The Price of Change

With our goaltender controversy all but decided, we still have to sign our RFA goaltender. In this post, I'd like to look at some comparable contracts signed by goaltenders to see what kind of financial impact Schneider could have on this team in the short term, and in the long term.

Assumptions: I'm going to use goaltenders from the past five years, that were supposed to be the long term solution in goal for their respective teams. We will look at the second contract these 'tenders signed, as well as their third contract, if their term was short enough. The intent is to discover what both the short, and long term effect on the team will be.

All contract information from

ANA - Jonas Hiller - 2010 - 4 years / $4.5 million cap hit / 28 years old

Jonas Hiller took the starting goaltender spot over from JS Giguere for good in the '09/'10 season, and posted stellar numbers. 114 regular season starts.

CHI - Corey Crawford - 2011 - 3 years / $2.67 million cap hit / 26 years old

Became the starting goaltender when Anti Niemi walked, Crawford had a .917 SV% with 55 starts in '10/'11 (60 career regular season starts).

COL - Semyon Varlamov - 2011 - 3 years / $2.83 million cap hit / 22 years old

Acquired from the Washington Capitals for a steep price, Varlamov had just 63 regular season starts under his belt. Also had missed a lot of time due to injury.

CBJ - Steve Mason - 2011 - 2 years / $2.9 million cap hit /23 years old

The '08/'09 rookie of the year had been the starting goaltender for 3 seasons. He followed up his ROY campaign with two dismal seasons. CBJ went short on him hoping he'd find his game, and he's still looking.

MTL - Carey Price - 2010 - 2 years / $2.75 million cap hit / 23 years old

Similar situation to Steve Mason. After a brilliant rookie season, Price suffered from some inconsistent play and right into a goaltender controversy with Jaroslav Halak. After two stellar seasons and the controversy settled behind him, Price looks to cash in big on his third contract.

NAS - Pekka Rinne - 2010 - 2 years / $3.4 million cap hit / 27 years old

Not exactly his second contract, but similar situation. After wrestling the starting position from Dan Ellis in '08/'09, Rinne fell off a bit in his sophomore season. With only 103 career regular season starts, Nashville went short on him. They are now paying the price, literally, as his latest contract with Nashville is for 7 years, $49 million.

Other examples that I would see as similar, are the Marc-Andre Fleury signing (7 years / $5 million cap hit), and Jaroslav Halak (4 years / $3.75 million cap hit).

Overall, I think this situation either has elements of each situation described above. If we go short on Schneider, we get cap relief today, but sacrifice cap space in the long term if he plays the way we expect. If we go long, we probably won't save much if anything from the Luongo cap hit, and we open ourselves up to significant risk. The way I see it though, is that this is most definitely a long term decision. Therefore I think that we can eliminate the idea of a two year deal. A three year contract I think will cost the team a $3.5 million cap hit, and is the shortest term the team should consider. A four year deal I would expect would be in the Jonas Hiller range of $4.5 million. The problem with either of these deals is that Schneider would be 29 or 30 and be entering free agency. His third contract would look something like Pekka Rinne's.

If I'm GMMG, I'd sign him for a MAF contract if I could (7 years/$35 mil). Keep the cap hit low, and lock him in long term.

My prediction though? Five years / $23.5 million / $4.7 million cap hit.

I'm fine with that. What do you guys think he will get? What would you do?

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