The notorious agitator was signed (four years, $15.5 million) at the insistence of co-GM Brett Hull, who felt the Stars needed more grit. What they got was a divisive locker room presence suspended by the NHL five months later for ugly public comments about former girlfriends. Avery was waived in March 2009 and claimed by the Rangers, leaving half his salary on the Stars' books.
2 of 24David E. Klutho/SI
After giving Nikolai Khabibulin a four-year, $27 million deal in 2005, Chicago lavished four years and $22.4 million on Huet, a mid-range No. 1 goalie for Montreal and Washington. He failed to supplant Khabibulin, who Chicago tried to trade and waive. Khabibulin left for Edmonton as a free agent in July 2009. Huet, who became expendable with the emergence of Antti Niemi, was allowed to leave for Switzerland in the summer of 2010 as part of Chicago's big salary cap clear-out.
3 of 24Lou Capozzola/SI
In a total "Say what?" move, the Leafs lavished a four-year, $14 million contract on the former Avalanche blueliner who was coming off a career season (8 goals, 19 points, 12). The former eighth-round 1999 draft pick went on to produce eight goals and 33 points in 105 games as a Leaf, logging an atrocious -18, before he was waived and dispatched to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL for the 2010-11 season.
4 of 24Lou Capozzola/SI
After 11 solid seasons in Ottawa, the puck-moving blueliner received, at age 31, a six-year, $39 million deal in New York where he quickly became a target of Madison Square Garden's blue seat boo birds. He was banished in 2010 to the AHL, where he languished all season as an albatross who counted for $6.5 million against the Rangers' 2011-12 salary cap.
5 of 24Lou Capozzola/SI
Hardly a bad player, but the Rangers gave too much (5 years, $35.25 million) to a center who brought little more than intangibles to their mix. Drury scored 47 goals during his first two seasons with New York, but was a bust as the pivot on Jaromir Jagr's top line in 2007-08. In June 2011, the Rangers bought out the final year of Drury's contract in order to free up $3.3 million worth of cap space. He was to receive $3.35 million from New York over the next two years.
6 of 24Lou Capozzola/SI
A reasonably productive center for two Stanley Cup-winners with the Devils, Gomez' status as one of the bigger names of the FA class of '07 helped him land a 7-year, $51.5 million deal with the Rangers. After failing to click with Jaromir Jagr during his first season on Broadway, Gomez was still trying to justify his salary after being traded to Montreal.
7 of 24Lou Capozzola/SI
The Islanders lamented letting the hard-working winger flee to Colorado for five years at $31.25 million, but Smyth's impact and production (40 total goals) for an almost equally lousy team hardly made him worth the time and money. He spent two seasons in Colorado before being traded to the LA Kings in July 2009.
8 of 24David E. Klutho/SI
GM Brian Burke gave two-years and $8 million to the declining roughneck winger who put up 40 points and 97 PIM and, according to a teammate "was toxic in the dressing room" during his one season in Anaheim. Bertuzzi was waived and wound up in Calgary, where he was again on the market after only one year.
9 of 24Robert Beck/SI
The ex-Rangers center, who did his best work dishing to Jaromir Jagr, was a disaster with the Capitals, who gave him a four-year, $19.5 million deal. He produced just nine goals and 24 assists in 72 matches during the 2008-09 regular season and played in three playoff games. Given the chemistry between Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom, Nylander had no place on the team and was re-assigned to Jokerit Helsinki in January 2010.
10 of 24David E. Klutho, Darren Carroll/SI
The 32-year old winger got three years and $18 million from the Blues, and produced 80 points in 93 games while missing most of the 2008-09 season due to hip surgery. A 50-goal scorer during his nine seasons with the Ducks, Kariya famously took a nearly $9 million pay cut to sign with Colorado in 2003 for $1.2 million and managed to be a bust with a mere 11 tallies in 51 games during his only campaign with the Avalanche.
11 of 24David E. Klutho/SI
The shot-blocking blueliner out of Buffalo got a four-year, $16 million deal from St. Louis where his stay was marred by injuries and low productivity, prompting the Blues to buy out the final year of his deal.
