The P.K. Subban contract negotiations finally came to an end on Monday and while the Canadiens were reportedly steadfast on the two-year term, many were surprised that Subban agreed to sign for a total of only $5.75 million.
With a number of young players (Jamie Benn, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, etc.) getting new deals in the past year, it was expected the Canadiens would reward Subban handsomely in his next contract.
The 23-year-old is considered one of the best young defenceman in the league and it appears the Canadiens were able to lock him up at a bargain price.
With that in mind, we take a look at how Subban’s new contract compares with others around the NHL.
Note: All numbers are according to capgeek.com
Michael Del Zotto, New York Rangers (2 years, $5.1 million)
Throughout the Subban contract talks, the Canadiens were reportedly using Michael Del Zotto’s contract as a benchmark.
Del Zotto has the identical two-year team and a team-friendly cap hit of $2.55 million per season, where Subban’s is slightly higher at $2.875 million. The Rangers defenceman will earn $2.9 million next season while Subban will earn $3.75 million. Both deals will expire after the 2013-14 season.
The two defencemen have produced similar numbers in their brief NHL careers as Subban has career-highs of 14 goals and 38 points while Del Zotto’s best season had him with 10 goals and a total of 41 points. At 22, Del Zotto is one year younger than Subban.
Ian White, Detroit Red Wings (2 years, $5.75 million)
It’s hard to believe Subban’s new deal is almost identical to what Ian White signed as a free agent in the summer of 2011.
Over the two years of his contract, White and Subban have the exact same cap hits but the two teams structured the money a bit differently. White earned more in the first year ($3 million in 2011), while Subban will receive the big bump in the final year of his deal.
In terms of on-ice play, there is almost no comparison between the two players. White is a mid-level defenceman who has bounced around during his career while Subban has the makings of a franchise-level blueliner. Subban is five years younger and offers a significantly more well-rounded game.
Note: Tom Poti signed the same deal with the Washington Capitals as a 33-year-old.
Alexander Edler, Vancouver Canucks (4 years, $13 million)
Looking back at a similar situation, it was worth seeing how the Canucks handled the contract of Alex Edler.
As a 22-year-old, the Canucks locked up Edler to a four-year deal worth a total of $13 million. His contract was structured in a way where he legitimately earned the same number as his salary cap hit at $3.25 million per season.
While Subban will earn over a million dollars less than what Edler made at the same age in 2012-13, he has the chance to strike rich quicker than the Canucks defenceman was able to when he becomes a RFA after the 2013-14 season.
Edler recently signed a new six-year contract extension worth $30 million that will kick in starting next season. It is a similar path Subban can look towards his next contract.
Andrej Sekera, Buffalo Sabres (4 years, $11 million)
Sekera signed a new four-year extension in the summer of 2011, avoiding arbitration and had an average annual value of $2.75 million, which is amazingly close to what Subban signed for on Monday.
While Sekera’s deal is two years longer in term, the big difference is that Subban will remain a restricted free agent by the time his deal expires in the summer of the 2014. Sekera, on the other hand, will be an unrestricted free agent — a major reason why the Canadiens wouldn’t budge off the two years.
Sekera earned more money ($4.25 million) in the first year of his deal than Subban will see in any of his two seasons on his new deal. But the way the deal is structured, Sekera’s salary decreased in the first three years of his four-year extension to the point where he makes only $1.75 million by 2014-15.
Just like White, Subban is far superior in terms of on-ice ability and potential than Sekera. Sekera has a career-high of four goals and plays about 20 minutes a game with the Sabres.