The Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Andrei Svechnikov to an eight-year contract extension yesterday, which carries a $7.75 million cap hit.
Svechnikov was the team’s last free agent still in need of a deal for next season. The 21-year-old winger scored 15 goals and 42 points in 55 games this past season, a pace of 22 goals and 63 points per 82 games.
While a long-term deal had been rumoured for a little while, it’s still exciting to see Svechnikov sign for eight years. Last offseason, it was reported that the forward would likely sign a bridge-deal and considering how many top young players have gone short-term with extensions over the last few years, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see Svechnikov go for a two or three-year deal instead.
With the long-term deal though, the Hurricanes can continue to build around him for the foreseeable future. Considering he’s still just 21 years old, this deal will carry Svechnikov through his prime, with no reason to worry about a potential decline at any point in the deal.
The price is also very reasonable. While some comparables would have put Svechnikov over $8 million per year on that long of a deal, $7.75 million is right around where the forward’s cap hit should have came him. Additionally, the salary cap is expected to rise as soon as the 2022-23 season, meaning the contract will begin to take up less and less of the team’s total cap space, as we get deeper into the deal.
Considering Svechnikov was on pace for around just 63 points per 82 this season, the Hurricanes were able to capitalize on his lower production and keep the number below $8 million per year. That said, he had a pace of 74 points per 82 in the 2019-20 season and we can expect him to bounce back to that range, based on his dynamic offensive capabilities.
The Hurricanes managed to get Svechnikov at a fair price, but it's the fact that the team was able to lock him in on a maximum-term deal that makes this a win for the team. After a questionable offseason, securing one of their best players for the better part of the next decade is exactly what the Hurricanes needed.
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