Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/16/10 at 11:17 AM ET
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
Now comes the news that restricted free agent Marc Staal has agreed to terms on a five-year, $19.875 million deal, one that will take him one year into unrestricted free agency before he can negotiate again.
Too much for your basic stay-at-home defenceman? A smart deal to lock up a 23-year-old core asset? A deal that should scare the heck out of the Maple Leafs, with Luke Schenn likely to be comparing himself to Staal when his contract expires in July?
With the NHL, it’s always difficult trying to compare apples and apples, let alone apples and oranges. Anaheim signs Bobby Ryan to a deal that’s roughly 25 per cent more than Staal’s, but Ryan is a 30-goal scorer with potential to score 50. There are so few of those kinds of scorers that its hard not to imagine that the price differential between the players should be greater.
Moreover, Staal had no real leverage with the Rangers. No offer sheet or a realistic expectation of one. No rival league. No arbitration rights.
But they paid up anyway, ostensibly to lock Staal up and obviously believing there’s greater upside to his game, particularly his offensive game, than has been demonstrated so far.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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