Gauging Mika Zibanejad’s next contract

May 16, 2017, by

mika zibanejad

The offseason focus this year is naturally going to be on the expansion draft, and rightfully so. It’s the first time in the Twitter era that we will be able to watch it unfold on TV and on social media. While that is certainly going to be a focus, one of the key items on the Jeff Gorton’s To Do List is getting his RFA’s signed. The biggest RFA to get locked up is Mika Zibanejad.

Zibanejad was acquired last summer, along with a 2018 second round pick, in exchange for Derick Brassard and a 2018 seventh round pick. Zibanejad lit the world on fire in his first month with the Ranges, almost scoring at will before breaking his leg and missing 25 games. Zibanejad was slow to get his legs under him, and finished the season with a line of 14-23-37 in 56 games.

Averaging his line this year out to an 82 game pace, Zibanejad –had he played a full season at his 56 game pace– would averaged to a line of 21-34-55, basically on par with his 2015-2016 season in Ottawa. He woke up a bit in the playoffs too, putting together a line of 2-7-9 in 12 games.

The first step in gauging Zibanejad’s next deal is finding comparable contracts. He may carry a $2.65 million cap hit, but he made $3.25 million this year, so that’s his qualifying offer. A comparable contract is going to be a center signing his third contract who put up 50-60 points, signed at age 24, and with two years of team control left. It also helps to find someone with a comparable second contract prior to signing his third.

You don’t need to look far for a comparable contract. Derek Stepan signed his current deal, a six-year deal worth $6.5 million annually, at the end of his age-24 season when he had two years of team control left. It was his third deal, where he earned $3.85 million the year before ($3.075 million cap hit). He put up 55 points in 68 games (an 82 game pace of 66). The point pace may be off, but the rest is bang-on. Stepan likely represents the high-end of the spectrum

The next comparable deal is Logan Couture in San Jose. He signed his current five-year deal ($6 million cap hit) at age 24 with two years of team control left, which was his third contract. He made $3 million the year before, at a $2.875 million cap hit. He put up a line of 23-31-54 in 65 games, which is a 68 point pace over 82 games. The point pace again may be off, but the rest is comparable. Couture might represent the middle-high end of the spectrum.

Bryan Little of Winnipeg is a little bit of a reach, but can be used as a comparable nonetheless. He signed his third deal (five years, $4.7 million cap hit) at age 25, with one year of team control left. He made $3 million the year prior, with a cap hit of $2.83 millions. However he signed the deal after playing just 48 games the year before (lockout season). He did put up 7-25-32 in that span, which is an 82-game pace of 55 points. Little represents the low-end of the spectrum.

The last contract I want to use as a comparable is Jaden Schwartz in St. Louis. Schwartz’s third deal was signed at age 24, again with two years of team control left. The deal was for five years at a $5.35 million cap hit, a big pay increase on his $2.7 million salary and $2.35 million cap hit the year prior. Schwartz only played 33 games that year, but put up 22 points. That’s an 82-game pace of 55 points. Schwartz is likely the middle ground.

So where does this leave Zibanejad?

It’s tough to gauge a contract, especially when we don’t know what the cap ceiling is going to be. I had initially been pegging Zibanejad at five years and $5 million, but that might be a little bit low. I don’t think Zibanejad, coming off an injury, gets a Stepan-esque contract. I also don’t think he’s going to get a Bryan Little deal. That’s way too low. So the best bet is that he’s going to get about five or six years, somewhere between $5.25 million and $5.75 million. Naturally, this is going to fluctuate based on duration, but I think that’s a fair estimate.

But that, of course, is if Zibanejad gets a long-term deal. There is certainly a non-zero chance that the Rangers give him a short-term deal as a “show me” contract. They certainly have the wiggle room to do so with a one-year deal, as they’d retain him for another year of team control. If it’s a one-year deal –remembering that a two-year deal sends him to unrestricted free agency and no team control– I can see him getting about $4-$4.5 million. I don’t think they go that route, though.

