If only free agency could work easy like this all the time. On Friday we told you about how Thrashers restricted free agent forward Bryan Little was close to re-signing with team and today, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos is reporting that Little has a deal done and has re-signed with the Thrashers on a three-year contract worth $7.15 million, good for a cap hit of $2.38 million. Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution backs that up saying the Thrashers will make the announcement official later today.
We analyzed Little’s scoring numbers a bit on Friday, but this contract from Atlanta shows that they believe in his game and are expecting him to return at least close to the kind of output he had two years ago when he potted 31 goals. Clearly the Thrashers have put together a better team than they had last year and while Little won’t be teamed up with Slava Kozlov and Todd White, having him paired up with the likes of either Nik Antropov and playing as his winger or centering a second line with Evander Kane or Andrew Ladd, Little is likely to see his goal totals jump up from the woeful 13 he had last year.
Little figures to be the smaller, skilled player amongst the new, bigger bodies in Atlanta and that puts him in position to find more room on the ice to make plays happen. While the money looks to be outrageous, especially if you’re unfamiliar with him, the cap hit is fine and if Little returns to 30-goal form he’s an absolute steal.