The St. Louis Blues have signed forward Vladimir Tarasenko to an eight-year, $60 million contract.
With a cap hit of $7.5 million, the deal makes Tarasenko the highest-paid player on the Blues.
One of the league’s top young stars, the 23-year-old had 37 goals in 2014-15, fewer than only four others in the NHL. He added six more goals in six playoff games.
The Blues drafted Tarasenko 16th overall in 2010.
As far as recent comparables go, it’s not easy to come up with many, given Tarasenko was a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level deal. Brandon Saad just signed a six-year, $36 million deal with Columbus, but his production pales next to Tarasenko’s.
Elite scoring wingers-wise, Phil Kessel is on an eight-year deal with an $8 million cap hit (shared now by both the Leafs and Penguins), while Corey Perry is also on an eight-year deal, with an $8.625 million cap hit.
Kessel, 27, and Perry, 30, each have a longer track record, but Tarasenko is considerably younger. And, of course, Kessel and Perry signed those deals as pending unrestricted free agents, which gave them more leverage in negotiations.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Tyler Seguin is this year’s NHL representative in ESPN’s The Body Issue. Fun fact: he only has 3.6 percent body fat. (Dallas Morning-News)
All eyes were on Jack Eichel at the opening day of Buffalo’s development camp. (Sabres)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklazs says the Blues will be better off without T.J. Oshie. (Post-Dispatch)
Mikko Rantanen, taken 10th overall by Colorado at the draft, is gunning to be on the Avs’ opening-night roster. (Denver Post)
Mason Marchment, son of longtime NHL enforcer Bryan, is at Calgary’s prospects camp. (Calgary Herald)
After two seasons in the KHL, Alex Burmistrov is excited about rejoining the Jets and playing again in the NHL. (NHL.com)
Coming off an impressive first full season in Washington, Evgeny Kuznetsov has scored a new deal.
On Monday, the Caps announced they’d signed Kuznetsov to a two-year, $6 million extension with an average annual cap hit of $3M. The deal allows the two sides to avoid arbitration — the Caps had until today to file — and comes after the 23-year-old put together a solid rookie campaign, notching 11 goals and 37 points in 80 games to finish ninth among first-year players in scoring.
Kuznetsov, who was an RFA, was carrying a $900,000 cap hit on his old deal.
The move is just the latest from Caps GM Brian McLellan, who’s been a busy man of late. He made a splash in free agency by acquiring former Conn Smythe Trophy winner Justin Williams, then orchestrated the T.J. Oshie trade shortly thereafter.
Previously, MacLellan suggested that Williams and Kuznetsov would play together on a line next season, along with Andre Burakowsky.
As for what’s up next — the Caps still need to reach new deals with two other RFAs: Braden Holtby and Marcus Johansson.