Last week, the Anaheim Ducks made headlines both in the NHL and the world of finance when they re-signed star center Ryan Getzlaf to a 8-year, $66 million contract extension. The $8.5 million cap puts Getzlaf tied with Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes as the 3rd highest cap hit of any center in the NHL, only behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Although he isn’t quite at the level of players a Sidney Crosby or John Tavares, Getzlaf is still widely considered to be an elite center and the Anaheim Ducks decided to pay him like he is one. Considering this is the first mega-deal since the ink has dried on the new CBA, this mammoth contract will set the stage for the entire 2013 offseason as free agents look for the biggest cash grabs around the NHL.
And that’s where Panthers’ center Stephen Weiss comes into play…
Heading into the 2013 offseason, Weiss will be one of the most coveted free agent forwards in the entire NHL as teams scramble to bid for the services of the talented two-way center. While clearly Weiss is not in the same class as Ryan Getzlaf, the fact remains that many NHL team’s will want a player like Weiss to anchor their 2nd line during the 2013-2014 season.
Luckily for Stephen Weiss and his wallet, the veteran forward will be a big fish in a small pond this offseason as only a handful of quality centers will be heading towards unrestricted free agency. Weiss will be near the top of a free agent class consisting of centers such as Mike Ribeiro, Nik Antropov, Tyler Bozak and Derek Roy – hardly a group of superstars, but still very coveted players.
Hart Trophy- Most Valuable Player
Explanation: It’s safe to say that at this point in time, Sidney Crosby isn’t walking, but running away with the Hart Trophy. With 45 points in just 26 games, Crosby is on pace to score 142 points in an 82 game season. He currently holds a 1.73 points per game average, as well as a 1.27 assists per game average. There have only been 4 players in the history of the NHL who have had a better assists per game average, and they are: Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and Adam Oates. That’s not a bad bunch of guys to fall into a category with.
What better way to spend your lunch break than catching up on all of last night’s amazing NHL action that you may have missed! Here are the top stories and videos from the all of yesterday’s action around the NHL.
- The Anaheim Ducks have signed Ryan Getzlaf to a 8-year, $66 million contract. [Yahoo]
- Jump on board the Chicago Blackhawks’ bandwagon! [ESPN]
- Draft Watch 2013 – Top 10 OHL Players [The Hockey Writers]
- Blackhawks winning streak ends at 24 games [TSN]
- David Legwand scores from center ice [Fox Sports]
- Dustin Penner comments on Ryan Getzlaf’s new contract. [Twitter]
Follow All Panther Parkway writers on Twitter: Me @JamesonCoop, Frank Rekas @FrankRekas, Josh Luecht @eyesonsunrise, Scott Mullin @GreatScottsman, Paige Lewis @PaigeLewisFL, Gabby Kiger @gabbykiger, Amanda Land @HockeyGirl2530 and David Lasseter @davidlasseter. Visit our Facebook fan page here and give us a like and share anything you wish with us.
With 15 games in the books so far and a record of 4-7-4 to show for it, the Florida Panthers are painting themselves in a corner with little margin for error. The next five games on the schedule are going to tell us a great deal about the balance of the season. Games against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on the road (back to back too), followed by three home games against Boston, Pittsburgh and Buffalo will be no walk in the park, especially the way Florida has been playing lately. The only good news is that the Southeast Division is so weak, that the Panthers despite their dismal record are only five points off the division lead. Regardless of that fact, it’s becoming blatantly obvious that the team needs something in order to help get them to the next level, whether that be this season, or next.
Dale Tallon has a five year plan, and last year’s division championship may have come a year or two early, in order for the Florida Panthers to excel and be a consistent playoff contender, ultimately challenging for the Stanley Cup, a proven player or two needs to be acquired. We have drafted extremely well over the past two seasons, and have some of the brightest young players coming up the ranks in the future, yet we need at least one or two skilled players to be mixed in with the current group. A top notch goal scorer or sniper if you will, and a hard working consistently producing forward would fill the bill. Building through the draft, making a few trades, and signing key free agents are all part of the mixture. Here’s five unrestricted free agents that deserve a look:
1) Ryan Getzlaf: A true big center to finally lineup against everyone else’s top pivot man, Getzlaf has a superior skill set for someone with his size. While he’s not as much of a goal scorer as a set up man, he can still put the puck in the net and get his share of goals. He’s been fortunate to play with some gifted wingers like Corey Perry for example, allowing him to focus more on setting up rather than scoring. Depending on who his linemates are, he could be a player who’s goals and assists are more even more if he takes more shots. Currently making $5.325 million he may be out of our price range, and Anaheim might want to keep him. Rumor has it he’s building or has built a house in that area, so he may be looking to stay. It’s still worth a shot to make him an offer.
For the past few months there has been speculation involving long time Florida Panther and fan favorite, Stephen Weiss. Just like any other “top” player in their contract year, trade rumors have begun whirling around the internet that Stephen Weiss will be dealt before the April 3rd deadline. But even prior to last season, Weiss’ name has been heavily involved in the rumor mill despite having a six-year contract worth $18.6 million, not to mention a full no-movement clause.
Coming off one of his most notable seasons with 57 points in 80 games, Weiss could be amongst the top sought after free agent centers along with Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Ribiero, and Derek Roy. This means the Panthers have one of two obvious choices. They can either resign Weiss and keep him as our number one center, or they can deal him off to another team and quite possibly get someone of importance back. Unfortunately this is a business and I believe that resigning Weiss to another lengthy contract would hang heavily on the future of our franchise.