These three names are three very important names in the NHL, and three players everyone knows pretty well. The future though for these three players seems bleak to some, but to others, it is clear as day. Well, that’s what they think.
Drew Doughty’s contract ends at the end of 2018-19, and right now he is getting paid $7 mil a year. That contract has to only be going up, as a former Norris winner, two-time Stanley Cup winner, and a staple to the Kings defense. Doughty will be asking for anywhere around $10 plus mil. He will be basing his contract off of Erik Karlsson’s, as he has come out and openly said. Can L.A. afford Doughty though? Right now they have 34.1 million locked up between Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Tyler Toffilo, Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson, $8 mil between Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin, and $5.8 mil a year for Jonathan Quick. Now, that is $47.9 mil a year cap the Kings have locked up on just eight players. Add in the 12.5 mil a year Doughty will be asking for the Kings will then have 60.4 mil locked up on nine players. Of their $71.3 cap hit, they will have just $10.9 mil to use on 14 other players. I’m not saying LA, cannot afford Doughty and he won’t end up back in a Kings uniform, but do not be surprised if Doughty does not resign. He has openly said he is ok with leaving L.A. and it seems at this point in his career, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, Norris winner, getting paid is more of a priority for Doughty.
Erik Karlsson’s contract ends the same year as Doughty, 2018-19, and right now Karlsson gets $6.5 mil a year. After his storied career, and producing the most points for defenseman over the last eight years, a two time Norris winner, and after his performance in the playoffs last season. Karlsson will 100 percent be receiving, $12 plus mil a year. And, I’m not sure Ottawa can afford that right now. Ottawa has $35.6 mil locked up between 8 forwards, and Mark Stone needs to be resigned, Derek Brassard, and Matt Duchene within the next two to three years. Along with $9 mil locked up between Dion Phaneuf and Cody Ceci, and $7.1 mil in goaltenders, the Senators have 51.7 mil locked up in 12 players and of their 73.1 mil cap hit a year, the Senators already use half of that on 12 players(not including Karlsson right now). Fitting in Karlsson luxury signing may leave the Senators to part ways with Brassard, Dzingel and another forward, or they attempt to trade him soon and try to receive plenty of picks, prospects and a serviceable defenseman now to help them build for the future. Because let’s be honest this team is not winning anything. And Karlsson has yet to capture a ring, and at this point in his career, a family on the way, getting paid and also wanting to win is on his priority list. Staying with Ottawa may mean, a slight pay cut for Karlsson and I’m not too sure how willing he may be to do that.
John Tavares is not the most interesting to follow because he has been offered contracts and has declined some offers by the Islanders, plus his contacts end at the end of this season. But with the recent news of the Islanders acquiring a new arena in Belmont, NY. Moving back to Long Island and Tavares getting the home he has been longing for, entices Tavares to come back. Right now, with how he has been playing and the love Islander fans have for him Tavares is almost a shoe-in to stay with them. Tavares is basically the lord and savior of this franchise and if he left, the team would be heartbroken. But, the player and competitor Tavares is I’m sure he has to be thinking about getting paid as well as what team gives him the best chance to win a Stanley Cup. Tavares will probably see a similar contract to Connor McDavid/Anze Kopitar, right now he is getting paid $5.5 mil but his contract ends at the end of this season. And the worst part about that is Jordan Eberle’s contract ends in the season 2019-20 same with Anders Lee, but also the following player’s contracts ending in 2017-18 for the Islanders are Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, Alan Quine, Calvin De Haan, Tomas Hickey, Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech. As you can tell the Islanders are going to have some difficult questions to answer. We can assume Tavares gets a 12.5 mil a year contract for eight-plus years, the Islanders are going to have to part ways with a couple forwards, and some defenseman to resign Tavares. Obviously, the Islanders first priority is to re-sign Tavares and of the other two(Karlsson, Doughty), I would honestly say I would be most confident Tavares lands back with the team he has spent his whole career with and finishes his career where he started it.