The recent re-signing of Jeff Skinner to a six-year contract extension worth nearly $35 million in total was not only a good thing for the Carolina Hurricanes, but could foreshadow what Tyler Seguin might get when his entry-level contract is about to expire.
Skinner and Seguin have a lot in common. Both were part of the 2010 draft class and both were first-round picks. Both participated in the 2011 All-Star Game–on the same team, no less–although only Skinner made history as the youngest participant ever in any of the big four sports’ all-star games. Both had big rookie seasons, though only Skinner won the Calder Trophy, but of course Seguin won the Stanley Cup. A concussion kept Skinner from having the successful sophomore campaign he’s capable of, but aside from that one time when Seguin forgot to set his alarm clock, he had perfect attendance and led the team in points and goals.
Both have been praised by their local media for being young talents with the expectation of just getting better and better. I recall Jack Edwards, on one occasion maybe after Seguin scored a nice goal, gleefully pointing out that at his young age, the Bruins could hold on to him for 15 more years.
Well, Boston’s opportunity to claim Seguin for years to come is fast approaching. He’s entering the final year of his three-year entry-level deal, which is paying him the same NHL salary that Skinner had ($900,000) along with the same $90,000 signing bonus. However, Seguin has more of a maximum performance bonus ($2.65 million compared to Skinner’s $500,000).
Skinner’s new deal sees him making $4.35 million in the first year, then a round $6 million in each of the five years after that. Needless to say, it’s quite a little pay raise, and in Seguin’s case, a bump like that could certainly help pay for more dog toys for Marshall or Triple A service for the next time he has car trouble.
Seguin, like Skinner, has already proven himself worthy of a bigger long-term deal to hold him in with a team where he performs well. His line this past season with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron represented some of the top performers in the entire league in terms of plus-minus and, counting just the Bruins now, each of them scored more than 20 goals.
General manager Peter Chiarelli is known to reward jobs well done with nice boosts in salary. Even with the team’s wallet tightened this offseason due in part to the Tim Thomas thing, Chiarelli’s still found a way to reward Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell for their good work as parts of the Merlot Line while also incentivizing Tuukka Rask‘s impending debut as the starting goalie. He’s a tactful man–could be due to his training as a lawyer–and when the time comes, he would do well to reward Seguin and make him part of the Bruins firmament for many years to come.