The New York Rangers and Colorado Avalanche were both just given a great contract comparable by the Dallas Stars. By signing 21 year-old defenseman Miro Heiskanen to an 8 year deal worth $8.45 million per season, they now know what it will take to sign their own respective young stars.
The RFA situation in Colorado with Cale Makar and 2022 pending RFA Adam Fox in New York have a benchmark. The 22 year-old Makar was up for the Norris Trophy along with Victor Hedman and Adam Fox.
Fox won the award becoming only the second sophomore next to Bobby Orr to win it. That should ensure the 23 year-old star a deal equal to or greater than Heiskanen’s.
Adam Fox next contract pivotal for the Rangers
What a season the nativefrom Jericho, LI had. Fox finished second overall in scoring for blue-liners with 47 points. His 42 assists were the most by an NHL defenseman and he was seventh for total ice time. Only Edmonton’s Tyson Barrie had more points. Heiskanen in contrast had just 27 points in 55 games, but is should be noted he just completed his third season at 21 and his ceiling is high.
Fox just wrapped up the second year of his three-year entry-level deal. The Blueshirts have an entire season to try and decide what to do for his next contract when he becomes an RFA without arbitration rights. Friedman on recent podcast said he believes the Rangers will talk to him about an extension as soon as the window opens this summer.
It’s a wise play, especially with a Norris win under his belt. The Rangers should choose to lock him up for 8 years, at a similar number to Heiskanen. The extension would not kick in until after his ELC expires in the summer of 2022.
If they could lock up Fox and have an idea of what Mika Zibanejad is looking for it would provide much needed clarity for other moves. Remember they still need to re-sign key RFA’s this offseason in Igor Shesterkin and Pavel Buchnevich.
Having those dollar amounts penciled in may dictate who they could trade and sign via free agency this summer.
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