Tag: contract extensions

Bruins Oilers Hockey

No joke: Oilers, Hemsky agree to two-year, $10M deal


Continuing a somewhat odd trend of Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini keeping the gang together (you know, despite that being nowhere near the playoffs factor), the team signed winger Ales Hemsky to a two-year, $10 million extension.

This serves as a solid raise for the fragile playmaker; Hemsky’s current deal carries a $4.1 million cap hit.

On paper, that’s a heck of a steal because he’s a very talented player. Unfortunately for the Oilers and Hemsky, his injury history means that there’s been a pretty big gulf between what he could achieve and what he’s been healthy enough to actually accomplish.

Hemsky has played in 47 of Edmonton’s 60 games so far this season, which is actually a solid rate considering the fact that he played 47 in all of last season. Want a telling summary of the good and the bad when it comes to him? Here are his yearly stats in games played and points since the lockout:

2005-06: 81 games, 77 points
06-07: 64 games, 53 points
07-08: 74 games, 71 points
08-09: 72 games, 66 points
09-10: 22 games, 22 points
10-11: 47 games, 42 points
11-12: 47 games, 26 points

The last three seasons justify my mental designation of Hemsky as a poor man’s, passing, right-handed version of Marian Gaborik.

Flames faux paus

Perhaps Hemsky’s injury woes explain this strange story via The Canadian Press: someone who runs the Calgary Flames Twitter feed – or maybe some unruly intern who noticed it was still logged in – posted a rather inflammatory message about the in-process deal.

“$10 Million over two years for Hemsky is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long, long time. I hope it happens. #whatajoke”

The Tweet was deleted and the Flames went through the usual rounds of “we’re going to look into the matter” blather, but one cannot help but feel like someone nefarious might have simply expressed thoughts meant to be kept off the record.

Edmonton can simply respond with “glass houses,” because the Flames aren’t exactly a model franchise when it comes to wise contract dealings either.

In a way, that mini-squabble stems back to an intriguing inner-debate for fans of the rival franchises. Would you rather root for an expensive team seemingly destined for the playoff bubble with limited future prospects (the Flames) or a cellar dweller brimming with the dream of better days (the Oilers)?

That’s a fun debate to have, but whether the Flames think it’s amusing or not, Hemsky appears to be off the market – and thus a part of what Edmonton hopes is a near-future ascent to respectability.

Chris Kunitz will forecheck for Penguins for two more years

Chris Kunitz, Shaone Morrison

People strain to find “turning points,” but the Pittsburgh Penguins really seemed to pivot when they added Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz around the 2009 trade deadline. He might not be blessed with the greatest finishing ability for a top-six forward, but Kunitz is a fantastic fit for the Penguins’ system.

The team decided to show how true that is by handing him a two-year contract extension today. The full deal is worth $7.45 million, which works out to $3.725 million per year – the exact salary cap hit he’s currently registering.

Kunitz might not be a household name, but he’s a ferocious forechecker whose high-effort game works well with frequent linemate Sidney Crosby. His numbers are suffering a bit without the Penguins superstar – Kunitz has one point in four games this season – but he’s the poster child for Dan Bylsma’s North-South philosophies.

To some, Kunitz will always provide a compelling counterpoint to the guy he was traded for: Ryan Whitney. While Whitney has more offensive gifts – even as a blueliner – Kunitz creates mistakes instead of making them.

Here’s an interesting thing to chew on: as of this moment, Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin now hold the longest-running contracts for any Penguins forwards, as their deals run out after the 2013-14 season. Kunitz is clearly part of “the plan” in Pittsburgh.

Rich indeed: Bruins hand Peverley three-year extension

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five

Just days after I made an offhand remark about Rich Peverley being one of the NHL’s best under-the-radar bargains, the Boston Bruins made sure that he’ll be very noticeable next season. The team signed Peverley to a three-year contract extension that Bruce Garrioch reports is worth $3.25 million per year.

That works out to $9.75 million overall. Peverley’s going to enjoy almost a $2 million per year bump in average annual salary, although the exact load-out of the contract isn’t clear at this time.

The former Atlanta Thrashers forward hasn’t put together jaw-dropping stats in his career, but he’s been a fantastic fit since being traded to Boston for Blake Wheeler. The 29 year old forward is versatile enough to play on just about any line and can switch between winger and center with ease.

This signing follows a pattern for GM Peter Chiarelli: it seems like he doesn’t want to wait to re-sign players in contract years, which might stem from trading Phil Kessel after fruitless negotiations. Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron barely got into their final years before Chiarelli signed them up; unfortunately for the Bruins’ checkbooks, the same thing also happened with Marc Savard. Still, it’s a proactive practice and the Bruins probably made the right move by signing Peverley before he puts together what could be an expensive career year.