Those wanting to know what its going to take to sign Tyler Seguin when hes ready for his second contract got a glimpse of it this week with the news the Carolina Hurricanes had locked up 20-year-old Jeff Skinner for the long haul.
Skinner signed a six-year, 34.35 million contract that could wind up being very similar to Seguins second contract if the Bruins opt for a longer term pact with their budding superstar. The deal will play Skinner 4.35 million in his arbitration-eligible season in 2013-14 and 6 million per season from 2014-2019.
If Seguin got the same deal, it would make him the highest-paid forward on the Bruins, and the second-highest paid player behind only Zdeno Chara.
But its also the kind of deal that Seguin could command given the comparable track that both Skinner and Bostons young superstar have undergone over the last two years. In essence Skinner has set the bar for Seguin and agent Ian Pulver if a contract extension is to be completed before the end of next season.
Boston could opt to go the shorter deal route with Seguin, but that could end up costing them more money if the Bs center continues his rapid ascension toward being one of the games best offensive players.
Seguin has 40 goals, 49 assists and 89 points in 155 games over the last two seasons as he enters the final year of his entry level contract with the Boston Bruins, and he will be up after this season along with Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and Tuukka Rask among others.
Skinner meanwhile has 51 goals, 56 assists and 107 points in 146 games with the Hurricanes over his first two NHL seasons. The Carolina superstars stats are slightly better overall than Seguin after two seasons with both players at 20 years old, but Skinner is coming off a disappointing 44-point sophomore campaign when he was limited to 64 games in his second season because of concussion problems. Seguin has been exceedingly healthy aside from a finger injury he played through at the end of last year.
Both forwards have one All-Star appearance under their belts and Seguin finished second in the NHL last season with a plus-34 while putting out the best individual season either player has enjoyed since breaking into the league.
The long-term and high price tag of Skinners second contract is one of the very reasons the NHL is attempting to make entry level contracts five years in length in the next collective bargaining agreement. Theres an interest among league owners to control the cost of their young assets for a longer period of time as elite young players are commanding mega-bucks four or five years into their young NHL careers.
A new CBA could change things slightly for Seguin and the Bruins, but nobody should be surprised if this is the kind of contract Bostons young scoring sensation ends up signing to stay in Boston for the foreseeable future.