As GM Chuck Fletcher told me last week, his preference would be to sign Niederreiter to a two- to four-year deal, although my guess is at the end of the day, it’ll be a two-year bridge contract.
This way, Niederreiter gives himself the ability to pile up numbers the next two years and then tries to hit a homer on his next contract.
The Niederreiter negotiations figure to be difficult. At 21, he’s got huge upside — as evident by his fifth overall selection at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — but has a limited body of big-league work to bring to the table.
After a nine-game cameo with the Isles as an 18-year-old and a ghastly 55-game stint in 2011-12 (where he infamously scored just one point and racked up a minus-29 rating), Niederreiter broke out in his first season with the Wild this year, scoring 14 goals and 36 points in 81 games.
In the playoffs, he proved to be one of Minnesota’s most dangerous forwards, going for six points in 13 games while notching the Game 7 OT winner against Colorado in Round 1.
So yeah, there aren’t many comparables out there for that.
If Niederreiter does go the way of the bridge deal, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of money he can get out of it. His three-year entry-level deal had an average annual value of $2.795M, but the majority of that was contingent upon performance bonuses. His actual salary averaged out to $870,000 per year.
Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.
Per @EliasSports: @LAKings had 9 different skaters score in a game for 5th time in franchise history. Last: Jan. 21, 1987 vs. PIT (10-5 W).
Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.
Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”
Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.