From Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
The Wild wants to pay him in line with the extensions being given out now. And most guys who sign extensions sign for less than they’d get as a UFA.
Remember though, Vincent Lecavalier’s AAV might be $7.727, but that’s bogus because of the last three years of his deal bringing down the average dramatically. He’s essentially making $10 mill in the seven years after this season. Eric Staal’s average is $8.25 mill. Stastically, he’s more accomplished than Gaborik, and he led the league in playoff scoring the year Carolina won the Cup.
Tom Lynn says Staal’s contract ”is another contract relevant to these negotiations.” But the big difference? Staal was to be a restricted free agent, not unrestricted, which is a huge difference in the mind of Gaborik’s camp.
No doubt negotiations are at a delicate juncture. I’ve gotten a lot of emails that have said, “just trade him,” “he’s not Malkin, Crosby, Ovechkin, even Staal, so how do you pay him X. … ”
It’s not as simple as that though. Every team is in a different situation, and from a pure scorer standpoint, Gaborik is the Wild’s only bona fide sniper and noone else is on the horizon. Just imagine life without him.
Read the entire entry from Russo’s Rants here.
Russo is exactly right, without Gaborik, the Wild looks a whole lot different. To be honest, it appears Gaborik and his agent know just that, so these negotiations could be lengthy and should probably drag on for quite a while.