Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How Much Should Nazem Kadri Get Paid?

What is a fair contract for Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri, who remains unsigned heading into training camp? This morning on the Mike Richards show, the high end comparables were Logan Couture (bridge contract) and John Tavares (long term deal), and debating between these two options. First of all, you can't fairly compare Kadri to Tavares, who is a tier (maybe two) above. Tavares is one of the 10 best players in the NHL right now and had scored 200 PTS by the time his 2nd contract was due. Kadri is pretty good, but does not have a comparable resume to JT.

From the population of players drafted into the NHL from 2005 - 2010 who had comparable production to Nazem Kadri by the 4th season after being drafted, and what they got for their 2nd contracts:

Bobby Ryan, 5 years at $5.1M
Chris Stewart, 2 years at $2.9M
Derick Brassard, 4 years at $3.2M
Max Pacioretty, 2 years at $1.6M
Devin Setoguchi, 1 year at $1.8M
Logan Couture, 2 years at $2.9M
Cody Hodgson, still negotiating

Kadri is probably looking for a 5x5 kind of deal like Bobby Ryan, but when measured against his recent comparables, he's got to be due more in the 2 years at $2.5M range. If Kadri continues to develop at his current pace, he could be a $5M - $6M player after 2 years; in which case it would save the team some money to sign him to a 4 year deal at $4M.

I might have praised Marc Bergevin for the tremendous bargain he signed PK Subban for, but it would have saved the team money in the long term to sign him to a 5x5 or a 4x5. Now that PK won the Norris trophy, his next contract is going to be very rich. That next contract is going to be signed this summer (or sooner), instead of 2017. Bergevin will pay a premium for not trusting how good his player could be.

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