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Second contracts, Lowe, and the exponential increases in those contracts.

Recall the days when Burke and Lowe were at each other’s throats due to Dustin Penner? Burke didn’t mind the offer sheet to Penner, but he did mind how much Penner was offered. The reason why is because it raises the level of salary for 2nd contracts after the ELC, Entry Level Contract. If a player of Penner’s talent demands that salary, then how much more should a player with slightly better talent ask for on their 2nd contract? Here’s a glimpse onto some of the players 2nd contracts.

Year Drafted

(UFA Signed)

Player

2nd contract Signed

2nd Contract ($/year)

Cap hit

2001

Ilya Kovalchuk

2005

$ 31.9 mm/5

$ 6.359

2002

Rick Nash

2005

$ 27 mm/5

$ 5.4

2000 (UFA)

Andy McDonald

2006

$ 10 mm/3

$ 3.333

2003

Ales Hemsky

2006

$ 24.6 mm/4

$ 4.1

2003

Eric Stall

2006

$ 16.5 mm/3

$ 4.5

2002

Joffrey Lupul

2006

$ 6.9 mm/3

$ 2.31

2004

Dustin Penner

2007

$ 21.5 mm/5

$ 4.3

2003

Thomas Vanek

2007

$ 50 mm/7

$ 7.142

2001

Mike Cammalleri

2007

$ 6.7 mm/2

$ 3.35

2003

Zach Parise

2007

$ 12.5 mm/3

$ 3.125

2002

Ryan Whitney

2007

$ 24mm/6

$ 4

2003

Nathan Horton

2007

$ 24 mm/6

$ 4

2003

Chris Kunitz

2008

$ 14.9 mm/4

$ 3.725

2002

Jason Bouwmeester

2008

$ 4.875 mm/1

$ 4.875

2002

Alexander Semin

2008

$ 9.2 mm/2

$ 4.6

2003

Jeff Carter

2008

$ 15 mm/3

$ 5

2003

Eric Stall

2008

$ 16.5 mm/3

$ 4.5

2003

Ryan Getzlaf

2008

$ 26.6 mm/5

$ 5.325

2003

Corey Perry

2008

$ 26.6 mm/5

$ 5.325

2005

Sidney Crosby

2008

$ 43.5 mm/5

$ 8.7

2004

Alex Ovechkin

2008

$ 124 mm/13

$ 9.5

2006

Jordan Staal

2009

$ 16 mm/4

$ 4

2005

Anze Kopitar

2009

$ 47.6 mm/7

$ 6.8

2004

Evgeni Malkin

2009

$ 43.5 mm/5

$ 8.7

2005

Bobby Ryan

2010

$ 25.5 mm/5

$ 5.1

2006

Jonathan Toews

2010

$ 31.5 mm/5

$ 6.3

2006

Patrick Kane

2010

$ 31.5mm/5

$ 6.3

2007

James Van Riemsdyk

2012

$ 25.5 mm/6

$ 4.25

In my research, I chose players picked in the first round starting from 2001 and players that we Duck fans know. I did not know how wild and careless Lowe was with the Oilers at that time based soley on 2nd contracts. Here’s the 2006 signings that I picked out. (Points the previous year means points earned the year before earning their 2nd contract.)

Player

2nd contract Signed

Cap Hit

Points the Previous year

Joffrey Lupul

$ 6.9 mm/3

$ 2.31

57

Andy McDonald

$ 10 mm/3

$ 3.333

85

Ales Hemsky

$ 24.6 mm/4

$ 4.1

77

Eric Stall

$ 16.5 mm/3

$ 4.5

100

Hemsky didn’t pop out until realizing that Lowe made two outrageous RFA offers to Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek ($50 million for 7 years) and Anaheim’s Dustin Penner ($21.5 million for 5 years). Lowe wasn’t just crazy for one off-season, he’s been like that. Granted, Lowe is trying to win, but disregards the fiscal responsibility he has to his team and the league. He is a genius in that Lowe is projecting that Buffalo would not be able to match the offer sheet to Vanek. That attempt failed. So Lowe does the same with Penner, and it works. Anaheim can’t afford Penner because they had just signed Bertuzzi and Schnieder to really large contracts. (That’s a completely different argument to talk about!)

The 2nd contract sets a precedent to establish a higher level of pay. Look at the difference after 2006 signings and you can see a jump in salaries for 2nd contracts. Based upon JVR’s production, look at how JVR is making $25.5 million for six years due to potential. It seems like Penner’s contract all over again.

We will never see the NHLPA get upset at this because it really isn’t their problem; although, they don’t see it as a problem at all. It’s owners and GM’s that control who gets how much. But with the rising costs of 2nd contracts, teams are going to struggle to keep players within their system or not be able to sign players to help their system.

While I don’t think Getzlaf, Perry, or Ryan’s contract are not that bad, it is only because I became accustomed to Penner’s contract being $4.3 million for five years. Cam Fowler’s 2nd contract is $20 million for five years, $4 million per year. I love Cam, but Cam is making more than Beauchemin, who’s our #1 defenseman. Getz, Perry, and Ryan make more than Teemu, but it was Teemu who lead the team in scoring last season.

May be there does need some changes with 2nd contracts to the CBA. JVR will be making a guaranteed $4.25 million for six years. If JVR is injury prone or begins to play terribly, he will still be making Teemu Selanne money. As a small market, this tidbit of 2nd contracts should be something I pay attention to and see if there are any revisions that can be made.

The more I research items about how the NHL works, the more I wonder how does the NHL actually survive and grow from the business side. As a sport, I find it very addicting because there are less down times within the game unlike baseball, football, or basketball. Yet to have a CBA that allows more than 50% of its revenue go to players and then to have the same revenue tied to a cap with guaranteed contracts seems detrimental and archaic. No wonder why Disney left the NHL arena. It’s just not profitable unless you happen to own one of the big market teams.

* Salaries from Capgeek.com.



This article is user-generated. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Anaheim Calling. Please do not link this article as representative of Anaheim Calling content or viewpoints . . . unless it's <em>really</em> really good.

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