Yesterday, Eric Staal signed a seven-year extension with Carolina that will pay him $57.75 million over the next seven years.
That’s $8.25 million per season, and that’s ridiculous. I’ve always thought the best way to judge what a player’s average output, and thus what he’s worth, is to take his best and worst seasons, in this case, Staal’s second and first, respectively, and average out everything else. Staal’s worst season was his rookie year, when he scored 11 goals and 31 points in 81 games. His best is when he scored 45 goals and 100 points the year after the lockout in 82 games. They’re right out.
So what are we left with? Seasons of 30 goals and 70 points and 38 goals and 82 points. Similar ice time, all that. So really, the Hurricanes just gave $8.25 million dollars a year for the next SEVEN to a 34-goal, 76-point guy. That is insane.
Here is a short list of players that are paid above $8 million a season, and you can tell me which one of these things is not like the others:
- Alexander Ovechkin
- Sidney Crosby
- Evgeni Malkin
- Eric Staal
I’ll give you guys time to think it over.
Okay, so? Here’s a hint: Eric Staal is the only one that deserves to be making less than $7 million!
A brief list of players making less than Staal: Vinny Lecavalier, Jarome Iginla, Joe Thornton, Marc Savard, Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Anze Kopitar, Henrik Zetterberg, Patrice Bergeron, Dany Heatley, Zdeno Chara, Henrik Lundqvist, Roberto Luongo, Miikka Kiprusoff, Dion Phaneuf, Ilya Kovalchuk, Rick Nash, Chris Pronger, Scott Gomez, Jason Spezza, Dany Alfredsson, Tom Vanek, Dany Briere, Dan Boyle, both Sedins, and EVERYONE ELSE in the NHL.
I like Eric Staal just fine and everything, but he’s not as good as ANY of the above players. This contract is literally crazy.
In Pierre LeBrun’s first blog on ESPN.com, he also asks what this means for the second Staal boy to hit the NHL: Pittsburgh’s Jordan.
Big brother’s future is secure. But what about Jordan Staal? Was it just me, or was it not interesting to see how the Pittsburgh Penguins took care of some core players this summer, such as Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and Brooks Orpik, but enter the season with Staal entering the final year of his entry-level contract.
My sense is Staal will probably play out the season and see what happens. He’ll be a restricted free agent July 1.
No doubt Jordan will be careful about how he handles this issue all season long, but I’m guessing in the back of his mind he’d love a chance to play with Eric in Carolina. That’s only going to happen either via trade or offer sheet, but food for thought, nonetheless.
I’m really going to start begging the hockey world to PLEASE stop making a big deal out of Jordan Staal. He’ll score 20 goals a season and be defensively responsible, but there’s no way he’s a “core player” on any team in the NHL. If Staal does play out the season, I have a feeling someone will slide him a good-sized offer sheet, but he won’t be worth it. It would be just as bad as the Dustin Penner offer sheet, but no one will say so because he almost scored 30 goals as a rookie that one time.
Who knows, maybe I’m wrong and the kid rebounds big time and everyone laughs at me for thinking he’s massively overrated, but guess what. He’s massively overrated, just like his older brother.