For the Minnesota Wild I think the biggest goal in adding depth to the team is pretty simple; Don’t disrupt the chemistry. Offensively, and even at defense they don’t have a single current NHL superstar. Eric Staal once held that status, Ryan Suter probably should hold that status, and Zach Parise spent several years right on the cusp of superstardom, Mikko Koivu has been largely ignored in his career.

Hanzal at 30 will have all the things he should need to contribute without disrupting the locker room:

  • agemates
  • motivation to perform as he’s a UFA
  • the opportunity to play on a team that is easily the best of his pro career going into the playoffs.
  • no need to do everything
  • guys happy to see him because of what he brings

On top of that, being that Minnesota is a medium or small market, he won’t face the galactic size culture shock of going someplace like Montreal, Toronto, or one of the big cities where you not only have all the pressure of playing and winning but are likely to be set upon by fans, media, and traveling rival fans at any given moment. The Twin Cities are sure as heck going to be colder for the next few months than the greater Phoenix area, but playing hard and long shift will keep him warm. Not to mention the hope of a Cup playing for what is quite likely the most consistently good team of the year out west.

Win or lose in the playoffs, how he does for individual stats will greatly impact the number of teams, and number of dollars he is offered in July when he hits UFA status.

Fair market value is one of those wonderful terms that means nearly whatever the user wants it to. In my case it means: What are comparable players making on other teams, and when were they signed? And also what are they doing now vs what they did previously?

Chris Kelly is in his first full season with the Boston Bruins, last season he played 24 regular season games, and the fun little playoff run we all remember so well. Here’s some of the key facts.

First long term view.

  • Is 31 now (November birthday)
  • Has been in the NHL since 05-06 season,
  • Is very healthy. Only 20 regular season games lost to injury since entering the NHL.
  • Has been equally effective at home or on the road throughout his career.
  • Career highs: Goals;15 (twice) Assists; 23 Points; 38
  • Career average points per game: .387.
  • Career plus player.
  • UFA in June.

Short term, current role:

  • 3rd line center
  • top penalty killing forward 75th out of 463 NHL forwards for average SHTOI
  • Currently tied for league lead in short handed goals: Mike Richards, Cal Clutterbuck, Brandon Sutter, TJ Oshie, Patrick Dwyer, Dave Bolland also have 2 shorthanded goals through 11/28.
  • 3rd among Bruins forwards in SHTOI
  • Current average points per game: .727. (Higher than the career average for either Bergeron or Krejci.)
  • Good at faceoffs.
  • Best takeaway to turnover ratio of Bruins top six forwards.

Comparables:

  • Adam Pardy (defenseman) has a cap hit of $125,000 less, has played no more than sixty NHL games in a season, career high of 10 points in the NHL in four seasons. Pardy is younger and larger, playing slightly more total minutes, about a minute less short handed, and hitting more. 1st year of a 2 year deal.
  • Andrew Burnette, of the Blackhawks is 7 years older, on a 1 year contract with a cap hit lower than Kelly’s. Last three seasons were 50, 61, 46 points with the Wild.  Is a career minus player. Does not kill penalties.
  • TJ Oshie on a one year contract, has had serious injuries, seven years younger, higher offensive peaks. RFA at end of current contract. Worst (of 3 and current) NHL seasons is a -1.
  • Manny Malhotra, same age, very similar offensive numbers, has had multiple injuries, better faceoff man, plays about 40 seconds more shorthanded per game. Current cap hit 2.5m, year 2 of 3 year contract.
  • Tomas Kopecky Cap hit 3mil, signed this off season, plays about the same number of PK minutes, not as offensively gifted, in first full season playing PK.
  • Martin Hanzal: Starts new contact next season at 3.1 per year, plays more minutes than Kelly, roughly 7 years younger, giveaway to takeaway fairly similar to Kelly. Very similar offensively.

Given his current numbers, age, and role with the Bruins, I’d say that at a low ball or long term deal $2,850,000 for five plus years or up to $3,333,000 for three years or less would be a appropriate. Given that he’s wearing an A, has played through facial injuries, was a good part of the Stanley Cup win, and seems genuinely well liked by his team mates if I’m sitting in the corner office and its $3.5 a year or he walks for less than five years, I take it and consider myself lucky assuming no no-movement or no-trade clauses.

One benefit to signing him past thirty five if you think he can keep handling the minutes and penalty killing at that age is that it would be a more moveable contract than resigning him then if need be.