Krejci’s new contract, regression for Pavelski and Johansen, and more.
Man, oh man. What a crazy busy summer. Not necessarily from a hockey perspective but definitely from a forest fire fighting perspective. I feel like I haven't written a ramblings in at least a month. I apologize for my absence. Hopefully I'm here to stay from now until the start of the season.
The good news is that we've had some excellent talent filling in. Great work Rick, Darren and Eric. Thanks for covering for me.
The big news yesterday was David Krejci's new contract extension. Six years and $43.5 million. He's probably worth it, and that's arguably a bargain considering some of the extensions signed this summer but it won't make re-signing Dougie Hamilton next summer any easier. Furthermore, it still doesn't resolve the whole Reilly Smith and Torey Krug still don't have contracts situation. But it does remove one distraction from this season, which is a positive.
Question: Do you prefer your players to go into a season as a pending free agent hoping that the possibility of a huge cheque motivates them to greater heights or do you prefer them to sign big money deals that hopefully motivate them into playing up to the level of those deals?
I'm probably in the former group, it just seems more likely that a player will play through a minor injury when he's fighting for a new deal than when he's got real job security. Although I think that the difference is negligible at the NHL level. Most of these guys are gamers.
The Hockey Writers give us 10 comeback candidates for this season:
Nathan Horton (F Columbus) — Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen recently said they expect to see the player who helped Boston win a Stanley Cup and make it back to the final in recent years. If that Horton comes to play and stays healthy in 2014-15, then I'd expect 30 goals and 60 points.
It might be cherry-picking on my part to only look at the Horton example from that list but that projection seems far too optimistic.