In years past, once the free-agent market cools down, teams turn to their own players, and look ahead to who needs an extension before next summer. Last year, we saw some big names re-signed soon after they were eligible for contract extensions. Connor McDavid, Carey Price, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Jaccob Slavin, and Martin Jones to name a few, while Jack Eichel waited until October before signing his extension. These players were all ingrained well with their teams, and weren’t likely to see their value change enough to warrant waiting another season before putting pen to paper. Looking back now on those contracts, some look better than others. For fantasy purposes, we probably even saw it coming. Let’s try and get out ahead of that for next season.
All the players listed below are either restricted or unrestricted free agents as of July 1st, 2019. This week we look at the older crew, and next week we will dive into those going into the last year of their entry-level contracts (ELCs).
Erik Karlsson & Matt Duchene – Ottawa Senators
Current Cap Hit: $6,500,000 & $6,000,000
While Erik Karlsson is likely to be traded, we know he is looking for a long-term extension with a new team, along the same lines as the recent Drew Doughty extension (eight years at an AAV of $11+ million). Also factoring in is that the contract year should have no effect on Karlsson. He is going to be god-like no matter where he plays, and will always be worth the cap-hit.
Matt Duchene is a whole different story. Duchene is also unlikely to be with Ottawa long term, as the reason he was traded out of Colorado was h