A comparison between Career PPG and Current Cap Hit. Lots of factors could be included and used to compensate (adjusting PPG for variance in annual scoring and what not) but sometimes an image says a thousand words. Spezza and 25 cap hit comparables.
Please take out that line of best fit, its absolutely meaningless.
Technically yes - but I left it is to serve as a visual guide for an approximation of who exceeds or underproduces. I'm sure using the full population the result would be linear - it is statistically significant (this relationship) but that's a byproduct of the subset I used - you can see the poor behavior at the lower salaries in particular.
What if you added a 3rd dimension: salary of linemates. Crosby and Ovechkin would probably be even more ahead of the pack.
Would be fine if players didn't move during their careers but it'd be pretty tough to quantify. One thing a person could do is check to see the relationship between player PPG and team PPG - if it's a clear relationship you could simply use the coefficients to create an adjusted PPG which takes into account quality of the team you're on.
I suspect that even when adjusted people like Nash would not fare that much better relative to his contract - at 7.8 a year he needs to be producing 90+ points a year according to his market value - Staal even more so.