Amid Threat Of Lockout, Bruins Latest NHL Team To Add Big Money Contract
With what "looks like a certain NHL lockout looming on Saturday," Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli signed RW Tyler Seguin to a long-term deal, "his second young top six forward signed in two weeks," according to Steve Conroy of the BOSTON HERALD. After signing LW Brad Marchand to a four-year, $18M extension last week, Chiarelli and the Bruins "came to terms" with Seguin on a six-year extension that will pay "an annual average of" $5.75M. Chiarelli was asked "if he was concerned about the 'optics' of signing players to long-term extensions with a lockout on the horizon and presumably a new set of rules whenever a new CBA is hammered out." Chiarelli said, "I know we talk openly about the second contract problem and we’re trying to fix it. But I try to do my job, I try to move forward and these are core players that I try to lock up." He added, "I feel that there’ll be some flexibility enough if we have to make some changes in a new system and that’s how we’ve decided to go forward with it" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/12). Chiarelli said, "It may fly in the face of the labor situation at this time, but we feel very strongly in the core of our team" (AP, 9/11).
CURIOUS CONTRACTS: In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont writes Seguin "won't be paid so much for what he's done but for the promise he has shown." But Chiarelli is "firm in the belief that he is doing right by the franchise." Meanwhile, the NHL is "again saying times are tough, future business could be flat, and that it’s near-impossible for owners to make a buck when the stick carriers are shoveling money off sheets of ice as though they are 30 rigged craps tables" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/12). The GLOBE & MAIL's Eric Duhatschek writes the Bruins were not the only NHL team "to lock up their promising kids in these past few frantic weeks before the CBA expires." The Oilers "did it previously with" LW Taylor Hall and RW Jordan Eberle, the Hurricanes with C Jeff Skinner, and the Senators "to a lesser degree" with Cs Kyle Turris and Zack Smith. Duhatschek: "How bad can the business of hockey be if teams are trying so hard to get their young players signed under the wire under terms of a contract they say no longer works for them?" Duhatschek asks, "Is it any more curious because the Bruins are owned by Jeremy Jacobs, chairman of the NHL’s board of governors, and one of the key voices on the owners’ side?" It is "sure that whatever demands NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is making, Jacobs is fully on board, with the tactics used at the bargaining table and with the end game in mind" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/12).