New Jersey Devils fans have been eagerly waiting by their Twitter accounts for the news to come of when, and for how long Adam Henrique will re-sign for.
Since the beginning of the offseason, fans have been hearing from general manager Lou Lamoriello that the two sides were “close”. What do they mean by close? If they were so close, why is it three or four months later and there is still no contract?
The problem with contracts like these is that the precedent all depends on the team and the player. Let’s take his teammate Steve Bernier when he came off his rookie contract. After his first two years in the NHL, he had nine fewer points and 15 fewer games. He was given a one-year deal for $2.5 million.
His former linemate Zach Parise played basically two full seasons and had the same PPG as Henrique. He was given a backloaded four-year deal starting a $2 million a year and ending with $5 million a year. When Tyler Seguin signed his first big contract after two years in the league, he was given a six-year deal worth a total of $34.5 million.
There is no structure to how you sign your future franchise player. Some teams feel they should jump right into a long-term contract to lock them up. Some teams don’t want to get stuck in a commitment that could hurt them down the line. Then some teams try to have a happy medium where they pay small money in the beginning and big money down the line.
So what is the hold up with Henrique’s contract? Is he asking for more than he is worth? Is Lou trying to low ball him? Are they stuck on years or money? In my opinion, I think they need to lock him down for as many years as he will agree to. Yes, there is the unknown with how he will play now that Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk are both gone for good, but he showed that he didn’t need them when he wasn’t playing with them in the 2012 playoffs.
If you don’t remember, all he did was score three game-winning goals, two of which came in overtime periods that ended their opponents’ seasons. He took out the hated New York Rangers, and he will continue to live in Devils infamy for that along.
Both Lamoriello and Henrique have both downplayed contract talks. They both have spoken as if the deal is going to get done and they are just waiting to hammer out the details. If they give him a long-term deal for around $4 million per year, then it will be a great business decision. Henrique will be a Devils player for at least two more seasons. If the Devils are smart, they will shoot for closer to eight more seasons.