All Detroit Red Wings fans should care about the Jake Sanderson eight-year $64.4 contract with the Ottawa Senators is how it will impact future negotiations with Moritz Seider.
The answer: probably not much.
Sanderson was drafted a year later (2020) than Seider (2019). The young Ottawa defenseman, son of forrmer NHLer Geoff Sanderson, opted to go for the security. The Senators want to show fans they are committed to winning with new ownership coming aboard. In theory, there’s some risk here for Ottawa because they are giving him eight years after watching him for only 77 games. But it’s not much risk because it is accepted that Sanderson will be an elite No. 1 defenseman.
This could eventually be a bargain for Ottawa if Sanderson matures into one of the top five defensemen in the game. That’s plausible.
The Seider situation is different. With 164 games on his resume, he’s already fully established as an elite D Man. He’s not getting there. Seider is there, and he’s going to keep improving. Unless the Red Wings surprise us and get Seider signed quickly, the Red Wings will see more of Seider’s potential this season. He becomes a restricted free agent next summer.
Sanderson and Seider will both be high impact performers, but Seider offers an expanded physical level and a beastly presence that raises his value.
The other issue to consider here is nobody knows what GM Steve Yzerman or Seider are thinking here. Yzerman historically doesn’t discuss contract talks publicly. But his history suggests he prefers mid-length contracts to long-term deals. He did give eight years to his captain Dylan Larkin, but it took Yzerman a long-time to arrive there. Reports said Alex DeBrincat wanted a long-term deal, but he and Yzerman settled on a four-year deal.
Can Seider Land McAvoy Deal?
However, if there is one player Yzerman would be comfortable signing for eight years, it’s probably Seider. The Red Wings seem to be all aboard when it comes to believing Seider is the foundation of the rebuild. He’s the rock on which this team is being built.
The other question to ask here is if Seider will want an eight-year deal. With the salary cap expected to grow sharply soon, it’s possible Seider might be content to go four years with the hope of landing a more lucrative eight-year deal when he’s 26.
People are not in the habit of revealing their negotiating aims while contract talks are going.
Sanderson’s deal matters as a comparable because all deals matter. But Seider will be 23 at the end of this upcoming regular season. If he logs another 80 games, he could have 246 games played when he signs his next contract.
When Boston’s full service defenseman Charlie McAvoy was 23 with 236 games played, the Bruins gave him an eight-year deal worth $9.5 million per season. The New York Rangers also gave Adam Fox a $9.5 million AAV when he was 23. However, he had already won the Norris Trophy.
The other question worth asking is whether Yzerman will want to give Seider more than Larkin ($8.7 million per season.)
It’s challenging to guess how Seider’s deal will play out. But probably he will want an AAV starting with a “9” like McAvoy’s deal, instead of an “8” like Sanderson’s contract.