Thread: Confirmed with Link: Stars re-sign Lehtonen (5 years/$29.5M)
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09-14-2012, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BigG44 View Post
I think the Chicago Blackhawks would disagree. Being cheap with goaltenders has taken them from a Stanley Cup Contender to just a good team that flames out in the playoffs.

There is no universal rule with goalies. Some teams win without them, some teams don't. When you have a guy that works as hard as Lehtonen has for this team, buys in 100% to your ideas, and he's your MVP ... you pay him. You got him for quite a bit less than the market value for a goalie. Those contracts I came up with were players mostly re-signing with their teams. On the open market, there's no question Lehtonen would have commanded top dollar ... likely up to $1+ million more a year.

More importantly ... it's not an albatross contract. Dallas has a comparatively small payroll to 75% of the teams in the league. A guy eating up a large chunk of cap space has to be an impact player. It's hard to argue that no one has made a bigger impact on Dallas in two years than Kari Lehtonen.
well I don't know that Chicago is your best argument there. Letting one mediocre goaltender go in Antti Niemi and replacing him with another hasn't done near as much to hurt their chances as losing all of that forward and defense depth and replacing it with nothing.

Much better goaltenders than Lehtonen have seen their careers just suddenly fall apart for no good reason. Goaltenders have a much wider range of performance from year to year than any other position, and it's hard for me to see Lehtonen performing well enough over that 5 year extension to earn those 30 million dollars. There are very few goaltenders in the league who have been consistently top 10 at their position from one year to the next. As you pointed out Dallas is a small payroll team, they can't afford to be paying players a premium or even what they are worth on the market. They need to be finding deals and getting value out of their contracts.

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