I still can't believe anyone gave Gio $5M that offseason. That was huge money for him, especially when he'd been nothing more than a 25-25-50 player for a few years after his huge 48 goal season. People here thought the Zubrus contract was bad for a while, he puts up 90% of the points Gio has for like 60% of the cash.
The first two years weren't that bad, from a goal-scoring standpoint...28 goals in 61 GP the first season, 29 goals in 82 GP in the second. That was about as many goals as Montreal had any right to expect from him, especially coming off four straight seasons of declining goal totals. He was hurt last season, too early to say what this season will be. If he never had that 48-goal season, he's probably would've been more of $4-4.5 million per year guy. But just like the Devils have found out, UFA is a risky business, in that you're (over)paying guys who are getting older more money (most of them, anyway) than they've ever gotten. Lifetime achievement contracts. Obviously, in a perfect world you have a young guy in your system who is ready to go, so you don't have to bite the bullet and overpay for a guy who may or may not do what he did for his previous team, who may or may not fit in with your system, and who may or may not still have years left in him approaching his previous seasons after turning 30. As far as UFA goes, Gio wasn't that bad of a deal, especially when compared with the Rolston-type disasters.