Milan Lucic signed a three year, 12.25 million dollar deal, which amounts to 4.083333 million dollars per season. Now before we make judgement to if we overpaid, we must take into account other deals similar players signed. I will use Dustin Brown, and Ryan Clowe.
Dustin Brown, the 13th overall pick of the 2003 NHL draft signed a six year, 19.05 million dollar contract at the beginning of his third year, a la Milan Lucic. The deal broke down with salaries of 2.6, 2.45, 3.5, 3.5, 3.5, 3.5 with a cap hit of 3.175 million dollars. His first full season, he had 14 goals and 14 assists. In his second season he had 17 goals and 29 assists. In his third full season, the one in which he signed the extension, he broke out for 33 goals 27 assists. Lucic on the other hand had 8 goals and 19 assist for 27 points. In his second season, he had 17 goals and 29 assists. Lucic is right on par with Brown’s career path.
Ryan Clowe, the 175th overall pick of the 2001 NHL draft, signed a four year, 14.5 million dollar deal, with the salaries at 3.5, 3.5, 3.5 and then 4, which is 3.625 million per season. Clowe signed the extension this offseason, after scoring 22 goals and 30 assists. His 2008-09 campaign was injury plagues, and in his first full season, he posted 16 goals and 18 assists in only 58 games.
Now, Lucic has never surpassed 20 goals, but he has shown progression and could turn into a 20 goal scorer. His offensive skills are not that of Clowe or Brown. The issue with the Lucic deal is that the term is not long enough to justify the money. Brown’s deal was six years for a bargain price with similar numbers to Lucic. Clowe signed a four year deal, but he was buying out UFA years as he was 26 when he signed the deal. If Lucic’s deal was for less money, closer to Krejci, than we could justify it for the years, or if the term was longer, we could justify the money, but that’s not the case. While everyone should be happy Lucic re-signed, the money is a little to much for my taste. While Lucic is a unique player, his offensive skill does not reward a 4 million dollar salary at this time of his career.