The value of the Zibanejad contract isn’t necessarily in the dollar value, but in the cap space left. Unfortunately for Zibanejad, that is entirely out of his hands, as the Rangers have four defensemen that are negative assets. Each one that remains on the roster is fewer dollars in Zibanejad’s pocket. Given that, I expect him to be more towards $5.25 million than $5.75 million. Certainly worth it in my book.

"Gauging Mika Zibanejad's next contract", 5 out of 5 based on 9 ratings.
Categories : Offseason, Players


  1. amy says:

    when they brought Mika here last summer in the trade that sent Brass back home to Ottawa he was cheap now he will be a RFA the first person I would resign is Smith but only if the price is right and with Mika don’t overpay him give him 4-5 million for two years that will be good

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      That is drastically undervalued. I’d pay him as much as the Stepan deal. I, without question, see him as more deserving of that money from a skill, development and team building standpoint.

  2. John says:

    You had me at “4 defensemen that are negative assets”. The cap hits of Stall and Girardi will weigh this team down for years to come, even with buyouts.

    • Walt says:


      Your correct, and that’s the reason I’ve been so against the Shatty potential deal. If we give him what they say he is worth, $6 for 6, (which is way too much for a 2nd pair at best guy), we then have the same problem with him as we do with the Twins, maybe two years down the road!!! Also another reason to stay away from UFA, you always over pay, and get piss poor results!!!!!!!! Redden, anyone???????????????


        To be fair, Shatty can at least ‘play hockey’…. you know, shoot a puck, make a pass… the little things we take for granted nowadays

        (those two contracts are among the most insanely idiotic ever doled out by an NHL GM. Not fair to hold others to that standard of stupidity, IMO)

        Not that I want us to sign him, but, I just felt that needed to be pointed out.

        • Walt says:


          The man is soooo over rated!!!!!! Did you manage to see him play during the PO’s? And he has the stones to say he wants to play first pair, crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!


            lol Walt don’t worry, the only way I’d see him in NY is in a visitor’s jersey!

            I’m just saying, he can ‘play hockey’. Wonder Twins? Not so much

    • Johnny Red says:

      We need to trade not buy out, which are for twice the years of the contract. 1)We trade Kreider or Stepan to Carolina for Right handed D-Man Justin Faulk who is 25 and makes 4.8 million for next 4 years. 2) Since Carolina has a very young D-core see if they would take Staal to help them along, plus he can play with his brother. 3) My fear is we pay Shattenkirk too much for too long. Faulk is younger and cheaper!

  3. Walt says:

    Z probably get’s that $5 to $5.5 , for maybe 5 years at the most. This would be fair, and carry him thru his peak years with the team, at a reasonable rate. I can’t see him getting much more because of his numbers, which could have been better had the leg injury not occurred. But it did, and you compensate a player based on results, not what could have been!!!!!!!!!!!


      Hopefully, but it’s much more likely he gets something closer to what Stepoff got.

  4. SalMerc says:

    4 years averaging $5.5M or 6 years averaging $6.1M It also depends on what we do with Stepan.

    • JoeS. says:

      I would stay far away from any 6 year deal. They just don’t work! We own him for 2 years, right? use that to our advantage.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Long term deals work for the right players. See Ryan McDonagh, Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg, John Tavares.

        Disasters happen when term and cap are given to players who don’t deserve it.

        • JoeS. says:

          OK Hat, the problem lies in finding the guys that deserve it. More often than not that process is an epic fail, that’s why you don’t do it, that’s why you change the way the game is conducted. That’s why you never give 6 years to a player you have locked up for the next 2, let him prove he’s worth it. Then pay him. If he get’s his panties in a bunch and walks away, so be it, I have no issue with that. Smart Cap work is what I want and, I dare say, THE way to win!

          • Hatrick Swayze says:

            I disagree, Joe. If we pay him for a 2 year show me deal, while he is an RFA and he shows us that he deserves money, then he can negotiate his next contract in 2 years as a UFA. Which means we have MUCH less leverage. Then we’re left paying Ryan O’Reilly money. 7 million x 7 years to a guy from years 27-34. I would MUCH rather pay that player 6 million for 6 years from ages 25 – 31. Then, when he is 31, we have a few options, sign/trade/walk away/etc.

