With TSN’s Bob MacKenzie reporting that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane started off negotiations by asking for new contracts that would pay them $12M per season, the question comes up again – Who will sign the next $100M contract in the NHL? For a player to get to the triple digits, it would mean a max out 8 year contract with a cap hit of $12.5M per season.
There are currently 3 players, Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Shea Weber, playing on contracts with a total value of over $100M each. All were signed before the latest lockout, before the 8 year limit was imposed for re-signing a club’s own free agents (7 years for another team’s free agent).
The fact is, the star players salaries will continue to climb, and although Kane and Toews will most likely come in at around $10M for 8 years, because they essentially have to split the loot. A one-superstar team with an elite player whose contract is up in 3 or 4 years might be able to nab $100M. Think Nathan MacKinnon, Steven Stamkos, Connor McDavid, John Tavares type players.
$100M is a ton of cash, and it would have to be a very special player to get that deal, but in an era where Stephen Weiss can get upwards of $25M, and Vincent Lecavalier can get bought out and then sign for $22.5M, then a superstar is surely going to cash in for $100M sooner or later.
So much for the Salary Cap controlling spending. The big players get paid, and then teams fill in their roster with the best bit pieces available. Maybe that is the way it should be, because nobody pays to see 4th liners play.