Joined: Jul 2018
I think this is the only deal that really worked for Calgary as they won't be forced to make a deal to be compliant ahead of the season opener. I am leaning toward thinking short term deals as being the best way to deal with RFAs, but we wont' know for sure until the end of these deals if it's the best strategy (versus what a 6-8 year deal would look like). I do think that a lot of RFAs seem to want something closer to what a UFA deal would look like if they were to accept considerable term (maybe not to the extent Marner got) and since UFA value represents kind of a cap for an RFA, I think the best way to save the most money may be takign the bigger discount in the short term and negotiating with the RFA almost as if he was a UFA at the end to get additional term. You still have the benefit then of not being too concerned about longer term if they want it by that point, since they are young enough that the final years of that deal are probably still good just by virtue of the cap increasing, even if the player has started their decline.
The only caveat to this is it does allow the players to walk as a UFA at year 4. There is no stopping the player from just accepting the QO or filing arbitration for one year award after the final year, so that is really the biggest risk with the 3 year bridge.
Either way you look at it, $7M is a number that Tkachuk should easily be worth for each of the 3 years, and it buys calgary some time to see how their team is progressing and which direction they want to go.