In Red Wings Land
The longer Tomas Tatar remains unsigned by the Red Wings the more fascinated I become by this contract negotiation. Gregg Krupa shares his thoughts on Tatar’s frustration with the entire situation and how the Ken Holland & Co. might view things. He compares the contract talks to Petr Mrazek’s situation from a few years ago too.
Tatar and Mrazek may both feel they were nickeled-and-dimed by the organization, while others got big, fat deals, and have not performed as well.
A quick look up and down the Red Wings lineup, which has underperformed for two seasons running, reveals a few instances, if not several, in which Tatar and Mrazek would both have a good argument.
The cap is rarely a hindrance for a team when it wants a player. As Ken Holland and other general managers say, there are things that can be done.
The underperforming players are pretty obvious. Justin Abdelkader stands out like a sore thumb. It would make sense for someone like Tatar to see Abdelkader’s nice, long contract and wonder where his deal is? Or guys like Darren Helm and Luke Glendening who are both on bad contracts.
It’s negotiations like this one that really make the bad deals of the past stand out. If Holland doesn’t overpay those guys then there is probably enough money to pay Tatar what he likely deserves. It would also completely avoid the chances of this possibly getting ugly behind the scenes.
Around the League
As we wait for our RFA to get a new deal, Steve Yzerman and the Lightning took care of one of theirs. This deal makes you wonder if we could see similar numbers for Tatar? Tyler Johnson put up a career-high 72 points back in 2014-15 and Tatar put up a career-high 56 that same season (both 29 goals). Over the last two years they’ve been pretty close in the production. Tampa getting a $5M cap hit is pretty good. Probably safe to assume that Johnson gave up some AAV in exchange for term.
Would you be happy if the Red Wings signed Tatar to this deal?