Glad to have Kunitz back. One of my favorite players for sure.
If there's a better GM in the league, I'd like to see some evidence. Shero (and this organization as a whole, because the GM can't make deals like this in a vacuum) never fail to impress in terms of their ability to attract the right kinds of players and retain them without getting into any type of bidding war. We consistently avoid situations where good or great players are given too much money, further inflating the economics of the game. We are a model for "cap management for teams with superstars" IMO.
MalkinX: Neal will probably get slightly more but longer term because of his age and better offensive upside. Probably around $4M hit for 4-5 years, assuming he does well this year.
Yeah, I assume the years will be around 5 but the dollar figure I figure will be right around the same. Kunitz did give the Pens a discount, Neal likely won't so I can see around $4M as well..
When the Pens originally signed Kunitz, I knew he played top 6 for the Ducks and was basically an energy guy who crashed the net and got those dirty goals...but what I didn't know, and was pleasantly surprised about was Kunitz play-making skills...No one talked or still talks about Kunitz's ability to make great passes and the way he see's the ice very well.
The only thing I've been dissapointed on, and I'm sure everyone agrees is his in-ability to stay healthy...he was like an iron man for the Ducks...not so much with the Pens..
Kunitz definitely signed at a discount to remain with this team..great job all the way around.
Do you guys see James Neal signing at a similar figure this off season?
Not a chance. If Neal hits 25-30 goals and 50-60 points this season, then he will definitely be able to command something along the lines of 4.5 million (minimum) per season for 4-5 years. Unlike Kunitz, Neal is still only 24 years of age and is likely still developing his offensive game.