No. 2: Morgan Rielly
If Morgan Rielly played in any other market, would he be considered a top-pairing defenseman, or is it that Toronto’s defensive group has just been so bad for years that he’s been considered better than he actually is?
I know that criticism may be a little much, but Rielly’s contract has to be one of the worst in professional hockey.
At $7.5 million until 2023, Rielly is laughing all the way to the bank and is way too overpaid.
Rielly is the 23rd highest-paid defenseman in the NHL and makes the same amount of money as Aaron Ekblad, who’s a legitimate number-one defenseman.
Over the course of his career, one player you could compare Rielly to has been Kris Letang, yet he makes $1.4 million more than Letang.
In his ten-year career, Rielly has had two really good years and is definitely one of the most overrated players in the league.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fantastic person, and his skating ability is still elite, but overall, he doesn’t provide much more than that.
He only has 22 goals in the past four seasons, and it’s not like he plays physically to justify his contract.
He played really well in the playoffs last year to make up for the fact that he had a terrible regular season, so some people may have forgotten.
But I think we’ll see “regular season Rielly” again this year and not “playoff Rielly.”