Rick Nash - 8 year extension worth $62.4 million.
Derick Brassard - 4 year extension worth $12.8 million.
Derek Dorsett - 2 year extension worth $1.15 million.
..and now Antoine Vermette signs a 5 year extension worth $18.75 million (cue Prince!).
Total the Blue Jackets' GM Scott Howson has dished out a whopping 19 years worth a total of $95.1 million just in contract extensions alone this summer.
If there was any question that this is now Scott Howson's team to sink or swim with that baby has been put to bed.
For better or worse the Jackets have their team pretty much set for the next few seasons.
Now in his 3rd year Howson has methodically and deliberately locked up his franchise player, secured the middle of the ice, fortified the defense, trimmed the fat and restocked his farm system. He has stuck to his plan of building and developing his core from within and has complimented them with competent and productive veterans.
As far as the Vermette signing it was, as I've said all along this summer, a deal that had to get done. Bottom line was who could take his place at that price and with that experience and potential?
I thought it would be a 4 year deal but both sides settled on 5. I can live with that especially since Vermette is just now hitting his prime at 27 and will be 32 when the deal expires.
The money all along had to be similar to RJ Umberger's deal. How could it not be? Both guys are 27 and both guys have put up similar numbers in their careers:
Vermette will be in his 8th year as a pro this season. He has notched 41, 53 and 39 points the past 3 campaigns.
Umberger will be in his 6th year as a pro and put up 46, 50 and 28 points the past 3.
Their games certainly aren't twins on the ice but they mesh well together which was immediately evident over the first few games these two were matched up together.
The biggest difference between the two is that Umberger was an RFA when he negotiated his deal while Vermette was slated to be unrestricted this coming summer which in a negotiation gives Vermette more leverage.
The biggest knock on Vermette is his inconsistency which is fair. The thought now is that since Vermette will be playing in a top 6 role with better offensive players and more PP time he should be able to consistently put up better numbers -- say in that 50 to 60 point range.
That remains to be seen of course but I think that is a fair risk to take especially, as I've stated, given how hard it is to find obtain capable centers in this league.
Howson still has work to do like acquiring that ever so elusive puck moving d-man and locking up guys like Russell, Mason, Voracek and Filatov but my how far we've come.
..and how about the snowball effect that's occurred ever since Rick Nash signed that extension? No longer is Columbus begging for players to stay... yeah the ones they have ain't starvin but these guy want to play here now.
As a fan that is a wonderful feeling.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Labels: Antoine Vermette