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- With a $5 M cap hit, Sergei Gonchar is one of the most expensive d-men in franchise history. The only ones higher are P.K. Subban ($9 M), Andrei Markov ($5.75 M), Mathieu Schneider ($5.75 M), and Roman Hamrlik ($5.5 M).
The most common question and discussion topic over the past six weeks has been the contract situation of P.K. Subban. He has yet to sign and must do so prior to Saturday's expiry of the CBA; otherwise he has to wait until that situation is settled. We asked our message board members to put themselves in new GM Marc Bergevin's shoes and see what they would offer to get the young defenceman under contract.
There are two distinct areas to consider here, our discussion thread primarily focused on is the dollar value and term of any deal. There is, however, another factor to take into consideration, that being the timing of when to sign the contract. There are pros and cons associated with getting a deal signed prior to Saturday and for waiting until the new CBA comes into effect.
Lovett's Magnatones: "I would just bite the bullet now. 6 years, $30 million. The one thing about P.K is that he's never really been injured. He's very durable, and a true competitor. I don't need to rehash all of his skills again, but can you think of one skill this guy doesn't have? He's great in all situations. I think P.K is the franchise player, not Carey Price, Pacioretty or Galchenyuk."
BCHabnut: "I would offer him around $25 mill for 5 years. If he wants more term or money, I would give him a chance to prove himself with a 2 year deal worth $8 to $9 million. These numbers are fairly high as it is for his actual performance, but his potential is very good, so I would want a longer deal. $6+ million per year would be scary for me right now based on his play."
sakiqc: "9 million for 3 years. (2.75 + 3 + 3.25) I'd
consider 5mil/year in a very long contract (8-10 years)
Still, it's a little early in his career to break the bank. 5-6 mil/year is insane when you think about it and what he has accomplished so far! He'll get there one day for sure, but why pay for his potential? He's not an UFA either. If I'm giving 5mil/year, it has to be a very long contract."
Commandant: "2 years, 9 million (4.5 per season) or 7 years 38.5 million (5.5 per season). Let Subban pick."
DON: "Anything slightly less than Price is fine with me, so a deal for $36m ($6.0 for 6 years, or however you load it) seems fair for a young #1 d-man whose upside looks to be quite high and also when compare to other recent signings of young players."
One of our other members had a very thought-provoking analysis in suggesting Subban's salary alone isn't everything here:
Machine of Loving Grace: "It doesn't matter what one player makes, it's what everyone makes and what result you get out of it. Subban could make Doughty money and it wouldn't matter if he didn't put up 60 points with it. How well did the whole team do? That's all that matters in the end. Micro-managing as a fan is for the fans of teams who don't win Cups."
As you've seen above, there is a wide level of disagreement in what term of a contract should be offered to Subban, a trend that seems to match that of the general fan base as a whole. Personally, I'm on the short-term bandwagon when it comes to Subban and players in his situation in general. In signing, say, a six year deal, you at best buy out two years of unrestricted free agency and if the UFA age moves closer to 30 as it was previously, the Habs would only be removing at most one potential UFA year. Yes, there would be a small savings in cap space as the first couple of years would be lower but to me that's too small a reward. Theoretically, Montreal could offer a long, long-term contract but I'm fundamentally opposed to those so I'm going to skip over that.
Before I give my contract preference, I want to address the other issue, timing. This is a tricky situation for Bergevin and the Habs. If they expect a full season to be lost to a lockout, they'd be wise to keep Subban unsigned. That way, a year won't roll off the contract as it would for those who are signed. At the same time, there is a bit of risk, especially if there is a partial season. If that happens, Subban's camp has a lot more leverage in the negotiations as there would be an imminent need to get a deal done. If I'm the Habs, I still look to get a deal done now but I wouldn't be caving into any demands as the deadline nears, it's not an absolute must that a contract gets signed. I expect that GM's of the other teams with prominent RFA's (and there are quite a few) will share the same feelings when it comes to this as well.
As for what deal I'd offer P.K. Subban, it's a two year contract. I'm of the mindset that the UFA age will go back a year in the new CBA and if that happens, one trip to arbitration won't take him to his UFA year as it would be three years away. That still would allow plenty of time for a long-term deal at that time and being that far behind the time he becomes unrestricted, there remains a chance for a bit of cap savings as the first couple of years would be cheaper than the rest. As for money, I would offer a salary of $3.25 million in the first year and $3.75 million in year two. That brings the cap hit to a reasonable $3.5 million while Subban's qualifying offer would be $3.75 at the end of the contract, providing him with a small incentive to go with a short-term pact.
- HW Forums - You're Marc Bergevin - What deal do you offer Subban?