In this morning's NY Post, Larry Brooks opines over soon to be un-restricted free agents Henrik Lundqivst, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi. In it, he states that negotiations with all three players and their agents have yet to begin, despite the recent news of contract extensions elsewhere around the league (Joe Pavelski, Jay Bouwmeester, etc.)
Regarding Lundqvist, Brooks states:
"For Lundqvist, clearly the most essential athlete on the roster and currently at $6.875 million per year, the questions are whether the number is closer to $8.5M or $9.5M per, and whether the contract is for seven years or the maximum eight?"
"The Rangers likely are going to want to pay him as the league’s best goaltender. Lundqvist likely is going to want to be paid as one of the league’s best players."
Once again, the numbers that Brooks is throwing around are a bit off base. Even as Brooks stated in his article just the paragraph prior that Lundqvist is going to be paid at fair market value, while accurate, a goaltender's value is presently at a slightly lower standard compared to forwards and defensemen. Tukka Rask and Pekka Rinne are the highest paid goaltenders in the NHL and both possess cap hits of $7 million. Lundqvist's fair market value somewhere lies between $7-8 million per.
Brooks continues onto Callahan, who points to recent contracts given to Dustin Brown and Blake Wheeler as starting points to negotiating an extension with Callahan, but goes on to state this…
"You better believe that Buffalo, for one, would be willing to do pretty much whatever it would take to bring the Rochester native close to home."
I'll speculate myself that Callahan isn't less worried about whether he's going to play in upstate or downstate New York in the fall of 2014, but who gives him the best chance at winning the Stanley Cup. I think it's safe to say that the Rangers are just a bit further along than Buffalo is right now.
Finally, Brooks moves on to Dan Girardi and points to Jay Bouwmeester's 5 year, $27 million extension with the St. Louis Blues as a starting point.
Over the past couple days here on the blog, you guys have used Girardi as a pawn to not only secure Derek Stepan's future here in New York, but to round out the scoring depth in the bottom half of the Rangers lineup and perhaps pick up a nice mid-high level prospect as well. I like Girardi as much as the next guy, but if it's going to take that much money to secure him, I might have to jump on the "trade Girardi" bandwagon myself.
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