            But in order to operate with success in a cap environment, you must use term to your advantage. And the key is locking the right guys up at the right time. Signing Staal/Girardi for 6 years at ages 28 and 30 is poor decision making. McDonagh and Stepan at ages 23 and 25 show proper process.

            To give ourselves an out, perhaps we can avoid a NMC or build a buffer in, like we did with Stepan to allow us to move on before year 3. We can all appreciate the fact that we have between now and July to move on from Stepan before he controls his full destiny.

            • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

              This ^

            • JoeS. says:

              I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I wouldn’t pay either of them ridiculous contracts you mentioned. I don’t have a problem with “locking” guys up, but not for more than four. If he is agreeable to a fair 4 yr. contract (not Step money), I say do it. If not roll the dice that NYR as an organization and NYC as a destination, has a unique pull on a young man with plenty of money in his pocket. If after 2 years he has earned a 7×7 contract, I don’t want him signed here, I say good-bye. Meanwhile in the 2 we have him, maybe we win a CUP, if you’re right, that he will be able to get that kind of money after them two years, he will have had to impress for sure!

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                I can understand not agreeing on the player, but, this 4 year term thing….

                sure, I wouldn’t give anything north of four for anything short of ‘elite’ to guys over 30.

                But for the younger guys? No way man, totally irrational. Look at teams with bargain contracts; most of the bargain, with the exception of future super-elite players on ELC’s, came from the types of deals you said you would never do.

                Without taking a leap of faith on a player with POTENTIAL, you forgo the possibility of obtaining enough of said bargain contracts to compete in today’s NHL.

                The perfect example of this is McD’s contract (for us), and potentially Kreider’s one day (if he does what I think he’s capable of, anyways).

          • Walt says:


            Correct, use the Hawks as an example, with the exception of Kane, and Toews, great managers of the cap………….

          • Dave says:

            Joe – the problem with a two year deal is that he’s a UFA after it expires. The Rangers have no leverage. It’s not ideal, but it’s basically either a long-ish deal or a one year deal.

            • JoeS. says:

              I understand Dave, I do, but I would rather a one year at this point then. I just can’t see another six that we may be crying about in 3 years.

          • paulronty says:

            Agreed totally, if a guy(like Stepan) is looking for money he’s not worth, an astute GM moves him toute de suite for assets. The Rangers need to learn to trade guys and not overpay. And don’t wait till the last minute like Callahan & Girardi.

        • Walt says:


          I assume you mean daisy!!!!!!!! LOL……….

          • Hatrick Swayze says:

            Lol, we disagree on the extent of unease regarding Stepan’s contract. I am not nearly as bearish as you and others…

  5. Hatrick Swayze says:

    6×6 is my target. Any less of a cap hit would be a swoon in my opinion. I’d go as high as 6×6.5. I’d really like to watch him in blue for the next 5 or 6 years.

    Yes this season ended too early, and yes the Sens are still playing, but I am stoked to have flipped Brassard for Zibanejad because Ottawa has that penny pinching peckerhead of an owner. Best Ranger trade since McDonagh/Gomez.

    • Walt says:


      I can see them paying him what you say, but IMHO it’s a bit too high,in a cap era!!!!!!! Let’s see what Gorton does!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        If I’m too bullish on his trajectory, then yes, it is too high. But I am confident that he will grow to warrant those numbers. That’s what makes sports mgmt tough….. you have to know which ones are worth paying and which ones aren’t. When it comes down to it if I have to bet on Stepan, Hayes, Zibanejad or Lindberg (our current centers), I’m picking Zibanejad 7 times out of 10, Hayes 2 times and Stepan once.

      • JoeS. says:

        I agree, Walt


        The problem is, what they should get paid is almost irrelevant. Almost no one in the league currently gets ‘paid what they deserve’.

        I mean, seriously, can anyone here even think of someone truly making ‘fair value’ in the NHL?

    • paulronty says:

      I can’t go that high at this stage. Six years is way too many years for me. Four years at 5 million is about what I’d give Z, similar to a Brassard contract. The Rangers can’t keep throwing out astronomical contracts that handcuff the team for years. I like Z, but not at 6X6.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        The benefit to that is by signing him through less UFA years, his cap hit comes down. The draw is how expensive he may be on the next go around as a 27 year old UFA. Guys like that are who really gouge teams in free agency (Voracek, ROR, Okposo, Ladd, etc) who get paid big dollars for their decline.

