Today the Carolina Hurricanes announced that the team had signed Elias Lindholm to a 2-year extension at $2.5 million for 2016-17 and $2.9 million for 2017-18. He is already signed for 2015-16 obviously, so the Canes now have a good young forward locked up for three years.
I like the deal.
It locks up a good young player at a reasonable price and eliminates any risk of a huge breakout year throwing a wrench in the financials. Based on some of the contracts signed recently, the whole RFA/UFA, age, number of years of great play, etc. seem to have very little impact on player salaries. It is all about the numbers from the immediately preceding season which means a breakout season can cost a team a fortune. My rough math says a season similar to last year’s (17 goals, 22 assists) might garner a little bit less (something like $1.8-2.2M range), but if Lindholm goes 25/30, he could play himself up into a $4 million range.
Aside from trying to do the right thing with/for Elias Lindholm, this deal could impact Eric Staal’s situation and other things. Having Lindholm sign gives Ron Francis cost certainty for one of the biggest wild cards salary-wise for next season. Victor Rask and Ryan Murphy are also restricted free agents, so they are a bit in the same situation. As Ron Francis and ownership work toward a budget for 2016-17 and beyond after a couple big contracts come off the books, this provides a clearer picture of exactly how much he as left working toward a budget.
If I find time, I will write up the broader financial implications in more detail in another blog.