The typical take on the Nashville Predators-Chicago Blackhawks series is that a pesky, rag-tag bunch from a small market is overachieving against a high-priced juggernaut from one of hockey's great cities.
When you actually look at the numbers, however, you'll find that these Nashville Predators are loaded with talent as well, and when you compare who's actually playing, it's Nashville which is the higher-paid team...
The following data comes from NHLNumbers.com (all numbers in million USD):
|NASHVILLE||Cap Hit||09-10 Salary||CHICAGO||Cap Hit||09-10 Salary|
|Erat, Martin||4.5||5.25||Hossa, Marian||5.233||7.9|
|Legwand, David||4.5||5||Sharp, Patrick||3.9||4|
|Arnott, Jason||4.5||4.5||Kane, Patrick||3.725||0.875|
|Dumont, Jean-Pierre||4||4||Bolland, Dave||3.375||3.375|
|Sullivan, Steve||3.75||3.75||Versteeg, Kris||3.083||3.083|
|Ward, Joel||1.5||1.5||Byfuglien, Dustin||3||3|
|Tootoo, Jordin||0.975||0.975||Toews, Jonathan||2.8||0.85|
|Wilson, Colin||1.725||0.875||Madden, John||2.75||2.75|
|Smithson, Jerred||0.738||0.725||Ladd, Andrew||1.55||1.65|
|Goc, Marcel||0.55||0.55||Kopecky, Tomas||1.2||1.2|
|Spaling, Nick||0.892||0.738||Brouwer, Troy||1.025||1|
|Boyd, Dustin||0.65||0.65||Eager, Ben||0.965||0.965|
|Weber, Shea||4.5||4.5||Fraser, Colin||0.7||0.7|
|Suter, Ryan||3.5||4.5||Seabrook, Brent||3.5||3.5|
|Hamhuis, Dan||2||3.5||Sopel, Brent||2.333||2.5|
|Bouillon, Francis||0.75||2.5||Keith, Duncan||1.475||1.9|
|Klein, Kevin||0.65||0.75||Hjalmarsson, Niklas||0.643||0.666|
|Franson, Cody||0.694||0.8||Hendry, Jordan||0.625||0.65|
|Rinne, Pekka||0.725||0.525||Niemi, Antti||0.827||0.827|
Thanks in large part to Brian Campbell's injury ($7.1 million) and the fact that Cristobal Huet is refilling teammates' water bottles and holding down the bench ($5.6 million), Chicago's big-market financial advantage is basically neutralized. When you consider the 18 skaters who are playing, along with the starting goaltender for the Predators, their current salary is actually about $400,000 higher than the equivalent Blackhawks.
Sorry, Chicago, I sympathize, but sometimes life ain't fair.