The second overall pick out of the 2013 NHL Draft was signed to a six-year, $5.9 million AAV contract extension yesterday afternoon. For Panthers fans, this is a big deal, but it does impact the pending Sean Monahan extension. How much will Aleksander Barkov’s new contract affect Calgary’s scoring centre?
BARKOV – WORTH EVERY PENNY
When it comes to the future of what the NHL has for potentially elite centres, no one should be surprised to see Barkov is in that conversation. The man-boy who is built like a viking straight out of an era of destruction and pillaging has earned himself a justly rewarded contract.
The $5.9M AAV deal which, runs through until 2022, is set up in a way that others may soon follow: the 2020-21 season appears to be lockout protected, coming in at $4.75M. Every year besides the aforementioned follows suit in standard incremental raises which may end up being a steal by its end. By all accounts, it sets up Florida nicely outside of some anomaly deals on the books still.
This should be a rough blueprint for how Brad Treliving walks into negotiations with Monahan, especially with the 2020-21 season being a season he could save money on in the long-term. The same goes for Gaudreau’s negotiations, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see Gaudreau get a Tarasenko-esque contract, which he’s earned.
For Monahan, at this point there is some light shed on what he is: a guy who can score; though as of late he’s snakebitten, like the rest of the team. Beyond that, his improvement in faceoffs and small incremental improvements on shot-attempt differentials give some optimism he can live into some of the misappropriated hype the media has bestowed upon him.
Still, lingering issues persist, which Kent has covered before like:
- His two-way game hasn’t really manifested at all. Though, he’s 21, and there is still time.
- The impact Monahan has at 5v5 isn’t the strongest, though relative to last season it has improved.
- His skating isn’t turning any heads.
BARKOV / MONAHAN – The Hero Chart via Own the Puck
The two both essentially get similar ice time while producing similar primary points per 60, though Monahan has been more productive at scoring goals. The real differences take hold in regards to the CF60, CA60, and CD60 measurements (Corsi For, Corsi Against, and Corsi Differential) in which we see Barkov being much more of an impact relative to his teammates – especially against the centre drafted four spots after him in 2013.
When we take a look at the two centres, side by side with this season and their career numbers to date in the regular season and at 5v5, there are some stark contrasts. A glossary for all acronyms can be found here.
Barkov’s results in both producing and providing defensive impacts are evident while Monahan, who has struggled in the past, has made strides this season. Nowhere more obvious are the visibly apparent differences in impacting scoring chances against. Again, this highlights where optimism for improvement in Monahan’s game is as clear as day.
Once more data like Ryan Stimson’s Passing Project or continued work on zone entry data is available, we’ll be able to see a player from virtually every facet. With what limited data is compiled in Stimson’s work, Barkov and Monahan are producing a very similar impact in this area. Thanks to Sean Tierney for providing these visuals:
Barkov / Monahan – Points and Scoring Rates (5v5, 2015-16 via War on Ice)
Side by side, there is little difference on raw totals at 5v5, though Barkov is producing at an edge over Monahan so far this season at 2.01 P/60 to Monahan’s 1.83 P/60 (points per 60). Barkov also missed some time this season due to a hand injury, but since returning it looks like he hasn’t missed a beat.
If we examine their regular season career to date 5v5 points and scoring rates we can see visible differences in their production:
Monahan’s beastly production last year has definitely helped him get to this point, scoring at a 1.57 P/60 rate in his career at 5v5 while Barkov steadily has produced as well (1.71 P/60). All this discussed, it’s just one element of their games where, for now at least, Monahan has historically produced more goals while Barkov has a slight edge in assists.
Finally, a brief look at their power play impacts career to date shows Monahan with the slight edge at this point in their careers. This season however, both gentlemen each have three goals and three assists. For Monahan, it’s a step back at this point from last season’s 16 points, while Barkov is surely to eclipse his previous highs.
WHAT TO MAKE OF ALL OF THIS
Given what has been accomplished by both centres, it’s all too certain that Treliving will make good on a long-term deal. Barkov earned what will likely be a steal of a deal on pretty decent results, while Monahan has goal totals in his favor for negotiations.
Beyond the Flames having to keep an eye on this, the Avalanche and Nathan MacKinnon also will be looking at this extension as a blueprint for how to proceed as well. You can also lump Filip Forsberg (NSH), Valeri Nichushkin (DAL), Richard Rakell (ANA), Mark Scheifele (WIN), and Ryan Strome (NYI) in as players, with agents paying close attention here.
But if anything, this deal just gives a rough approximation of what to expect – which is what has been so sorely lacked in trying to determine the actual value. Fortunately, there is a lot of dead weight, for a lack of a better term, coming off the books next year which will make matters a tad easier.
Next season, the Flames look forward to Sam Bennett’s ELC in its final season, which may be a repeat of what happens here. Add in Mark Giordano’s $6.75M AAV extension kicking in until 2022, the need to add a goalie this summer, and a gaggle of other RFAs to sign which compounds potential pitfall after pitfall.