Barrie's new contract, the remaining RFAs and MacKinnon getting even more explosive…
Tyson Barrie owners can breathe a sigh of relief as he signed a bridge deal yesterday. His deal is for two years at $2.6 million a year. Actually it breaks down as $2 million for the first year and $3.2 million for the next, which is important because that second year total means a greater qualifying offer once Barrie hits restricted free agency in two years.
I heard a lot of chatter about how this makes Justin Schultz's deal with the Oilers look terrible. I can agree that all things considered these are two fairly comparable players so Barrie's deal is a lot better for the Avalanche. But the Oilers weren't necessarily negotiating from the same place as the Avalanche.
In winning the Justin Schultz auction, the Oilers also artificially inflated his value through the performance bonuses they gave him. His actually salary these past two seasons was only $925,000 but they shelled out big bucks in the form of bonuses to help attract him. You didn't really expect Schultz to take a pay cut after that did you? Obviously the Oilers could have played hardball. Their qualifying offer was based on the $925,000 salary they paid Schultz instead of the over $3 million he actually made last season but that's how you create a rift between player and team.
I'm not saying I like the Schultz contract, mind you. I'm just saying this is not an entirely apples to apples comparison.
Oh, and in case anyone is curious I prefer Barrie to Schultz in just about any format of league.
With everyone losing their minds over the Ryan Johansen contract situation, apparently the Blues and Jaden Schwartz remain far apart in contract talks. Chalk up another promising young player coming off a breakout season who could struggle early because of a hold out. I'm more optimistic about Schwartz maintaining his production this season, mostly because he didn't do as much as Johansen so he doesn't have quite as far to fall.
There are actually still a handful of restricted free agents who have yet to sign. Highlighting the list are Johansen and Schwartz but also remaining unsigned are Nino Niederreiter, Torey Krug, Ryan Ellis, Danny DeKeyser, Brendan Dillon, Darcy Kuemper, Reilly Smith, Eric Gelinas and Cody Eakin. The longer these guys remain out the more likely it is that they enter the season rusty or even without a contract at all. Obviously this would negatively impact their fantasy production.
I'd be really concerned about a guy like Eric Gelinas who really doesn't have much of a leg to stand on. He's a long shot to even maintain a roster spot, let alone be productive.
I'm also wondering a bit about Kuemper here. Is he gunning for a bigger deal knowing that the Wild should be desperate rolling with two huge question marks in Josh Harding and