Toews Signs Monster Deal with a Twist!
Devon Toews will be a member of the Avalanche for likely the rest of his career after signing a 7 year, $50.75 Million dollar contract.
The best pairing in the league of Devon Toews - Cale Makar is going nowhere for the foreseeable future. Toews is now sticking with the Avs for the longer term.
There have been a few lines of thinking around this contract, which we will get into, but first, lets go over the details of the contract.
Total: $50.75 Million Dollars
Per Year Cap hit: $7.25 Million
Season by Season Salary Breakdown and Clauses:
2024-2025 - 7.75 Total Salary + NMC
2025-2026 - 7.75 Total Salary + NMC
2026-2027 - 5.25 Base Salary + 1 Million Signing Bonus - 6.25 Million Total Salary - M-NTC (Must Submit 12 Team No Trade List)
2027-2028 - 7.75 Total Salary - M-NTC (Must Submit 12 Team No Trade List)
2028-2029 - 7.75 Total Salary - M-NTC (Must Submit 12 Team No Trade List)
2029-2030 - 7.5 Total Salary - M-NTC (Must Submit 12 Team No Trade List)
2030-2031 - 6.0 Total Salary - M-NTC (Must Submit 12 Team No Trade List)
NMC = No Movement Clause (Cannot be sent to AHL/Other Teams without being waived)
M-NTC = Modified No Trade Clause (Could be sent to AHL, player must submit a 12 team No Trade List)
This structure is interesting. Comparing it to other recent UFA signing Dimitry Orlov, who recently signed with Carolina as a 32 year old (7.25 Million x 2 years), the cap total salary for the first two years is identical.
The first two years comes with a full NMC for Devon Toews, which solidifies the commitment from the team to have him as a major part of competing for a cup. After this, it turns into a modified no trade clause. Interestingly, this seems to coincide awfully closely to Mikko Rantanen and Bowen Byram's current contracts coming to an end. A smart piece of business rom C-Mac, the Avalanche GM.
Devon Toews also stated he would take less to stay in Colorado because he loves it here. Who wouldn't? You get to play with two of the best players in the world in MacKinnon and Makar, one of which you are basically glued to for the most part.... The team is in the middle of its competing window... You won a Cup the year before last... Your family is comfortable here. The interesting part here though, is we see players make statements like this from time to time, and they don't always hold to it. Money talks, and you have a shorter amount of time to maximize your earnings as an NHL player. Tomorrow is not guaranteed (as it isn't for the rest of us either). In my humble opinion, Toews left anywhere from $1-$2+ million per year on the table by taking this contract. I don't imagine someone with his metrics and stats would have an issue pulling $8.5-$9.5 per year or maybe even higher from a team desperate for defense.
Since joining the Avalanche, Toews has a league leading +122, and over the last 3 seasons, hes got 139 points in 200 regular season games, adding 30 points in 37 playoff games (which is crazy!)
The final point I'd like to make here, is the longevity of the contract to a player who's soon to be 30. Yes, this is historically a bad idea. And yes, while the last few years of the contract may not be peak Toews, there is room for optimism here. Firstly, Devon plays a cerebral style of defense. He isn't putting up 200+ hits per year, nor does he ever really get caught on the receiving end of big hits. He skates so well, and has such a great breakout pass that I can't actually remember seeing Toews really get lit up on a hit since joining the team. He has an active stick and supreme hockey IQ, and this playstyle likens itself to longevity.
The other consideration: Devon Toews has played 317 NHL games to this point. Hes been a late bloomer. Conversely, the aforementioned Orlov by the time he was around Toews age had played 640~ or so games, more than double. Dougie Hamilton is around the same age, and hes got 753 NHL games. josh Morrissey is a year younger and has 503 games. Even 26 year old Vince Dunn has 424 NHL games. The point: Devon Toews has A LOT less miles on his tires at this point in his career. These make me optimistic that he will buck the trend a little bit on his aging curve, barring any major injuries forthcoming.
What happens next? Who's left on the outside looking in? Does Byram look at this team as its constructed and want more opportunity elsewhere? Is Samuel Girard's 5 million dollar cap hit the sacrificial lamb needed to keep the majority of the team together? Does anyone take Josh Manson's $4.5 million contract if needed?
For now, let's just enjoy watching the Av's and the talent that Devon Toews brings to the ice night in and night out.