Subban and that bridge contract..(what to expect with his next extension)
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06-20-2013, 12:56 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Originally Posted by
People are talking about this situation as if there was no other outcome but PK winning the Norris this year. The risk with signing him long term was also that there still was no consensus on exactly the type of player he would be. I think this year really solidified what his level will likely be in his prime, and that is worth $6.5 million+, but there was still plenty of uncertainty last year.
Its always easy to look back after he had a great year and say that we should have had him for less. Remember, if we signed him at 5x5, it would have been 4 RFA years, 1 UFA year. Going forward, his contract will only be 3 RFA years, so it would make sense for it to increase regardless.
The only way this bridge contract is a blunder for MB is if people assume he has access to a time machine, and that he got agents of all our up and coming players to pinky swear not to use PK skipping his bridge contract as leverage. MB had the balls to hold out until Subban fell in line, and it will benefit the team.
there's a lot of speculation here from all sides...
from my POV:
- it was clear that Subban was not only a very good player at the time (worth well more, pure market value, than the bridge offer we forced him to take), but that his career trajectory & work ethic pointed to a player who would continue improving (i predicted Norris caliber, though not so soon mind you... a hockey expert should have seen his continued rise better than a casual fan)
- it was well established, league-wide, that players with similar impact at his age-contract status, often got rewarded with better than the "bridge" contract, despite the teams perogative to do so
- no one here was in the negotiation room, though some do have access to information from people very close to the team... the 4.5-5.5 range was repeated from just about any source to speak of as to what Subban's camp was looking for on a multi-year deal. I don't think it's at all likely that the reason the team stuck to the "bridge" was because he was asking for a market premium from a player with his numbers/usage (i.e in the 6-6.5M$ ball park.. based on what he HAD done).
the team did "win" in the short-term because they forced a stud young player to play for a very small $$ amount compared to players of his ability/impact (AT THE TIME) & to lesser players his age/contract status (think MDZ).
the long-term impact is at best going to be only somewhat negative (we lose 2-4 years of Subban in the 4.5-5.5M$ range, & his next contract, which will likely have to be a HUGE payday, now coincides with the 2nd contracts for Galch/Gallagher/Tinordi -let's hope the team is still swinging the bridge hammer to all new RFA's- & Eller/Emelin/Diaz will all be on new, higher contracts).
At worst, he's brilliant next year (in norris contention again) a bit jaded, and forces the issue demanding to be paid as one of the top 2-4 dmen in the league (7M$+)...
then it becomes a massive blunder. Timing is a big part of putting together a championship caliber team and riding it through a few seasons... having dman playing at/near Norris level from 26-28 @ a cap hit under 6M$ (which is what we would have had... maybe even under 5M$) is a GREAT way to milk the cap for all it's worth.
Habs weren't going to be a serious contender this year, likely not next year either... better player assessment of Subban (and there were more than enough signs that he was worth the 4.5-5.5M$ it would have taken for a multi-year deal...) would have given the team a much better cap flexibility situation in MB's year 3-4 & maybe 5, exactly when a core of Price, Pacioretty, Subban, Galch, Eller, Gallagher, Tinordi, Beaulieu would be theoretically be ready to take a big step forward.
Being a GM is all about risk management... in this case, I think it was obvious from the start that they put their emphasis in the wrong place, and the end result is that they got burned for it. No foresight/hindsight required, just better player assessment.
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