Author Topic: Zaitsev's extension made official  (Read 3295 times)

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Online CarltonTheBear

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Zaitsev's extension made official
« on: May 02, 2017, 12:59:35 PM »
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Leafs PR‏ @LeafsPR  3 minutes ago
.@MapleLeafs have signed D Nikita Zaitsev to a seven-year contract extension. Annual value of the contract is $4.5M through 2023-24 #TMLtalk

Zaitsev's fine, but I can't get over that being at least 2 years too long and probably $0.5-1mil too much.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 01:05:05 PM by CarltonTheBear »

Offline bustaheims

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 01:07:57 PM »
Zaitsev's fine, but I can't get over that being at least 2 years too long and probably $0.5-1mil too much.

A little long I can buy - though, it's not like Zaitsev will be particularly old when it ends - but, taking a look at defencemen with similar cap hits, outside of a couple guys who are clearly underpaid, Zaitsev fits well into that group, and could easily end up providing better value than many.
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Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 01:09:28 PM »

Nah, I like it. It's a big commitment but if he's the guy we saw for most of the regular season and was playing hurt in the playoffs then he's someone who I think is roughly worth the AAV now and has some room to grow.
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Offline princedpw

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 01:12:18 PM »
The hope with contracts like this is that we see some inflation in NHL revenues over the next 7 years so we see the relative cost decrease while the relatively young Zaitsev improves slightly over his first year in the NHL.

Offline Zee

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 01:12:51 PM »
Hopefully he can continue to play well otherwise he'll be shipped off to Robidas Island in the last years of this contract.  He's only turning 26 this fall so I think it's a decent risk to take.

Offline mr grieves

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 01:13:20 PM »
Isn't there also an out in the CBA for these contracts to Euro free agents?

I think the Athletic podcast mentioned they could be sent back to the clubs with no cap penalty (NHL team pays the salary while they play over there)


Online CarltonTheBear

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 01:14:07 PM »
A little long I can buy - though, it's not like Zaitsev will be particularly old when it ends - but, taking a look at defencemen with similar cap hits, outside of a couple guys who are clearly underpaid, Zaitsev fits well into that group, and could easily end up providing better value than many.

To commit THAT many years for a guy with 1 NHL year under his belt, I'd expect a fairer cap hit in return. Just seems like such a massive risk.

I'm also generally in the "only give top line talent 7 years term" camp. Zaitsev right now is our 3rd best defenceman. And we still need to find somebody to bump him down to the 4 slot where he belongs.

Also, and this may be where I differ from most, I really don't think Zaitsev is that good defensively.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 01:16:45 PM by CarltonTheBear »

Online herman

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2017, 01:16:43 PM »
Ideally, we get someone to slot into the matchup slot to free up Zaitsev into an offensive role, where he would easily make this contract a steal.

Edit: based on what I saw from him at the World Cup and YouTube, I think he's got some runway on his growth curve, especially with familiarizing to the league and the players he encounters. Defense just takes so many reps to turn positioning to instinct.

Zaitsev's case is similar to Rielly's in my mind, as they were leaned on by their teams to be 4th forwards more than defensemen, and the defense aspect of their development still has room to grow. Their physical tools are definitely there, but it takes experience to naturally know which side of an attacker to pressure, which direction to pivot optimally to keep the gap, and building up that mental dossier on the tendencies of high-danger attackers to shortcut decision-making time.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 01:36:15 PM by herman »

Online AvroArrow

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2017, 01:38:45 PM »
Makes him more tradeable ;)

Online herman

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2017, 01:49:35 PM »
www.twitter.com/CapFriendly/status/859457014807900160

3M signing bonus for each of the first three years, then 2M for the last two years. Two years of no signing bonus.

Concessions from both sides? Extend term past lockout potential year, but no signing bonus guaranteed for that year.

Offline Peter D.

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2017, 01:56:17 PM »
Might be a year or two too long, but won't complain.

$13.55 million tied up to three young, talented d-men in Rielly, Gardiner and now Zaitsev is pretty good value in my eyes.

Offline Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2017, 02:47:09 PM »
I am leaning carltonish on this one since I too wasn't *that* impressed with his defense.  OTOH there aren't a lot of options out there now (other than trying to find the next Zaitsev, e.g., Rosen) so it does make sense to nail him down.

To me the thing that would lift this deal out of the near-meh category is whether Zaitsev really does improve a bit more.  Yes, and the contract becomes a sweetheart.  But since he's already played in the KHL for 7 years, one has to wonder how much better he could possibly get (in terms of the details herman mentions).

Offline mr grieves

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2017, 03:17:34 PM »
Isn't there also an out in the CBA for these contracts to Euro free agents?

I think the Athletic podcast mentioned they could be sent back to the clubs with no cap penalty (NHL team pays the salary while they play over there)

This is mentioned at around 21:00 of the podcast (Leafs Ep. 19), Dave Alter is probably alluding to what I heard in this write up on the deal:

Quote
In some ways, the term comes with very little downside. Should Zaitsev’s performance decline in the later years of the deal, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he will return home to play in the KHL, cutting the contract short, much like Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk have done in recent years.



Offline disco

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2017, 03:55:17 PM »
$4.5-million is totally the going rate for responsible top-four D in this day and age. This regime seems comfortable with 5+ year deals for players that have shown the willingness to work at being the best they can be. See Kadri, Reilly. Term is the major way to keep AAV down. And the Leafs are being smart about it.

Reilly - $5-million
Kadri - $4.5-million
Zaitsev - $4.5-million

Smh a bit at the hate-on Grapes has for Zaitzy. No one's saying he's fricking Bobby Orr. I watched most games this year, he played well for us. A lot of good players were a minus on this club, simply a by product of playing for this team right now. Team defense was not their strong point in the first half for sure.

Leafs are playing a 4th forward style with their D with a winger periodically covering their spot to generate offence. I rarely saw bad pinches in the 2nd half where it was a blatant two-on-one coming the other way. Gardiner and Reilly can play this style. As can Zaitsev. Even if we don't end up drafting / signing in FA that big number-one stud, having a total of six D that can play this style with strong hockey IQ, will be very dangerous. Especially with these forward corps.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 04:02:20 PM by disco »
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Online herman

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2017, 03:58:58 PM »
Smh a bit at the hate-on Grapes has for Zaitzy.

It's a pretty safe bet to pick players that Cherry hates. Come to think of it, might be the same in reverse for most of Pierre Maguire's monsters.

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Re: Zaitsev's extension made official
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2017, 03:58:58 PM »