2. Karl Alzner
Karl Alzner is on this list because a lot of people confuse team success with individual skill. Alzner has been a member what is to be likely back to back President’s Trophy winners. If (given the Capitals playoff history this is an if bigger than Zdeno Chara) the Capitals make the Stanley Cup Finals expect Alzner’s price to leap.
Give the Capitals a cup win and Alzner will be looking for a big payday. Just look at all the mediocre defensemen that got paid after Chicago Blackhawks wins. Brent Seabrook says hello! Alzner has both a Corsi For percentage and an Expected Goals For percentage below fifty percent.
Obviously, the Carolina Hurricanes aren’t in the mix for a top four defensemen so Carolina fans don’t have to worry about Alzner signing here. The other thirty teams in the league though should be nervously checking the headlines each day after the playoffs in hopes they don’t see the dreaded headline: Your team signs Alzner 6 years for $4 million.
The GMs in this league aren’t smart. All they’ll see is a 21 +/- and a bunch of hits and decide Alzner has the grit to counter the other team’s skill. Hockey isn’t a Final Fantasy 3 battle. A gritty player isn’t an Ice 3 spell to a superior talented fire demon. Being a more skilled hockey team will always beat other teams; most especially the gritty ones.