In a league that has made 3 year contracts a rule of thumb, the new rise in lengthy deals is astounding. It’s no guarantee that a player can keep healthy, uninjured and focused for 3 periods, let alone 3 years. So, the commitment from both a franchise and a player for extended contracts spanning longer than possible careers is a hard one to process.
From an outside perspective, the choice to sign a lengthy contract may appear as a no-brainer. Make millions of dollars, buy a house, settle down, and play some hockey. Easy right? Wrong. Long contracts and millions of dollars come with a price, one that often places a player under some unwanted scrutiny. The successful play that brought on such a solid deal may decline at any moment, and lead fans to wonder if a player is really worth it.
Young fresh skating skills and talent might be successful at the start of ones career, but 6-10 years later, will the story be the same. Only time will tell and for many NHL teams, they have close to a decade with some players to find out.
If you were a GM, would you take the 3 year route or a decade when choosing a player to line your bench?