Hey, not every move/rumored possible decision was baffling and/or hilarious. Some of the big news involves some of the league’s brighter teams locking up some of the NHL’s best players. (Keep in mind that, for CBA reasons, some of these deals might not technically be official.)
Evgeni Malkin - eight years, $76 million - Sure, the numbers made me flinch a bit, but that’s the price of doing business in big-time sports. Malkin turns 27 on July 31, so he’ll be 28 when that next deal kicks in. The Penguins might stomach a few past-peak years, but if Malkin can avoid injuries, you can list almost any Malkin concern under “good problems to have.”
Pavel Datsyuk - three years, $22.5 million - When I heard that Pavel Datsyuk was on the verge of signing a “multi-year contract,” I was a little concerned. Even a player as near-perfect as Datsyuk is a worrisome risk when you throw a 35+ contract in the mix.
Three years is about as close to a perfect compromise as you can get between risk and reward, though. This deal means that Datsyuk will be with the Detroit Red Wings for four more years, which is news that’s almost as good news for hockey fans/fantasy owners as it is for Red Wings devotees.
Logan Couture - five years, $30 million - This might be my favorite of this triumphant trio of re-ups. At 24 years old now, the contract covers his peak years at an appealing $6 million annual clip. The salary structure of this team is set up so that they can “reload” after 2013-14 is over if they feel it’s right; Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle have one-year left on their respective deals.
(Really, that might be a reason to wager on the team in Vegas if the odds are right and you’re into that sort of thing …)
All signs point to Marian Hossa playing in Game 4 on Wednesday, but if his scratch provides any lesson, it’s stay tuned to last-minute updates. Though, at this point, you’re unlikely to have many guys on your bench anyway … Word is that the Flyers are talking to the Ducks about Bobby Ryan, again. He has four 30+ goal seasons to his name at 26 and a reasonable $5.1 million. What’s not to like? Does he have to be better than Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to end the murmurs? … Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Toews have combined for one goal in 39 playoff games. That’s ridiculous and unfair, no matter how you slice it … Considering all the attention Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara and even Patrice Bergeron are getting, it’s quite possible David Krejci might top playoff scoring twice, win two Stanley Cups and remain without a Conn Smythe Trophy. Not saying voters would be wrong, but it’s a weird possibility anyway … Defense-smothered playoff games (and really a stop-and-go regular season) make me daydream about what a guy like Patrick Kane could have done when obstruction wasn’t ignored. I’m stunned that more people don’t marvel at his many moments of magic.
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