        It’s by no means objective, but I’m high enough on Zib to lock him up closer to 30 years of age, at which point, we’d ideally squeeze ages 28 and 29 into this contract. And by no means is this riskless, as if I project his ceiling/floor as too high, then we end up with another guy who is overpaid, like you point out.

        • JoeS. says:

          I agree with Paul, we need to start taking more risks, not locking us up into bad, bad contracts.


            Sorry, but you guys have this totally wrong if you don’t think a guy like Zib is worth something like 6 for 6.

            That’s fair market value these days. Girardi and Staal’s contracts were both eyesores & headscratchers from the moment they were offered, as neither player had elite & irreplaceable skills.

            Not saying zib is elite, but he’s a hell of a lot closer to it than either of the Wonder Twins were.

            If you don’t want to sign players to contracts of fair value, well, I guess we can always go over the cliff & dress 10 rookies for a hockey game. Who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky and one or two of them will play well….. well enough to avoid the draft lottery, that is.

            • JoeS. says:

              I don’t think I’m totally wrong, with all due respect. I don’t think there is a guy in the NHL, or any other professional league worth a contract over 6 years, I think a 4 max contract is fair for everyone. If the player hits the wall after 2, then the team is only on the hook for 2 more. If he excels, he gets to negotiate an increase, and the team that gave the previous 4 year contract should have the rights of first refusal. You see guys, what I’m all about, is blowing up this ridiculous system that makes it so hard for a team to put together a winner without the benefit of super high first round picks, handcuffing them with ridiculous lengths and heights. It’s flat out stupid. What are these guys gonna do if they walk away from the NHL if 4 million per was a max player cap? Go to the KHL?, have at it! When I type, I’m talking of changing the system, not working within the current mess. If the Rangers have to be the standard bearers, I support it. Having said all that, if you want 6, 7, 8 year contracts, let’s make them not guaranteed ala the NFL. If they tank on an 8 year deal after 2, cut ’em, with no cap hit.

              • Walt says:


                Agree, and I love the last idea, cut them, and no cap hit if they start to slouch off!!!

              • Hatrick Swayze says:

                Joe- the conversation you are having is not the one the rest of us are having. I am all for max contracts of 4 years…. but that is not the current reality we are dealing in. Perhaps we can move towards that end when the collective bargaining deadline comes back up, but until then can we deal with the current realities of salary structure?

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Sooo what you’re asking for, if I’m understanding you correctly, is a guaranteed lockout?

                (one that may have the potential, unlike the last one, to finally do in the NHL as we know it?)

                Not that a lockout isn’t coming; too many middle-of-the-road UFA’s are getting screwed by GM’s wising up to the fact that it is inefficient to spend cap dollars on declining talent…….

                The reason why for that is simple – smart GM’s know it’s wise to take a chance on young guys with term because they have a chance of getting better (unlike the old guys who do not) !

                Or, if you hit pay dirt, having breakout seasons & wildly exceeding the value of said contract.

                To be honest, I used to be a fan of the cap as-is. But, it’s pretty obvious that it was a thinly veiled attempt to railroad the older guys (who aren’t irreplaceable players) into being shirked of what are (IMO, relatively speaking, of course) rightfully due pay days.

                Case in point as to why they (the NHL) would try to get away with that – the Bobby Holik fiasco (not that he deserved even a tenth of that insane deal), or the crap today happening with guys like Lee Stempniak, Viktor Stalberg, and Kris Russel.

              • paulronty says:

                The Brad Richards contract is a perfect example. He was really good for a couple of years & then his play dropped dramatically. If not for the amnesty provisions e
                we’d be in further Cap hell. Redden likewise. That’s why I HATE free agent frenzy when GMs lose their minds.

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Yeah but Paul, that’s my point; how old was he when he was signed by us? North of 30; in other words, a bad idea.

                In his defense, it is relatively unusual for a formerly elite player to suffer such a rapid decline.

