Ramblings: Dvorak Contract, Arizona PP, Eric Staal, Erik Haula, and More – August 10

Michael Clifford



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Arizona signed centre Christian Dvorak to a six-year contract carrying a $4.45-million AAV. Dvorak had 37 points in 78 games last year and will be going into his age-22 season. The pivot has one year left on his entry-level deal so this won’t kick in until the 2019-20 campaign.

If the team does go with Alex Galchenyuk at centre, that ostensibly makes Dvorak the team’s third-line centre. Paying $4.45-million for a third-line centre isn’t a bad thing. Just look at some of the teams around the league like Washington, Toronto, Calgary, Anaheim (if Kesler is healthy) and so on. But the third-line centres on those teams are more established than Dvorak, and are third-line centres only because of how deep the teams are down the middle. This is more a payment on what the team thinks he could be rather than what they think he is at this moment in time, but if he doesn't develop into more than a true third-line centre, this isn't very good. 

For those in cap leagues, unless your league counts face-off wins, this prices him out of the value range. But, remember, that this deal doesn’t start for a year, so you can still get a year out of him at a very cheap price. At that point, if he’s taken a step forward offensively, maybe he’ll be worth it. If he doesn’t, this is likely too much.


The 30th anniversary of the Wayne Gretzky trade was yesterday, which was tough to miss because it seemed like every outlet had their own tribute to it. The one from Stephen Whyno, which he wrote five years ago in discussion with Gary Bettman, was worth the read.


I know it seems like I link to stuff from The Athletic all the time, and, well, it’s because basically every notable hockey writer seems to write there now.

Anyway, a couple good reads from yesterday.

This one, from Joe Smith, in which he discusses Tampa Bay Lightning prospects Alex Volkov and Mathieu Joseph with the franchise’s AHL coach Benoit Groulx. Presumably, all the roster spots are spoken for at the moment, but we’re always looking for guys who could surprise out of camp. Groulx seems to think those two may have a shot.

And then there was this