did not match the offer and will receive the max compensation from the Blackhawks of their next 4 first round picks in the 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 draft.  Chicago stayed around 13-20 range for these next four years never really broke out to the elite of the NHL.  For the next 9 years/ 8 seasons player X played almost all of the 656 games those years missing no more than 5 games a year. 


2003 draft

Picks 13-20 averaged 395 games played or almost 68% of the games played by a single NHL team over those 7 seasons.

However when you remove the highest and lowest numbers of games played by those players the number creeps up to 402 games played or about 70% of the games.


2004 draft

Picks averaged about 187 games played and about 38% of the games

When removing the highest and lowest it drops to 181 games and about 37% of games


2005 draft

Picks averaged about 63 games and about 13% of the games

Remove highest and lowest and you get about 36 games and 7% of the games


2006 draft

picks averaged about 68 games and about 17% of the games played

remove high and low and the average is about 59 games and about 14% of the games


Over 9 years the 4 picks would play in a total of 713 game.  When you take away the highest and lowest number of games played you drop that total games played over those 4 players to only 678 games played.



Many see the cost of 4 1st round picks for any player outside of a clear superstar as a complete overpayment.  When looking at the numbers over the 9 years after the original signing the number of games played by 4 first rounders is only 30-50 games more than player X if he does not get any serious injuries.  While there are some unaccountable factors in play, (like strength of draft), most of them end up equaling each other out.  The 2003 draft was obviously very very strong in that 13-20 range while the 2005 draft was pretty weak in that range.  In my opinion, if a rfa is signed to a max compensation deal in a vacuum, the signer is usually going to get the better of the deal.  Please leave any comments about conclusions you can draw from these numbers or other important variables that I did not take into account that could affect who really gets the better of the deal.

<em>Submitted FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or SB Nation. If you're reading this statement, you pass the fine print legalese test. Four stars for you.</em>

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