            • paulronty says:

              Let’s not forget Wiener that there were many who also thought G & S’s contracts were fair value, because they were playing a lot better then. That’s why you don’t go 6 years because a lot can happen in 6 years, such as a drop in play.

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                I did not; to be fair, there’s no way to verify that.

                I always thought the narrative of G being anything other than a warrior were… far too kind. Same with Staal, only, the injuries are what caused that with him. He used to be good.

                Still, both players (non-elites pushing thirty) are guys, by my own aforementioned rule, that I would have traded.

                I’m saying that, statistically, the younger guys are the ones you give term to, because they will get better. If they don’t (improve), the differential of overpay goes down each year because the cap rises.

              • Hatrick Swayze says:

                Again….. they were 28 and 30. Not 23. That is a large part of the difference. Compounding that is the fact that they play a style which is no longer in demand in the NHL (as mobility and puck movement are becoming paramount).

        • paulronty says:

          Trick–he may very well be too expensive on the next go round, and that would be the time to move him for younger assets. I think the Rangers have a tendency to hold on to players too long. Is it out of loyalty? I have no idea. All I know is the Rangers are going to have to pay Kreider, Miller, Hayes,Skjei as well. There is not enough money to give these guys what they’ll want probably & few yutes coming up to keep costs down. We’ll get some cap relief post Nash, but I’d even offer him 4-5 million to stick around for a couple years more.

  6. Spozo says:

    So we are starting to see what a mid 20 year old 50-60 point centerman is worth……

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      Keep trajectory in mind…

      • Walt says:

        Also bring so much more than Daisy ever did, faster, makes people around him better, and younger…………………………..

        • Spozo says:

          Clearly you missed the part where it said Stepan signed his contract at age 24, just like Zib will. 😀

          • JoeS. says:

            Which is exactly the reason he does not get 6 years, they DON’T work!!!!!!

            I’m getting like Walt with all the punctuation marks.

            • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

              No… vehemently disagree. You sign guys who are 23 to long term contracts.

              You do not, however, sign guys who are 33 to long term contracts.

              Huge difference there.

              • JoeS. says:

                4 years is long term

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Yeah, that’s just nuts. Using your mentality, a team would never acquire enough value contracts to compete (unless they got handed a free McDavid or something) before they all ran out & went UFA.

                You’re not being objective here. Not all guys are good enough to deserve said contracts.

                You’re also ignoring another fundamental aspect of cap management, which I have yet to mention.

                I just don’t see why, in a world where the cap goes up every year, you wouldn’t want to lock players up at values which were once ‘market value’, but then ceased to be.

                Unless you think Crosby’s 8.7 cap hit & malkin’s 8.5 (I think, could be off on his) are fair value?

                That, if, either of those players had their lifetime deals dissolved, that they wouldn’t get ~50-75% raises on what they make on the open market today?

                Toews & Kane would like a word with you about that logic train you’ve hopped aboard…..

              • paulronty says:

                Depends what you mean by long term, doesn’t it? Six years is way too long, except for superstars like McDavid or Crosby because you can’t lose guys like that But Z & Stepan, you can turn into assets when they become too expensive.

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                yeah but, Paul, the same logic involving the fact the cap rises every year applies to them, too!

                Stepoff is worth, in a trade, no less than a first round pick & a quality prospect. BARE MINIMUM! Just look at comparable players who have been traded in the past few years.

                If we held 50% back, you can probably double that to two first rounders + maaaybe a second (along with that prospect).

                Now, I KNOW few of you will agree with that, but then again, few of you agree that the guy’s a top 30 scorer among centers (an explicitly provable fact which you can google).

                And he wouldn’t be worth half of that without the three years of cost-controlled term left on the deal.

              • paulronty says:

                Wiener, you mentioned that the cap goes up every year, but the last few years it’s budged very little I think. It’s not like the NFL where the Cap has gone up significantly in the last few years. I don’t think we can count on the NHL Cap rising exponentially.

              • JoeS. says:

                Hey weiner, who’s to say you can’t sign your own UFA if they have lived up to that 4 year contract? Why do they have to go elsewhere?

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Because, Joe, UFA’s compete on the open market.

