If it hadn't been for the lockout, I'm absolutely certain we would have had to go over 5. Cam was looking primed for a breakout.
Right. This signing only happens at this point, and at this price, because of the lockout. People will make comparisons to Carlson's contract, but there are factors to consider: First, Carlson is 22, and was a 2008 pick. He has two years of development on Fowler. Second, Carlson's contract begins this season. Fowler still has one more year on his ELC, which also means he had one more year to increase his value.
Subban falls into the same category that Carlson does. He's an older prospect, further along in his development, who is leaving his ELC years.
Awesome deal, Fowler is probably worth close to that already. Defensemen with his kind of upside that have shown so much potential at 20 are very rare. I wish we could have gotten Getz and Perry signed too.