When a player is approaching thirty and has to sign a new contract, a dilemma arises. If the player is talented, he can earn himself a big contract, but everyone knows that most players start slowing down in their early thirties. The general managers, for fear of losing their big players, give in and end up offering contracts that are too big and become a drag after a few seasons.
This is exactly what is happening with Brendan Gallagher with the Canadiens right now. In October 2020, when he was 28 years old, Gallagher signed a 6-year contract, which would earn him a total of $39 million ($6.5M/year). The contract came into effect last year as its production began to wane.
It’s normal, he is a robust player who is not afraid to rush into the pile. His body finally gave in after taking so many blows and he is now often on the sidelines. On the other hand, even when he is healthy, he is no longer the same as before. He still gives his 110%, but he is slowed down by age and his prowess no longer follows.
Thus, the Canadiens are stuck with his huge contract until the end of the 2026-27 season. A huge expectation.
Even if we are not talking about the same style of player at all, the same thing could happen to the Calgary Flames with Jonathan Huberdeau. The Quebecer has signed an 8-year agreement, which will bring him $10.5 million per year. This contract will come into effect at the start of the next season, when he will already be 30 years old. He will be paid 10.5 million per year until he turns 38!
Mathias Brunet of La Presse also discussed it on Friday during his appearance on the program Le Retour des Sportifs du BPM Sports.
Mathias plays accountants today and comes to the conclusion that some NHL players, including a well-known one in Montreal, are truly blessed to earn the salary they earn…https://t.co/fG2A8TgIch
—BPM Sports (@BPMSportsRadio) January 13, 2023
“Huberdeau, I’m super happy for him, but it’s an abominable contract. It really is an age. At 28-29, you are not careful (for signatures). – Mathias Brunet on BPM Sports
As Brunet explained, age is everything. When a player’s age begins with a « 2 », general managers are far from thinking about the end of the player’s career. On the other hand, as soon as the thirty is reached, it is there that the prudence embarks for the contracts.
It’s a culture that needs to be changed in hockey. Players can only become an unrestricted free agent at age 27. It forces the hand of the managers, who must offer them a big contract, otherwise they could see the player testing the free agent market, where the teams are ready to pay the big price to secure the services of a player.
Another such problem will soon face Kent Hughes. Sean Monahan will have to sign a new contract this summer. Hughes will have to be vigilant and should not offer him a contract that is too long. After strong performances, Monahan should reap a good contract, but, at 28, you have to be careful of the downward slope.
A lot of
– A good start to the second half of the season, but is that really what we want?
— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) January 13, 2023
– Fantilli may not have scored a ton of points, but he was excellent at the World Junior Championship.
Here was a typical shift from Fantilli at the WJC. NHL teams are going to line up to draft this kid – he is going to help a team win playoff games. A gamer with a great size/skill combo? Sign me up. pic.twitter.com/IvgP0lBaeI
—Grant McCagg (@grantmccagg) January 13, 2023
10-year suspension for coach who tackled teenager on ice https://t.co/3ab4vzcpNH
– Radio-Canada Sports (@RC_Sports) January 13, 2023
– Vegas will have to be without Mark Stone for a while.
heavy loss for the @GoldenKnights👇https://t.co/fkiILhVCFj
— TVA Sports (@TVASports) January 13, 2023
– Heavy loss early in the playoffs for the Chargers.
Chargers will be without Mike Williams against Jaguarshttps://t.co/9JrbrqtwNr
—RDS (@RDSca) January 13, 2023