                As I said before, in today’s NHL, you ***cannot*** compete by having a team solely built with market-value contracts.

                Unless you live in OTT & run the trap, that is.

            • Walt says:


              Welcome to my world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Walt says:

            Z is younger than Step is now, that’s my point!!!!!!!

  7. 43 says:

    Hopefully he pulls a Kreider/Zucc, signing a team-friendly 4-year, $4.5ish contract.

    • 43 says:

      Sorry, didn’t go on. That way, if Staal and G are bought out, their cap penalties, ($3mil each, right?), would even out based on three valuable players taking less money than they could get.


        no… that isn’t true. The cap penalties for buying them out are complicated & would last 8 years for Staal & 6 for G, with the highest penalty hit being 3.something in 20something for staal and….

        point is, it’s messy

  8. SalMerc says:

    I do not think Zinbad has any blue-loyalty. He needs to sign a Zinbad-loyal contract. Think Stepan money.

    • JoeS. says:

      He doesn’t have that right! We own him, and as such, will make him sign the right deal if that what Gort’s thinks is right. I know I do.


        Errrrr…? We have the rights to his last season as an RFA…. I don’t understand where you think this imaginary leverage is coming from….

        Honestly? Zib isn’t dumb

        He’s not gonna sign some dumbass 4 for 4 kind of deal…. It’s either term, or 1 & done IMO

        • JoeS. says:

          I am not going to pretend that I know the in and outs of eligibility to a T, but everyone here keeps saying he has 2 years of RFA.

        • paulronty says:

          If he opts for one & done then move him right away. That’s what GMs should do, not get locked into ridiculous contract negotiations like they did with Callahan. Should have traded him long before they did. Fans are driven by loyalty & keep your own, but GMs need to be objective & ruthless if need be.


            But what are you, realistically, going to get for such a player?

            Answer: something lesser of value with (zero) chance of making a positive impact in the NHL for years, if ever.

          • Jeffrey L Fahrer says:

            Right you are Paul. You are basically blackmailed into giving the kitchen sink when you have no idea of both talent and the wear and tear on that talent. The Callly trade and the contracts to DG and MS was the result of being afraid. The trade for Nash because Slats was afraid someone in the division would get him is as absurd. We can’t go back however and none of them (deals) were objective or ruthless. JG is a concern as well, now, after giving AV a fiver. He can get all the unsigned free agents from college and the league but with the current bench boss I think the team is headed in the very wrong direction.

  9. Sully 55 says:

    What 4 are negative assets? 18/5
    22 and 8 both cheap and only one year remaining
    Girardi will get BO , staal gets another concussion
    He will retire

    • Dave says:

      Are you willing to pay $2.9 million for Klein, who isn’t in the lineup? What about $1.4 million for Holden, who should be on the bottom pair at best?

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        No and no. It is necessary that we find a way to move on.


          To be fair, I think KK’s days as a hockey player might be over. The only thing which fully accounts for his rapid decline is a very bad back. He might just end up on the LTIR next year.

          • Hatrick Swayze says:

            That would be one way that the situation fixes itself. For Kevin’s sake, though, I hope his health isn’t that far gone.

      • paulronty says:

        Klein should have been traded two years ago & we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  10. Chris F says:

    Fast will be having hip surgery.

    Think Vegas steers clear of him on that account?

    • Bloomer says:

      Vegas is going to grab Grabner. The man is a beast of a hockey player and comes at a bargain.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Grabner saving us from losing Lindberg or Fast would be a good thing. He compliments our team very nicely but I’m not interested in giving Grabner his deserved raise after next season at 1.5mil and like our long term prospects with the 2 swedes. Here’s to hoping GMGM can’t turn down 30 goals at 1.5 mil for next year…..

        • Chris F says:

          Yeah, as much as I love Grabner, he’s the one I hope to see selected by Vegas.

          • Peter says:

            I have to agree because of Grabner’s age. But it is a shame. He is a perfect fit for the team and he has shown a terrific work ethic too. If he gets taken then I wish him success.

        • Jerry says:

          I agree 100% Hat. I don’t have any problem losing Grabner if we keep both Lindberg and Fast.

