The topic: Brandon Dubinsky signed a six-year, $5.85 million ($5.85 per) contract extension with the Columbus Blue jackets.
The feeling in a word: Skeptical
The explanation: Towards the end of next season, Brandon Dubinsky will turn 29. He’ll be playing out the last year of his previous contract, then this new one will start up, which means he’ll be making just shy of six million dollars a year until he turns 35.
Knowing what we know about age and decline, he’s not going to provide more offensively in a season than he has so far (at least not substantially), and likely will fall off considerably a few years into this new deal. As a guy who tops out at 50 points, you’re likely getting 35-45 points per year for your money. Even if you’re all about paying him for his intangibles (grit!), I find it hard to believe a 33-year-old scoring 40 points and body-checking some people is ever going to be worth six million a season, even as the cap climbs higher. I do like him as a player, but the term seems long.
The topic: Brenden Morrow signed a one-year deal with the Lightning
The feeling in a word: ...Fatherly?
The explanation: I say “fatherly” because it doesn’t seem like Morrow is really being hired for on-ice purposes. These days he’s a 10-goal guy and slowing down fast, but on a team with so, so many talented young players, it wouldn’t surprise me if Steve Yzerman (familiar with Morrow from Team Canada) recognized a good pro and a good role model for those kids. He may end up in the press box here and there, but he might help the team stay focused and get moving towards taking the next step.
The topic: Vladimir Sobotka spurned the Blues for the KHL
The feeling in a word: Bummer
The explanation: Whether you believe Doug Armstrong (they offered him several different contracts of varying length for good money) or Sobotka’s agent (they offered him a year and $2.7 million, $300k off what would’ve got Sobotka signed), the reality is he’s gone to the KHL for a truck of money.
When you’re a team on the verge of breaking through as the Blues are, every bit of depth matters, and losing Sobotka - and underrated player - hurts. The Blues addressed a need in adding Stastny, but it would’ve been fun to see them at their strongest, so this is a bummer.
The topic: Ryan O’Reilly and Evander Kane are both young, talented, and potential trade targets
The feeling in a word: Dangerous
The explanation: You just don’t want to be the guy who traded away the next Tyler Seguin. The ink was barely dry on that trade before people were noticing the strides Seguin was taking towards one of the League’s best players. Here you’ve got two players who can play gritty with big numbers potential early in their careers. They both seem to have issues with their organization, and they both seem to be available for poaching. If they were to orchestrate a swap with these two players somehow, there’d be some awfully nervous people in both organizations - what if the guy we traded becomes a Hall of Famer, and the one we got craps out? I could see it happening either way.