Don’t expect hometown discounts from Adam Fox or Mika Zibanejad
As the Rangers cap situation becomes clearer, it also becomes more of a challenge. There shouldn’t be cap concerns until 2024, but there are hopes that the Rangers are able to help kick that can down the road too. To do so, they would likely need to shed a big contract, use ill advised bridge deals on a few kids, and/or get a hometown discount from key players. Those two key players are Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox, as both are expected to make big bucks, but there is some sense of hope they will take a hometown discount.
Using Evolving-Hockey’s contract projections, filtered for contracts signed after October 12, have Fox projected to get 5 years at $7.4 million and Zibanejad getting 8 years at $9.6 million. These are again just the most likely projections, but there are certainly other scenarios here. Given the contracts to Cale Makar and Darnell Nurse, Fox is likely to get more than the 5 years. His eight year projection is $8.2 million. However given those contracts, expect that number to be higher than $9 million.
Fox would certainly be worth every penny. He’s likely the best defensemen in the league already, and will continue to be in that elite echelon of defensemen. Whether or not Zibanejad is worth that contract for that duration is up for debate. For what it’s worth, his 5 years project is at $8.6 million.
Don’t expect that hometown discount from either
Hometown discounts are more of a fan driven idea than a player driven idea. It’s exceedingly rare, and usually done for factors outside of the team itself. Family, personal preference, and a few other factors are involved here. For Fox, the prevailing argument is that he’s a local kid and grew up a Ranger fan. But is Fox going to accept less than the $9 million Makar got? Highly unlikely. If there’s any kind of hometown discount, it may be just matching that Makar contract. This is his first big pay day, and could be his only big pay day. Remember, nothing is guaranteed.
As for Zibanejad, this is likely his last big payday. It’s also his first –and only– chance of a big payday. He’s made about $38 million over his career so far, which certainly isn’t peanuts. However this is his only chance to potentially double that. He’s only been with the Rangers for 5 seasons as well.
Adam Fox and Mika Zibanejad are going to get paid, and expecting a hometown discount is just going to lead to disappointment. If it happens, great. But when doing your own cap estimates, it’s best to plan for the market value, and not a penny less.