      • Rich S. says:

        That is why we need to get rid of stepan so we can keep grabner…..if possible…
        Comparison- at even strangth…….
        Grabner 76 games 27 GOALS !! 40 points 3rd line minutes

        Stepan 82 games 13 goals 37 points 1st line minutes

        You can argue that grabner was our most valuable player this year….at reasonable cost….Keeping him should be a priority!!!!
        Dump Stepan and Nash if need be!!!!!
        Who is going to increase his even strength goals by 27 next year???
        Keeping him shouldn’t even be a debate…..performance and production —-our best player!!!!!


          To be fair, when you account for his SH% vs career avg (~12% vs the 16% this year), you can probably conclude that he’s, in reality, a 20 goal scorer type.

          But yes, if he goes, he will be missed…

          IMO, he’s the least replaceable of all the guys LV could take.

        • HARLEMBLUES says:

          Rich you make to much sense to much my man. Common sense isn’t to common these days.

        • Chris F says:

          This team can afford to lose a winger more so than a center, so you don’t deal Stepan to protect Grabner.

          You deal Stepan to fix the defense, but even then you have to protect Lindberg in his place, not Grabner.

      • paulronty says:

        Vegas is going to grab Lindberg, unless their GM is an idiot & I don’t think McPhee is that.


          I don’t know why, but, I have a feeling they go for Grabner

          • Rich S. says:

            Wouldn’t the smart thing to do would be trade stepan and nash which could fetch some future assets/draft choices , while ridding ourselves of 16 million in salary and free up space to protect both lindberg as well as grabner…..

            Its near impossible to replace 27 even strength goals and great penalty kill ability. Grabner is like Hagelin with hands !

            Nash and his production and [ 8.5 million hit ] wont be as hard to replace and at a cheaper rate. Stepan….addition by subtraction…

            • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

              nash has a 7.8 hit, and no, he won’t be ‘easy to replace’, despite the fact his contract is a wee bit generous at that hit.

              Besides, it’s extremely unlikely we can get what we should for him, given this draft….

              Just a weird year to do business in

              • Rich S. says:

                I would get rid of them now before their trade value is completely gone…..
                Personally I wouldnt want a 34 year old 7.8 million player unless their name is gretzky or lemieux or messier!
                Stepan is probably easier to trade….

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Nash? Nah, I like him…. but for the right price. Hopefully he stays

                Stepoff, however…. yeah, I’ve said it 10 times already…. we’re better off moving him out for greater needs than keeping a low end 1c/great 2c who doesn’t play physically despite being slow.

  11. Andy says:

    $5.5 for 5 years sounds about right to me. It is hard to to say he should get less than Stepan. They even both broke their fibula, before their new contracts. I can’t remember if Stepan had already signed. Also let’s hope for NO NMC on NTC too.

    • JoeS. says:

      5 years is too much, there’s no need. If he blows us out of the water over the next two and decides he doesn’t want to play here because he felt slighted, so be it, Maybe he brings in a CUP with it, makes me happy. Something tells me one trip down the canyon of heroes, and all of a sudden he is…how did Sal put it….Blue-loyal! If not, thanks for the memories!

  12. Bloomer says:

    4 years at 4.8 million per. Zib is a good hockey player but not a game breaker.

    • JoeS. says:

      Now someone is being reasonable!


        Reasonable, but for whom?

        • JoeS. says:

          For everyone , the Club, the fan and the player, not to mention the league. Would you have a hard time existing on 4.8 a year in NYC? I know I could do it! Again, need to change the system and it must start somewhere.

          • Hatrick Swayze says:

            You must be encompassed under one of the current owner’s family trusts or something….

            • JoeS. says:

              Not at all, I have just spent 10 years as a Rangers season ticket holder. Paying ridiculous prices for seats, getting a 20 oz. beer for the bargain price of $10.50… and lets not even mention what it cost if I’m hungry or would like to buy a child a bag of Cracker Jacks! It’s ridiculous, Hat, and it needs to be stopped. Every single player in the league will still be in the top 1% if they are cut by 50% in salary. I will not cry for them! Playing a game for a career is pretty sweet!

