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Most over and underpaid players at the Sponsor's Shield


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  • VHLE Commissioner

The inaugural Sponsor's Shield tournament will soon be hitting a VHL off-season near you, with the Brand Managers doing their best to attract the VHL's finest to their brand and build a winning team. When attracting players, the managers might have gotten a bit overzealous by offering the maximum $3mil slot to players who didn't deserve it, or perhaps got lucky by getting a true star for free relying on brand appeal alone. Now that Season 63 is almost up, we can have a good look at who's going into the Sponsor's Shield grossly overpaid and who should be calling up their agent to renegotiate.


The “Stealing a Living” Category


The $3mil slots appeared to have been thrown around with no discernible logic before S63. Among the reasonably safe bets of Podrick Cast and Jasper Canmore, currently #4 and #3 in league scoring, we have the much braver punts like reigning Valiq Trophy winner (but still just a sophomore) Maxim Kovalchuk. Kovalchuk hasn't quite hit the heights of S62, but is still performing respectably, which can't be said for some other highly paid stars. Riga's rookie goaltender Kallis Kriketers, whose .915 save percentage and frequently subpar performances have left some fans clamouring for a return of Arvid Aamo. But Kriketers is safe from the most overpaid tag – that has to go to Konstantin Mulligan, who is Jolt Juice's highest paid player despite not yet scoring 100 VHL points. Beau Louth, and his below-point-per-game pace on a struggling Quebec, is also in trouble.


The “How'd You Get Him For Free?” Category


Well, it's actually quite obvious how Gabriel McAllister ended up not taking any money for his endorsement given he will retire after the tournament is up. Still, picking up the best forward of the generation for nothing is a big boost for Ubuyalot Games. He's looking to end his career on a high with another Scotty Campbell Trophy and could yet add to his impressive playoff record – the question is can he keep going for another testing tournament in the off-season?


Honourable mention here to Keaton Louth, also playing for free, but for VIKING. He's no McAllister but he's the reigning playoff MVP and ninth in league scoring, so is definitely worth more than he's (not) getting.


The “Everyone Else” Category


Outside of the obvious picks there's a few other bargains out there. Joseph Bassolino at $1mil is good value for money for Haterade, the former Davos center a completely changed man now that he's in Riga and on defence. His prime competition for the Labatte, Mats Johnsson, also undervalued himself by signing up for just $750k with Ubuyalot, although a similar reasoning to fellow old head McAllister is probably applicable. That, or manager Jorgon Weyed did a great job of whispering sweet nothings in these veterans' ears.


On the less wisely spent money side of things, we have Johnny Havenk Carison, relegated to the bench by veteran Shawn Brodeur in Toronto, but racking up a nice $1.25mil salary with True North Gear. Apart from that, bring on the tournament and sorry you're all losing to Haterade.

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