Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/03/12 at 04:48 PM ET
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
The sense around Dallas was that the Stars were hoping to sign Benn to a "bridge" contract -- essentially, an intermediate deal between his bargain-basement entry-level deal and striking it rich. It's an approach that paid off in the past when they inked Loui Eriksson and James Neal to two-year pacts that gave the players sizable raises, but didn't break the team's limited budget, either.
But in the wake of more sizable contracts being given to Edmonton's Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, Benn and his agent Rich Evans have more ammunition to demand a deal with longer term and a higher average annual value -- perhaps greater than the six years at $6 million per given to Hall.
Here's the twist: now that it's known that the league wants a CBA that won't honor the full value of previously signed deals, there's no reason for Benn to sign any time soon unless he's given an even higher AAV to protect him when escrow claws back 15-20 percent of every deal. Or he could threaten to hold out when play resumes, knowing that a team struggling to regain its footing in the Dallas market can't afford the negative optics of starting a delayed season with its franchise player on the sidelines.
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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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