It was never a question of if, it was merely a question of how much.
And now we know: Evgeny Kuznetsov, after signing an 8-year, $62.4 million contract extension with the Caps on Sunday night, is among hockey’s highest paid players.
- Kuznetsov's $7.8 million cap hit is tied for the 16th highest among all players. Rick Nash’s deal also carries a $7.8 million cap hit.
- On the Caps, the average annual value of Kuzy’s new deal ranks second behind only Alex Ovechkin’s $9.538 million. Nicklas Backstrom, the team’s first line center, ranks third at $6.7 million.
- Among all centers, Kuznetsov’s cap hit is the eighth highest behind Jonathan Toews ($10.5 million), Anze Kopitar ($10), Evgeny Malkin ($9.5), Sidney Crosby ($8.7), Steven Stamkos ($8.5), Claude Giroux ($8.275) and Ryan Getzlaf ($8.250).
- At 25, Kuznetsov is the youngest player with a cap hit over $7.5 million.
(All of the above figures are courtesy of CapFriendly.com)
Shortly after signing Kuznetsov, the Caps announced how they plan to shoehorn it all under the $75 million salary cap ceiling: they dealt winger Marcus Johansson (and his $4.583 million cap hit) to the Devils for second and third round picks in next year’s draft.
By subtracting Johansson, the Caps are now about $9 million under the cap with 14 players signed for next season, according to CapFriendly.com, and restricted free agents Andre Burakovsky and Philipp Grubauer still need to be re-signed. So, yeah, GM Brian MacLellan still has some work to do this offseason
MacLellan, by the way, is expected to speak to reporters on Monday morning. So perhaps some answers are forthcoming.
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