|The 2002 Stanley Cup Playoff All Stars|
|Part Two: The NHL's bargains and busts of spring.|
When Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin went down with a wrist injury, Alyn McCauley became the lowest paid number-one centre in the NHL playoffs at $865,000. He racked up 15 points in 20 games, hit opponents, backchecked and generally showed up wealthier stars like Alex Mogilny ($5.5 million).
Though he lacks the profile of Canadian Olympians Rob Blake and Adam Foote, Greg Devries was a rock on the Colorado defence. He played 24 minutes a night and was the team's highest scoring defenseman with 13 points. By NHL standards, that's $1 million very well spent.
On a team of veteran fat cats, Jiri Fischer is cheap as dirt. For $975,000 he gave the Red Wings a reliable, skilled partner for Chris Chelios.
One of the Detroit veterans, Tomas Holmstrom, finished tied with Brendan Shanahan for second in team goal scoring. Holmstrom, who makes $1.15 million, matched his regular season goal total with eight.
Of the top six Colorado forwards, Steve Reinprecht is by far the cheapest. He recorded seven goals and 12 points in 21 playoff games, a steal of a deal at $475,000.
At $450,000 a year, Niclas Wallin is the cheapest defenceman on the Hurricanes roster. He played 15 minutes a night, went plus-4 for the playoffs and scored a pair of overtime goals.
Ottawa's Patrick Lalime makes about $5 million less than Curtis Joseph and $7 million less than Patrick Roy. But he led all Stanley Cup playoff goaltenders with a .946 save percentage and a 1.39 goals-against average. Not bad for $1.6 million.
At $3.75 million, Robert Reichel is one of the highest paid Maple Leafs. He was a playoff cipher, with zero goals and three assist in 18 games.
Shawn McEachern was another millionaire still in search of his first goal when the Stanley Cup was handed out. The cash-strapped Ottawa Senators paid him $2.85 million and watched him finish with four assists in 12 games.
Cory Stillman of the St. Louis Blues could not find the net either. He had two assists in nine games to show for his $2.1 million salary.
The Detroit Red Wings paid $4.1 million for a defenseman who couldn't crack the lineup. Uwe Krupp was minus-5 in two playoff games.
After signing a contract worth $8.5 million annually, Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche delivered one of his best regular seasons ever. But the magic dissolved into a mediocre and inconsistent playoff. Roy's 2.51 goal-against average and .909 save percentage rank in the middle of the pack for Stanley Cup playoff goalies.