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After Skinner is 29 Million for E. Kane too Low?

August 8, 2012, 8:38 AM ET [17 Comments]
Peter Tessier
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While some may have been proposing that Kane take the deal he has sitting in front of him the player and his agent may have scored big by sitting back and seeing what the market will pay for players coming of their entry level deals and giving up some free agent years.

In the case of Jeff Skinner it equals out to 5.75 million per season over 6 years as the player turns 21 this fall. After Eric Staal and then brother Jordan, Skinner is the next highest paid player on the Hurricans and will become an anchor piece with the two for years to come.

With the deal before Evander Kane, one at 29 million for 6 years and an average value of 4.83 million per year Kane is nearly shorted 1 million on each year of his deal in direct dollar to dollar comparison. If that is fair I doubt we will hear much about it but I do suspect that Kane's agent is preparing for a call with Kevin Chevaldayoff. I'm sure it will start with "Hi Kevin, how's the summer going? Great, yeah. Now about those UFA years you are asking us to give up, I think we need to look at the price again".

As an observer I never felt the 29 million made much sense. It has a psychological barrier to it and almost draws a line so close to what some would call 'elite status' and dares the player and his agent to cross it. Recent events with Skinner may have just forced Chevy to pull out his eraser and reconsider his, and the team's threshold.

Jeff Skinner has two season of playing 146 NHL games with 51 goals and 56 assists for 107 points. Evander Kane has 213 NHL games with 63 goals and 63 assists for 126 points. KAne's .59 points per game vs Skinner's .73 per game. Kane has .29 goals per game career average vs Skinner with a .34 average.

Based on two season vs three for Kane, Skinner has the early lead in the most basic of statisitcal data, points. Skinner also has a Calder trophy for rookie of the year in 2010-11. He also plays with Eric Staal something Kane does not have on his team- a team mate who would be a franchise player on many other teams if not all.

That's not Kane's fault but it is his reality. The other reality is that another NHL team is prepared to pay a higher premium for those UFA years which the player is giving up coming off their entry level contract when they sign a six year deal.

Chevy may have to sweeten the pot a bit but it does not mean they have to overspend. I've never felt the 29 million amount was fixed in stone but more of a tactic, one which shows everyone just how much the Jets value a player and that they can spend with the big boys. With Enstrom getting a raise and five years the Jets are prepared to pay and they should do so with Kane.

Like Skinner there is considerable risk locking in a young player after two good years (or one) for six years, but the model for success appears to not be changing soon, thus keeping young players is paramount. Is haggling with Kane after this deal smart negotiating and image management? I doubt it, that's why he needs to get signed soon and I bet Skinner's deal accelerates the situation where the two sides agree on 6 years 31.5 million for an average 5.25 million for the length of the deal.

Enjoy the day.
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