Two NHL veterans, with more than a few years of NHL experience under their belts, got contract extensions yesterday. Philadelphia Flyers forward with the flowing red hair, Scott Hartnell, and Nashville Predators forward, Mike “not only do I play in the NHL but I’m also married to Carrie Underwood” Fisher.
Last season for the Philadelphia Flyers, Scott Hartnell recorded 37 goals (ranked 31st in the NHL) to go with 30 assists all the while racking up 136 penalty minutes (good for 11th in the NHL). So while Hartnell is a valuable point scorer for the Flyers, he is also a pest and one of the best in the league. He is very good at getting under the opposing teams skin and that aspect of Hartnell’s game to me is priceless. Also, not only does Hartnell get under the players skin, he occasionally irritates opposing fans as well. Watch Hartnell taunt a Pittsburgh Penguins fan who happened to look like Hulk Hogan here. I don’t know if thats good or bad for the Flyers but I enjoy it.
Hartnell is entering the last year of a contract that will see him make $3.2 million during the 2012-13 NHL season (if there is one), with a cap hit of $4.2 million. His new deal is worth $28.5 million over six years, with an annual cap hit of $4.7 million.
The new contract is front loaded, with Hartnell being paid $6 million in the first year of the contract and then it slowly declines down to $3 million by the sixth and final year. The deal also contains a “no-movement clause”, which under the current CBA allows Hartnell to deny any attempt by the Flyers to trade him or send him down to the minors. That could change eventually, as usual it depends on the new CBA.
Nashville Predators forward, Mike Fisher, signed a contract extension of his own yesterday, reportedly worth $8.4 million over two years.
Last season for the Predators, Fisher registered 24 goals and 27 assists while playing mainly on Nashville’s first line. Like Hartnell, Fisher brings more than just numbers to the table. Fisher is a responsible, reliable two-way center that shows leadership both on and off the ice. Did I mention he’s married to Carrie Underwood?
Fisher, who was set to become a free agent after the 2012-13 season, will make $3 million this upcoming season (again if there is one, that darn CBA is always dragging us down). After that his new extension kicks in and his pay bumps up to $4.2 million for the next two seasons. His cap hit, which has been $4.2 million since the 2008-09 season, will remain $4.2 million for the duration of his new contract extension.
It’s been quite an offseason for the Nashville Predators. They lost a solid defenseman in Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild courtesy of a lifetime NHL contract thats salary and signing bonus is equivalent to winning a large lottery jackpot. Then the Predators had their hand forced when it came to signing all star defenseman and team captain, Shea Weber, to a contract similar to that of the Suter deal because the Philadelphia Flyers sent then RFA Shea Weber an offer sheet of epic proportions. Finally they have the Fisher deal, which to me is a smart business move for both sides that ensures Nashville a top line center and leader for the next three seasons, while it gives Fisher some financial security and peace of mind that allows him to concentrate on hockey.
So while some big name and young restricted free agents remain without new deals two veterans, Scott Hartnell and Mike Fisher, are getting contract extensions. Crafty veterans.
As always we welcome your commentary and comments below. Feel free to follow Billy Bryson on Twitter @BillyBrysonNHL and thanks for reading!