Anyone watching the world championships? US vs Russia 2-2 after 1. Crazy game, wide open, lots of chances. Anisimov had a short handed chance, stickhandling around 3 US players and the goalie Bishop, but Mcbain made the save with a wide open net. Stastny came back down and scored the 2nd of his 2 goals. Kovalchuk tied it with a laser shot a few seconds later.
4 years isn't exactly a bridge contract. He's 26 and in his prime. Currently, he'd probably get at least 6 million on the open market. It's a steal no matter how you slice it.
The definition of a bridge contract is going between ELC and UFA statuses. So yes, it is EXACTLY a bridge contract. You give a guy a raise to a number like $3.5m with the expectation that, by the end of it, he's probably playing on your top pair.
What he would go for on the open market doesn't come into the equation. Guys near the end of their bridge contracts are almost always "steals" by that definition.