#15 - Frans NielsenNext
Frans Nielsen would likely be higher on this list if the Red Wings hadn’t just signed him to a six-year deal this offseason (complete with a no-move clause). It seems unlikely that they’d just turn around and buy him out after one year of service, but nonetheless he cracks our top 15.
This was, in my opinion, one of the worst offseason signings for 2016, which is surprising given that Ken Holland and the Red Wings are usually quite adept at the ‘ole team management. But Nielsen will be 33 by the end of the season, meaning this current contract will run until he’s 38. In fact, he’s currently at the age where your average player will begin to regress.
The Red Wings have too many other players who are at least as good as Nielsen that need protection, so a Nielsen buyout makes logical sense—if you ignore the fact that he was just signed.