New contract for Carolina's Skinner a sign of Seguin's value

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New contract for Carolina's Skinner a sign of Seguin's value

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.

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.