$7.1M is a great deal for probably the first 3 seasons, when he'll turn 31. But you never know after that. His play could decline dramatically or it might lessen only slightly and he could be a good player right into his mid 30's.
I don't know, this contract could be a real ***** down the road.
Like others have said, 6 million is a steal right now and will likely continue to be for the next few years.
In the last 5 or so years of his deal it won't be quite as great a deal, but when you factor in inflation and the longevity many of these elite Swedish players exhibit, I think this deal may be one of the best ever.
EDIT: 7 million makes it significantly less spectacular, but at least they aren't paying him those dollars when he's 39 or 40.
Or he just might retire instead of playing for 1M each season at that age.
Does that even work? I thought the NHL had rules against contracts having those kinds of peaks and valleys. Wasn't a contract rejected during the off-season because one of the years was less than half of what the peak year was?
Putting all that money into an unproven, injury-prone goaltender is way more risky. Z has at least "earned" his long contract.
Dipietro wasn't injury prone when he signed the deal though and the amount of cash the Islanders gave him at the time(4.5M) was the amount most 2nd tier goalies make(which he was at that time). The only real risk the Islander made when they signed it was if Dipietro got injured and became a shadow of himself(which unfortuntly happened year 1 of the deal, just our luck, although the jury still out how good or bad he is when he comes back next season)
The wings obviously are wrapping up a premiere talent for his career and at a great yearly rate. The extra cap room in the short term gives them the ability to keep other key guys around (ideally Hossa).
Zetterberg gets to play in arguably the best hockey market in the NHL, and is making good money into his latter years.
It's also good for the league to have great players become the face of franchises.
Looks very similar to Lecavalier's deal where the last few years are at around 1 million per year. These last years when both players are around 40 were added only to lower the cap hit. Funny thing is most people say : "Holland is a genius... low cap hit" but no one is giving credit to the crazy Tampa Bay owners.