Saturday, July 28, 2007

Roy contract holds Michalek implications

Enter the world of Derek Roy. The guy has one decent season playing with All-Star calibre linemates in Thomas Vanek and Maxim Afinogenov and receives a 6-year, $24 million contract which will skew the RFA market for years to come. The Sharks will be a large player in that market next off-season as Marcel Goc, Christian Ehrhoff, Joe Pavelski, Steve Bernier, Ryane Clowe, Matt Carle and, most notably, Milan Michalek all become restricted free agents.

Now, setting aside the significant possibility that one or more of those players will be handed offer sheets by Krazy Kevin going apeshit again, the Roy contract will set a precedent for any and all contracts handed to the Sharks' 2008 RFAs, especially Michalek. Now, Roy scored 21 goals and 63 points in 75 games with a +37 rating, which projects out to about 69 points had he played in all 82 games. Michalek scored 26 goals and 66 points in 78 games last year while compiling a +17, which projects to a little over 69 points as well. So, their values are essentially the same.

Monetarily speaking, that will probably lead to a contract similar to Roy's, providing a cap hit of $4 million. Assuming the cap hits $53 million next year, this puts the Sharks in a precarious position as their cap number will already be inflated by the increase in Joe Thornton's contract, and this still is excluding the aforementioned group of RFAs, of which Matt Carle is likely due a significant raise. And did I mention Patrick Marleau becomes a UFA next July? Essentially, enjoy this relatively quiet off-season while you can, Sharks fans, because the next one's going to be a living hell.

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