As long as the team doesn't go to *****, Chara will most likely stick around even when he eventually becomes a UFA. He says he loves it here, and considers Ottawa his home. He's got a nice big house in KL and has a longterm girlfriend, whom he'll probably marry. Plus, you have to remember, getting paid $5M US in Canada is not the same as getting paid $5M US in America, it's better.
from the article:
"Chara turned down a five-year offer from Ottawa in $16-$20-million range. Chara earned $2.4 million last season."
"Getting Chara signed is a priority for the Senators. He emerged as a physical force on the blue line last year and a league source said he wouldn't be surprised to see Chara awarded MORE (my emphasis) than $5 million annually."
"Sources say Chiarelli has told all players that the club isn't going to give anybody more than a one-year deal because nobody is sure what a new CBA is going to bring."
So we know he wants more than $4/year. Does he end up getting more than Redden and if so what impact will it have on Redden? If they sign him long term at more than $5/yr, IMO they will get rid of de Vries's contract to make room.
If the Sens are only offering 1 yr contracts except to Chara because he is "special" what are Phillips and Schaefer, chopped liver? I hope they get deals done without having to go through the acrimoneous arbitration process. But the implication is there...we don't want to sign these guys because we can more than likely get them cheaper after the new CBA. I hope Phillips doesn't take it personally.
Chara is arguably the most dominating player in the NHL. He has a great work ethic so he's always improving and he was runner up for the Norris last year. Chara could probably fetch well over 5 mill a year on the free agent market perhaps even Pronger like money. Even when Chara has a not so great game just his presence affects the other teams offence. IMO Chara at 5 mill a year is a steal
I think it will be an interesting and in some respects precedent-setting award.
I went through the 95, 96, and 97-drafted defencemen today and couldn't find ONE making five million a season. In fact I only found two making more than three million: Redden at 4.5, and Morris at 3.5. (all figures Hockeyzoneplus
Statistically, Chara had the best season of all dmen in this age group, along with Redden who matched him or beat him in Goals, Assists, ATOI, and PROD (though Chara's +33 was head and shoulders above everybody else's). An argument can also be made for Chara's unique physical assets, and his Norris nomination. Countering this argument would be Redden's career achievements versus Chara's.
Now, I can't back this up with numbers but it seems to me that the larger arbitration awards are typically given to players closer to UFA age. And I can't remember an award that set a new salary standard for an age group. I can see an award in the 4-4.5 million range, but would be surprised by anything over that.