Re: Phil Kessel
posted at 10/1/2013 11:45 AM EDT
What exactly did you expect the lockout to do? Shrink player salaries so we could go back to $20 tickets and $6 beer? How much do you think Kessel would have gotten if the Cap was $84M instead of $64M? I'm guessing his AAV would be $10M, but wait, this is still the old system, so it's probably a 15 year, $130M deal: 10 years at $12M per, plus 5 at $2M per because, you know, a speed guy likely doesn't have those wheels after 35. If you don't believe that, look at Parise and Suter. Parise banks $62M over six years and it would have been more, but he wanted the Wild to sign his buddy Suter, too. Weber's deal is $80M over the first six years, with $68 of it in signing bonuses. All of these deals back-dive keeping the AAV under what Kessel will carry with this deal.
That's a lot of impact from the lockout. Stars will still get their cash, and Kessel is the best offensive player on the Leafs and a top ten scorer the last couple of years - whatever else marco has said about Kessel, Phil has backed him up on the top ten scorer thing (he wouldn't be if he was still in Boston, but that's another story). He would get Parise money or better, and it would be pro-rated to the $80M+ Cap. So $130M with $70M in signing bonuses isn't a huge stretch. $100M almost certainly.
So the Leafs are now committed to about half what they would have had to commit to keep Kessel under the old system, the deal is about half the length, and the AAV of the deal is the full $8M per, so it's harder to carry on the cap than either Parise or Weber. That means the cap is doing a better job of keeping overall spending within the parameters the league thinks it can afford. And it presents signficant challenges for the Leafs who have to re-sign Reimer at the end of the year or let him walk, and Bernier the next. Phaneuf's a UFA this year, as is Mark Fraser, and Franson and Gardiner are RFAs - that's 4 of their 5 top D. They still don't have a #1C, and if it works out that Kadri can be the guy, he's on a two year deal and will be looking for a raise a year after Phil's raise kicks in. Bolland's up next year as are Kulemin, McClement and Raymond. A decent year from all three will be important if the Laffs want to make the playoffs, and will likely make them too expensive to retain.
If the league could simply impose it's will, sure, the contracts would be perfect. But they can't.
Are you not entertained?!?!