The Winnipeg Jets were finally able to get their deal done with Zach Bogosian, just prior to two more young d-men (Schenn and Myers) inking deals with their respective clubs.
The Jets signed Bogosian to a deal that will keep him in a Winnipeg Jets Jersey for at least two more seasons. The contract is worth $5 million, for a $2.5 million cap hit per season. The numbers break down as follows: $2 Million for the 2011-12 season and $3 Million for the 2012-13 campaign.
Based solely on Bogosian’s statistics, this may seem like a steep price to pay for a young defenseman coming off his worst NHL season in terms of production. His offensive numbers were even worse than his rookie season where he played 24 fewer games. However, there were other factors at play when the two sides came to the decision on compensation. First of all, Bogosian’s numbers may be misleading at first glance.
Consider the following:
- 3rd on the team in Time On Ice/Game and was often used as a shutdown guy. Tobias Enstrom, the team leader in ice time, isn’t known as a shut down guy.
- Only received 1:58 of power play time per game. The addition of Dustin Byfuglien cut into Bogosian’s power play time significantly. Bogosian was also the 2nd most used defenseman shorthanded, compared to the 5th most used the previous season.
- Penalty minutes reduced significantly from the past two seasons, which shows he is maturing as a player and understanding what he is able to get away with on the ice. And yes, I do realize he had only 1 fight last year, compared to 3 the previous 2 seasons, but the point is still valid.
Couple these facts with Bogosian’s potential to breakout and live up to his 3rd overall draft position, and the fact that $2.5 million still slots him as the 5th highest paid defenseman on the roster, when he is obviously viewed as the 3rd most important in terms of ice time, and you can easily justify the $2.5 million cap hit.
The 2 year term is the perfect amount of time for both the team and Bogosian to determine if the potential blossoms or remains untapped.
$3.6 Million Cap Hit
Term: 5 years
Unlike Bogosian, Schenn had a strong season production wise last year. He was second to Phaneuf in both defensemen points and TOI/Game (led in shorthanded TOI), and was only a -7 playing against the opponents top players, while on a below average NHL team. A very strong case could be made for Schenn as the top defenseman on the team last season, making the $3.6 million cap hit over 5 years a very good price for the next 5 seasons. Schenn was definitely a higher priced commodity than Bogosian this season, but the Leafs are hoping he repeats last season’s success, rather than his sophomore seasons failures.
$5.5 Million Cap Hit
Term: 7 years
This deal included a $10 million signing bonus. The Sabres are spending like crazy (Ehrhoff is also making $10 million this season) with only a $4 million cap hit. Myers was second on the team in TOI/game, first in d-man points, +0 playing the opponents top guys and all-in-all did his best to live up to his rookie season. The $5.5 million cap hit for 7 years is steep in my opinion. I wouldn’t value Myers much more than Schenn, but the Sabres obviously believe he’s the real deal and wanted to lock him up for the long haul.
Doughty and the Kings haven’t been able to come to an agreement just yet.
Scuttlebutt says that the Kings are offering $6.8 million per season for 9 years, but Doughty wants $7 million for more like 6-8 years. Seems like semantics to me, but apparently something is keeping the deal from getting done. Doughty is likely worth the $7 million, but the Kings don’t want him higher paid the Kopitar. Many think that Doughty should just accept that fact and take the $200k per season pay cut to be a good team guy.
Doughty’s NHL career has progressed much faster than Bogosian thus far. Even though they went 2 and 3 in the ’08 draft, there is this little thing called a Norris trophy nomination that tends to carry a lot of weight when negotiating a contract.
So to sum up, the Jets hit the nail on the head with the Bogosian deal, both in terms of salary and length. Bogosian isn’t going to be a Doughty, but he has more upside than Schenn, he just has to harness it. Last season was a great learning experience for him, having to put the defensive end of the game first. He still has a long way to go, but the solid defence first mentality will allow him to use his offensive gifts more freely.
I would bet on the Schenn contract being the most advantageous for the team, but in 2 years we will know if Bogosian fulfilled his potential, or remained a plus-minus liability, who deserves 3rd pair minutes.