It was a surprisingly busy day in the hockey world relative to August.
First, the Carolina Hurricanes signed Andrei Svechnikov to an eight-year contract worth $7.75 million per season. The contract takes Svechnikov through ages 21 to 29 — aka his prime. In terms of comparables, the most common names are William Nylander, Clayton Keller, and Kyle Connor, among others. Svechnikov is a very good player, and likely drives a lot of the offense that the Canes produce as a team. Unfortunately he’s suffered injuries and a couple shooting slumps in his short three-year career so far. It’s a bet, but a good one.
A few hours later, the Philadelphia Flyers signed their elite play-driving center Sean Couturier to an eight-year contract worth $7.75 million as well. An identical contract, but for someone who is eight years older and whose contract won’t kick in until next season. The contract will take Couturier from age 29 to age 37, and likely a buyout somewhere down the line. However, the bet is well reasoned as “Coots” is one of the best two-way centers in the game, on par with the likes of Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews, and Anze Kopitar. Looking at his career, it’s pretty appalling how the Flyers haven’t been more competitive during his prime.
Andrei Svechnikov's projected to stay between top line & elite territory during his contract, and should stay under market value throughout. He's somewhat of a unicorn, with his closest comp only being a 'partial match,' but it's unlikely this deal becomes a bust. pic.twitter.com/hkDSdXPMEt— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) August 26, 2021
Two top comps being Toews and Kopitar feels very right pic.twitter.com/XlSZaiAuOg— dom at the athletic (@domluszczyszyn) August 26, 2021
And if you’re wondering how this compares to the Lightning, the Svechnikov contract doesn’t really do that at all. Svechnikov’s only real Lightning comparable is Brayden Point, and he took a bridge deal after his ELC before getting his eight-year deal for more. If the Lightning had the cap space at the time to sign Point to an eight-year deal back in 2019 I think they definitely would’ve, but they just couldn’t pay the premium at the time.
As for Couturier, you could argue his contract is pretty much like the 11-year deal Vincent Lecavalier got when he was 29. The Flyers should hope they don’t have to buyout Couturier within four years and have to fully retool their team. They will probably get six or seven good/decent years out of him.
Moving on to other news....
London, Ontario is switching to electric zambonis as they try to go greener and contribute less carbon monoxide. Zambonis tend to produce a lot of greenhouse gases that can hang around hockey rinks, especially older buildings.
If you ask me, they should be hydrogen powered, and the water they produce can go into making the ice whenever they spray and scrape the rink. [CBC News]
“With these electric Zambonis, our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, produce cleaner air in recreation facilities and set the stage for future opportunities for renewable energy production,” said Tim Wellhauser, Director of Fleet and Facilities at the City of London in a statement.