The NHL salary cap is expected to increase by a few million dollars in 2024-25. The Detroit Red Wings’ retained portion of Jakub Vrana’s contract will be paid off. They will have more than $13 million in contracts coming off their books.
But it is difficult to know what those deals will look like. Yzerman has certainly done some long-term deals in his career, including one this season for captain Dylan Larkin. But he doesn’t go there easily.
Detroit Hockey Now asked Yzerman at his last press conference for his thoughts, in general, on long-term vs middle-range deals and this is what he said:
“I’m not sure I have a hard set philosophy on contracts. There’s risk in every deal you do. There’s short-term risk you lose control of the player. On the back end, the long-term risk is a lot of things can happen that affect a player’s ability to perform on a long-term deal. What is my philosophy? One, I try to make a deal with the player, I try to understand what they’re looking for and what’s important to them, but ultimately, I’m comfortable, I call this a middle-term deal.”
Young D Men Well Paid
Given Seider’s projected future as a top pairing defenseman, Yzerman might prefer getting Moritz Seider tied up. But how much would Yzerman have to give him up to tie him? Boston’s Charlie McAvoy started an eight-year deal this season with an average yearly salary of $9.5 million. The New York Rangers gave Adam Fox a seven-year, $9.5 million per season deal in 2021.
Some younger players don’t want eight years because when their contract is over they want to be young enough still to be able to ask for term on their next deal. In 2021, Cale Makar took a six-year deal for an average of $9 million per season.
“What exactly is middle term, is it 4-5, is it 3 through 6, I don’t know,” Yzerman still talking generally about contract negotiations. “I like these mid-term deals. You get to know the player. I’ve watched Alex (DeBrincat) play his entire junior and pro career. Now you get them in the organization and really get to know them and your comfort level and we can go back at it. But these mid-term deals I think are a good compromise for both sides.”
DeBrincat settled on a four-year deal, even though it was originally reported that he wanted a long-term deal. Seems like the Red Wings will be looking for a bridge contract for Raymond.
Seider and Raymond are both going to be restricted free agents so there is no pressure on the Red Wings to act with any urgency.