12 of 24Robert Beck/SI
An All-Star mainstay on L.A.'s blueline for 11 years, Blake was given two years and $12 million to leave Colorado, but he had little impact on the rebuilding Kings. He left them again in 2008 to take a one-year deal with San Jose.
13 of 24David E. Klutho/SI
The feared goal-scorer accepted one year at $5.8 million from Colorado in a stated quest to win the Stanley Cup with his old Ducks buddy Paul Kariya. Skating on a bad knee, Selanne scored career lows of 16 goals and 32 points as the Avs fell in the second round of the playoffs. After the 2004-05 lockout, he returned to the Ducks.
14 of 24Lou Capozzola/SI
The diminutive but troubled pot-stirrer got a two-year deal worth $8.5 million from the Blackhawks and was promptly suspended 25 games for violating the NHL's substance abuse aftercare program. His brief, tumultuous stay in Chicago, and his NHL career, ended with him being waived before the 2003-04 season after a nightclub incident.
15 of 24Lou Capozzola/SI
He'd never topped 30 goals or 65 points in any of his 10 seasons with the Devils, but the Rangers insisted on making the Czech center one of the NHL's best-paid players, with a five-year, $45 million deal. They ended up buying out the final three years of the bum deal.
16 of 24Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
As if overpaying for Bobby Holik wasn't enough, the Rangers outbid Toronto for bruising blueliner Kasparaitis and lived to regret the six-year, $25.5 million deal they gave him. Poor play and injuries produced four unproductive seasons that ended with Kasparaitis in the AHL and then Russia.
17 of 24David E. Klutho/SI
Signed for three years at $8 million per season after the retirement of Dominik Hasek, Joseph had a solid first season, but found himself on the bench and then in the minors after The Dominator un-retired in 2003. Rendered untradeable by his contract, Joseph became a headache that was ultimately relieved by the lockout.
18 of 24AP
A classic example of how it pays to excel during a walk year, the 31-year old winger had a 34-goal career season for Buffalo and Atlanta, suckering Dallas into giving him a four-year deal worth $12 million. At least the Stars quickly realized their mistake and traded him after 20 games to Montreal, who ended up ditching him in the AHL, where he retired after the 2003-04 season.
19 of 24David E. Klutho/SI
A member of two Stanley Cup teams in eight seasons with Detroit, the gritty checking winger was lured to Boston with the richest deal the Bruins had ever awarded a player: four years worth $20 million. While failing to score more than 17 goals or 40 points in a season, Lapointe earned the title of NHL's most overpaid player and the Bruins were no doubt relieved to see the 2004-05 lockout relieve them of his services.
20 of 24Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
A solid but not exceptional winger for the Avalanche, Kamensky's production had been slowly declining for three seasons when he was handed a four-year deal worth $17 million by the Rangers, who ended up buying him out after two paltry seasons.
21 of 24Lou Capozzola/SI
Along with paying through the nose for Valeri Kamensky, the Rangers presented journeyman blueliner Quintal with a four-year pot worth $11.4 million with an option for a fifth. He lasted one unremarkable season on Broadway before being put on waivers.
22 of 24Steve Babineau/Getty Images
The defenseman got a four-year deal worth $16.4 million, only to have a back injury cut short his first season in Detroit. He was later suspended by the team without pay for refusing to release his medical records, and the two parties ended up in court. Krupp ended up playing only 30 games for the Wings during the course of his contract.
23 of 24Elsa/Getty Images
After scoring 23 points in 29 games for Edmonton, the Rangers awarded the 27-year old winger a three-year deal worth $4 million. According to one tale, he showed up at the team's Halloween party with a large bag, and when asked who he was supposed to be, replied, "My agent." Alas, Fraser played only 28 games for the Rangers and scored two goals before receiving a ticket to the AHL, from which he never returned.
24 of 24Elsa/Getty Images
The Flyers were burned not only by his contract (five years worth $16.5 million), but the talent they gave Tampa Bay -- Mikael Renberg and Karl Dykhuis -- in order to sign the restricted free agent. Less than two seasons later, the Flyers sent him back to the Lightning for Renberg and Daymond Langkow.
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