With Anze Kopitar‘s monster eight-year, $80 million extension now signed, sealed and delivered in Los Angeles, reporters in Dallas are asking GM Jim Nill about contract negotiations for the Stars’ franchise player — team captain Jamie Benn.
Q: Anze Kopitar just signed an eight-year extension for $80 million, does that affect your contract talks with Jamie Benn, who can become a UFA after next season?
Nill: I don’t think so. There’s a market, and we know what the market is. There are certain dynamics to any negotiation, and we’ll wait and see.
Q: Do you have to have it done before next year starts?
Q: Would you like to have it done before next year?
Nill (laughs): You’d like everything done, but this is my job, and they have to do their job, too. I’m realistic.
Benn, 26, has this year and the next left on a five-year, $26.25 million deal signed back in 2013 — a deal orchestrated by Nill’s predecessor, Joe Nieuwendyk.
That deal, you may recall, was a contentious one. Benn missed the first four games of the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign trying to finagle an extension.
In light of that, it’ll be interesting to see what the reigning Art Ross winner demands with his new contract. Benn will be turning 28 by the time his current deal expires — roughly around the same age Kopitar was when he inked — and it’s widely expected he’ll receive a significant raise on the $5.25M he makes annually on his current deal.
So, is Benn $10M cap hit worthy?
That’s the big question Nill will face moving forward.
He’s got key pieces like Tyler Seguin (2019) and John Klingberg (2022) locked in long-term, but also has a slightly onerous cap hit in Jason Spezza ($7.5M annually through ’19) and some key contract decisions on the horizon: Patrick Sharp is up the same time as Benn, and Alex Goligoski is in the final year of his deal.