As been reported, the salary cap will not increase over the next few seasons.
Does this affect the Minnesota Wild and contract negotiations with the Wild’s underrated defensive defenseman Jonas Brodin?
I don’t think it has an immense effect on the Wild’s negotiations with Brodin, but if he asks for too much then the Wild will have to decide how much Brodin warrants on his next contract. It’s likely Brodin will be pursuing a long-term contract.
I do think that the cap not increasing could help as teams may not overpay in free agency for a defensive defenseman like Brodin.
What is his market value?
Dom Luszczyszyn, an NHL writer for the Athletic, has market value for Jonas Brodin at $6.3M.
There is no doubt that Brodin will be looking for a lucrative contract. The question is, what is his magic number?
We all know Brodin’s value: he’s a fast puck-moving defenseman, an unbelievable skater with extensive footwork and agility, which inevitably helps him escape virtually any situation.
His worth and value are not the question, but rather what a justifiable long-term contract extension for a defensive defenseman is. Whether or not it is right, defensive defenseman do not get what offensive defenseman get in this league anymore.
It’s difficult to find comparables for Brodin, most defensive defensemen get paid less than 5 million, because of their lack of offensive production.
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I found a couple of stretch comparable players to Brodin: Brett Pesce of Carolina, Rasmus Anderson of Calgary, and Charlie McAvoy of Boston. All three are younger, so that needs to be taken into account as well.
Brett Pesce is a good comparable to Brodin, he’s not nearly as good defensively, but somewhat close and produces nearly equivalently offensively as Brodin. Pesce has four years remaining at $4.025 million beyond this season, an extension that he signed August 1st, 2017.
Rasmus Andersson is not as nearly as good defensively as Brodin, but a good 23-year-old defenseman that is projected to have a bright future. So far in his short career, his offensive production is like Brodin but will probably better in the future. Andersson just signed a six-year contract extension worth $4.55 million that will come into effect next season.
Obviously Charlie McAvoy is better than Jonas Brodin and will have a way better career than him as well, but at this point right now, it isn’t too far of a stretch to compare Brodin to McAvoy when you don’t take into account age and potential.
McAvoy is one of the best defensive defensemen in the NHL, in my opinion, right behind Brodin. McAvoy is the better overall player, but his offensive production in terms of points is similar. McAvoy recorded 32 points this season meanwhile Brodin recorded 28. McAvoy has 2 years remaining at $4.9 million beyond this season with one of the best bargain contracts in the NHL, even though it is a bridge deal.
What would a long-term contract extension look like?
There is no debate on how valuable Jonas Brodin is, but the Wild also need to take into consideration the future of the Wild.
There is no doubt that younger players like the likes of Kirill Kaprizov, Kevin Fiala, Luke Kunin, Jordan Greenway, and Ryan Donato will all want a more expensive contract.
What about Marcus Foligno? What about the search for the first-line center? What about an extension for Kaapo Kahkonen or a goalie via free agency/trade if Kahkonen does not pan out to the starter we believe he’s projected to be?
I think locking up Brodin is vital, but overpaying to keep him could affect the future of all the young players. I think a phenomenal contract would be anything under $6 million. I would not offer him more than $6.25-$6.5 million.
I am a firm believer that if Brodin explores free agency (unless he goes to a rebuilding team), he will not get more than $6 million due to the lack of offensive production and the fact that the NHL is way behind other major sports in terms of the value of analytics. It appears the NHL is at what I would call the shifting point where there is more of a presence of analytics than ever before.
Just not there yet.