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Does it similarly bother you that movie actors, singers and other major performers make mega-bucks? Like them, pro athletes have a rare skill set that are not easily repalced by just anyone.

                The average NHL hockey career lasts 5.5 years. Most of the rest of us can work in our chosen profession for 40-50 years. And I doubt many of us have to worry about whether, when we go to work, if we would suffer a debilitating injury that could finish our career at any moment.

                If salaries came down following a major lockout, I guarantee you that you would not see a reduction in ticket prices or concessions. All that would happen is that the owners would make more, the players would make less, and you would still pay the same if not more.

          • HARLEMBLUES says:

            But Stepan gets 6.5 that opioid epidemic is really wrecking havoc on people’s thinking.


            Joe, you’re not being realistic. At all. Players are not gonna give ‘sweetheart deals’ just because they could.

            And, furthermore, it is insanely irrational to begrudge them that. What do they owe us?

            • JoeS. says:

              I am not advocating a sweetheart deal. I want to force the into it through a new CBA!

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Well, have fun with that.

                As it is, we probably will see another lockout because of the effects of this one on the majority of hockey players. Most guys (since most players aren’t good, by definition) are getting screwed by the over-reliance on rookies/guys on ELC’s.

                If the league tried to push through some of what you are advocating…..

                Well, I’d hate to see hockey disappear for awhile (couple of years? Maybe more?)

              • JoeS. says:

                LOL…a couple of years…these players do not have that kind of fortitude! I would love to see them try.

    • Dave says:

      That’s Bryan Little money, more or less. Within the realm of possibility, but unlikely.

    • paulronty says:

      Perfect contract for him at this stage.

  13. Pas44 says:

    I’m a Mika Zibanejad fan.

  14. Al Hirschen says:

    So happy that Gorden is blowing out the hole Hartford Wolfpack staff. It time to put The emphasis on 2017 thinking and development of young players . Hopefully will be able to get a head coach from a very good college to take over of the Wolfpack

    • Bloomer says:

      And some young talent to work with.

    • Walt says:

      I hope this isn’t what AV meant when he said some changes in coaching staff may happen???????? I was thinking more along his asst coach!!!!!!

  15. JoeS. says:

    Boy, Dave, you are on fire! How about a 1 year show me at 5.6? Give him some incentive, or a 4 year at 22.6? Seems fair to me. He certainly will not need to worry about his rent.


      …. You seem to fail to understand what UFA means….

      If we did that, and supposing he ‘brought the show’, so to speak…. where’s the advantage?

      Being that he’s UNRESTRICTED (!!), A N Y team could make any offer they wanted to with him! We would have to be the highest bidder!!

      Now, had you taken A (smart, given the age) RISK and signed him the year prior to term… well… you’d have….. wait for it…..

      A valuable contract that exceeds the value of the cap hit!!

      See the point I’ve been trying to make?

      • JoeS. says:

        I see yours…don’t agree with it, but see it. the problem is you don’t see mine, nor do you care to. Hatrick finally saw it and advised me to wait till the end of the CBA to discuss. On that note, that’s my final word on these contracts.

  16. Peter says:

    Mika is worth around 5 for 5 years. I would not go longer and I doubt that they can pay him less. He has skills. Lock him up while they own him and watch that kid bring it on. He is not Connor McDavid, but he has real skills.

  17. HARLEMBLUES says:

    I would sign Mika to a contract averaging 6 per year over 5 years. Oh, Kevin Hayes scores two goals in the USA win over Russia at the Worlds.

    • paulronty says:

      That’s because he’s away from that stooge AV, who probably lost him on the bench too(Hey, Chris, get out there!) & he’s playing for Blashill, the Wings coach.


        What are you talking about? Clearly our brilliant coach AV must have done something after the playoffs ended to spark him!

        Maybe he got Tanner to air-mail some frozen smoothies or something

        • paulronty says:

          Being around AV is like taking Somminex before you hit the ice. He’s off the trance schneid now & can just play & have FUN!!!

      • Bloomer says:

        Actually Av had Hayes playing with Vessey and Nash for a bit at the beginning of the season. They looked good as a line…all the reason for Av to dismantle it.