On Monday the Penguins handed Brandon Tanev a 6-year contract worth an average annual value of 3.5 million dollars. This was a year to the day after Jim Rutherford gave Jack Johnson 3.25 million dollars a season for the foreseeable future.
Penguins fans yelled into the void on Twitter. They were less than pleased. I made my thoughts clear.
I'm a little tired of the endless negativity surrounding this hockey team. Instead of focusing on the bad contracts that have been handed out, how about focusing on a great one?
Jake Guentzel is set to count six million dollars against the cap until he's 30 years old. Guentzel scored 40 goals this year alongside Sidney Crosby and has been a stellar playoff performer. He's racked up 24 goals and 43 points in 41 playoff games. Here's betting that he continues to have that kind of success.
Meanwhile, Kevin Hayes will make over seven million dollars for the next seven years in Philadelphia. Hayes has only surpassed the 50 point mark once in his career. He's scored 20 or more goals once in five years. Mats Zuccarello was just signed to a deal that will pay him six million dollars a year. He's scored 20 or more goals just once in nine years in the NHL.
What would Jake Guentzel command on the open market?
The aforementioned players are both good, but their contracts look silly when compared with Jake Guentzel. Every team in the league has a contract or two that they wish they didn't. The Penguins are no exception. The reality is that the Pens are also lucky. Sidney Crosby only counts 8.7 million dollars against the cap and Evgeni Malkin makes 9.5 million a year in AAV.
It's easy to dwell on the negative if that's what you're looking for, but the Penguins have as many great contracts as they do bad ones.