NHL teams are not scared off to offer “term” to players entering their mid to late 30’s. Last summer 40 year old Ray Whitney landed a 2 year, $9 million contract and free agency hasn’t even begun yet this off-season, but players on the downside of their careers are cashing in again.
39 year old Sergei Gonchar got a 2 year, $10 million contract from the Dallas Stars last week who traded for his rights and 35 year old Mark Streit has nabbed a 4 year, $21 million deal from the Philadelphia Flyers who acquired the rights to Streit from the New York Islanders.
That brings us to Pascal Dupuis. Preliminary talks are underway between the Penguins and Pascal Dupuis reps at Octagon. Dupuis, 34, seeks a four year deal and the market says Pascal Dupuis deserves a four year deal. The four year term is said to be very important to Dupuis opting against hitting the open market but we’ll see about that in the coming weeks.
For a versatile player with excellent speed who can play anywhere in the lineup, in addition to being a great locker room guy who keeps himself in great shape, the Penguins are comfortable with going three years but will they step up with a four year offer and at the end of the day, will Dupuis hold firm on demanding a four year deal? He has people in his ear to hold firm.
Word being floated around is the Penguins possibly topping out at 3 years, $10-$11 million, something I’ve run by a source in Dupuis camp who said that has no chance of getting it done……We’ll see
This might seem laughable to some but the word I’m getting is that Pascal Dupuis market value (On the Free Agent Market) is expected to be in the 4 year, $18-$22 million range. One team executive told me he feels Dupuis could get five years from somebody, even at 34 years old.
Why Dupuis is so attractive to teams is because of his play at even strength. He ranked 13th in the NHL in even strength points this season and 11th (55 points) in even strength points in 2011-2012.
Dupuis, though, is expected to give the Penguins a hometown discount and word I’m getting is that he’s gone into talks seeking a 4 year deal in the range of $14.5 million from the Penguins.
With the cap expected to get back to the high $60’s, low $70 million range in 2015-2016, Pittsburgh should jump at the chance to lock up Dupuis to four year deal with a cap hit under $4 million. Even in a bottom six role in the final years of the deal, Dupuis can still impact a game as a role player at even strength and on the penalty kill.