Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Savard signs with Boston

According to TSN the Boston Bruins have signed Marc Savard to a seven-year deal worth 4.2M per season. When the Bruins traded Chuck Kobasew to the Minnesota Wild I remarked that the deal was a win for the Bruins if they were then able to sign Savard to an affordable contract extension and this one fits the bill. I was estimating he'd get about 5.5M per season but I was expecting something closer to a three-year deal. And there's the rub. Savard is going to be getting paid for his 33 through 39 year-old seasons and the number of players who can be $4M+ contributors on the wrong end of 35 is pretty small. Before this contract is over it seems very likely that Savard will have already started his decline. Of course, by the time Savard starts his decline, who knows if contracts will be guaranteed, what the buy-out procedures will be or where the salary cap might stand. I don't think NHL general managers do. As such , I think it's best to evaluate this kind of deal over the short-to-medium term and in that light this is a great deal. 4.2M against the cap for a center who has put up over a point per game in each of the last four seasons is just fantastic. When it comes to the medium-to-long term NHL general managers are largely flying blind but even if the contract rules stay pretty similar in the next CBA and the salary cap doesn't experience large inflation over the course of the deal - and I imagine that the salary cap will rise significantly and that it will become easier to get out of contracts after the next CBA negotiations - this deal has several outs (it's not a 35+ contract, it's likely front-loaded making Savard a good candidate for trade, buy-out or retirement) that will help to make it work if Savard's play falls off.

No comments: