If you’re a Dallas Stars fan, you probably loved reading yesterday’s story about how the team and Tyler Seguin have begun talking about a contract extension. Just a few weeks ago, Seguin expressed his disappointment in the fact that the two sides weren’t really negotiating. That doesn’t sound like it’s an issue anymore. But how long and how expensive should his next contract be?
Seguin is entering the final year of a contract that pays him $5.75 million. It’s pretty clear that he’s going to make way more than that when he puts pen to paper this time around.
Since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season when he was still a member of the Boston Bruins, the 26-year-old has been lighting it up. In his first year with the Stars, he accumulated a career-high 84 points. He hasn’t been able to match those numbers since, but he’s put up better points-per-game totals in two of the last four years. Over the last five seasons, he’s scored 84, 77, 73, 72 and 78 points. Impressive numbers.
Let’s see how those numbers stack up with the other top players in the league:
He’s played in 387 games for the Stars since the start of 2013-14. During that stretch, Seguin has managed to pick up 173 goals and 384 points (that’s 0.99 points-per-game). How many players across the league have scored more than 384 points in the exact same time frame? Only Five. Sidney Crosby (451), Patrick Kane (404), Jamie Benn (403), Alex Ovechkin (387) and Claude Giroux (386). Of those five players, only Crosby, Kane and Benn have a better points-per-game. And yes, Connor McDavid doesn’t factor into the equation because he’s only been in the NHL for three seasons, but you get the point. Seguin’s been outstanding when it comes to producing offensively.
Seguin ran into some injury trouble a couple of years ago (he missed 21 games over two seasons), but he’s played 82 games in each of the last two seasons and he also averaged a career-high 20:55 of ice time in 2017-18. That doesn’t seem like a player that’s breaking down.
Even though he doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to leave Dallas, GM Jim Nill will still have to present his forward with a significant long-term commitment in the near future if he doesn’t want Seguin to test the free-agent market. The Stars are the only team that can offer him an eight-year deal, so if they want to keep him you’d think they’d have to do that. But when it comes to a specific dollar amount, contracts for Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux and Alex Ovechkin are a little outdated because they were signed so long ago.
Benn, who signed his new deal with the Stars in 2016, is earning $9.5 million per season. You’d like to think that Seguin will get a similar number. Paying two players that kind of money isn’t going to be easy to manage on the cap, but being forced to pay a pair of quality players is a classy problem.
In the end, don’t be surprised if Seguin breaks the $80 million barrier. An eight-year deal with an AAV of $10.5 million (a la Patrick Kane in Chicago) seems to be a realistic possibility for the potential unrestricted free agent. If he goes to market, he might be able to get more than the $11 million per year salary the Leafs paid to get John Tavares.