That....looks like it would hurt.

The lucky recipient this time was Scott Hartnell, he of the Hartnell Down Foundation, the #1 spot on the Backhand Shelf beerability list, and the 2012 NHL All-Star Game. Hartnell scored 37 times last year while playing with Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr, which was a nice addition to his all-around gritty, semi-pest-like game.

The deal will pay Hartnell 28.5 million over that span, leaving the Flyers with an average annual cap hit of $4.75 million, up incrementally from the $4.2 they had him on the books for previously. In terms of actual money, he’ll earn six million in the first year of the deal, with the money dropping off until the final season of it, when he earns three million. The deal comes with a limited no-move clause as well.

Hartnell is 30 years old – with a year left on his contract, he’s set to be a Flyer until he hits 37 in April 2019.

So! The analysis: Scott Hartnell could’ve made more money than that, likely both from the Flyers on this deal (apparently a few agents are surprised at how small the deal is), or from the free agent market next summer.

First off, negotiating a new deal after scoring 37 goals helps your leverage at the bargaining table just a bit. For anyone who’d like to rail “he can’t keep that pace up, players after 30 go into decline,” fine. He doesn’t need to score 30+ goals to be worth $4.75 million. Hell, teams would pay $4.75 for a 20 goal scorer that does what Hartnell does – works hard, agitates, hits, and provides some offense. He’s the perfect guy to stick in front of the net on the powerplay.

What’s crazy, are the rumours about the interest in Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan. We were hearing that some team was offering him four years at seven million dollars per, and last year Doan scored 22 times and tallied 50 points. He’ll be 36 when the puck drops on the next season. He plays the role of Scott Hartnell, if Scott Hartnell had less of an offensive upside.

Who knows what the salary cap will be come the end of Hartnell’s deal. Who knows what percentage of the cap he’ll be eating up. But I think it’s safe to say players can still contribute something into their late 30′s these days (speaking of Shane Doan), and any team in the league would gladly welcome Hartnell aboard at that cap hit.

All that said, I do understand taking a little less money to get more years once you’re in your 30s. Guaranteed contracts are, as you may know, guaranteed, and having a great income secured for a lot of years like that has to be pretty appealing.

The contract is the third six-year deal Paul Holmgren has given out this summer – they had previously locked up Wayne Simmonds ($23.875m) and James van Riemsdyk ($25.5m). Might as well get the long-termers in before the new CBA makes ‘em illegal, right?

Comments (7)

  1. Love this signing. I get the impression Hartnell brings a lot off the ice also. His enthusiasm and drive to get out of a slump must be infectious.

  2. van Riemsdyk was last year. It was Voracek this summer.

  3. “We were hearing that some team was offering him four years at seven million dollars per”

    Check your sources, if that was the offer Doan would be signed. You honestly think he’s holding out for MORE then that?

  4. No, I believe he’s holding out to find out if the Coyotes situation is stable or not. …Which he is.

  5. Yes, Shane Doan is still productive and valuable at 35. However:

    a) For every Doan, there are three or four players who didn’t hang on that long.
    b) Doan averaged 67 points in his age 27-29 seasons. Hartnell averaged 53.

    Make a list of players in the ’00s who had production similar to Hartnell’s at a similar age. http://hkref.com/tiny/bruWg Look at how they did from age 31 to 36.

    Of the people who are already at least 33, Arnott, Doan, and Rolston had an average production that’s worth this pay. Huselius, Lehtinen, Savard, Sullivan, Zednik, Dumont, and Modin all had production that’s not worth this pay.

    Even if I stipulate that teams would pay him $4.75M for 20 goals, I don’t see how you can look at the list of comparables and conclude that 20 goals is an average expectation for his age 31-36 seasons.

    If they can play him for a couple years and hide his salary in the AHL when he breaks down, this is a fine deal. But it’s been reported that the deal has a NMC, and also that the new CBA might limit that hiding of contracts — if either of those turns out to be true, the risk is large that they’ll be carrying $4.75M of dead space on the cap for the last few years of the deal, and his play in the first few years won’t make up for that risk.

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