Post to Post: Will Artemi Panarin’s Extension Kill the Bridge Contract?

January 6th, 2017 by Jonathan Willis Leave a reply »

Any serious NHL fan likely knows all about bridge deals. When a good young player comes off his entry-level contract, his team has a choice: Either sign him immediately to a long-term contract at significant dollars that will take him into unrestricted free agency, or settle for a deal between one and three years at a lesser amount.

With Artemi Panarin’s recent contract extension, the Chicago Blackhawks got neither the security of a long-term deal nor the usual discount that comes with a short-term pact. The restricted free agent agreed to a two-year deal (upon the conclusion of which he’ll be an unrestricted free agent) at significant money.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman had the details:

At first glance, it’s hard to justify a two-year contract that pays Panarin as much as players like John Tavares and Taylor Hall are earning on long-term deals. But there’s more to it than first glance. Unlike Hall and Tavares, Panarin is signing his second deal at the age of 25. He isn’t still years away from arbitration; he’s eligible now.

That changes the comparison som ...

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