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THN.com Blog: Big-deal steals

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

I must admit, I have been mystified by some of the long-term deals that have been handed out lately.

I have a tough time seeing Patrick Sharp as a $4 million player each of the next four seasons based on one good season followed by half a brilliant one, which were preceded by four mediocre ones.

That is, until somebody points out to me that Robert Lang and Michal Handzus make that much money, and who would you rather have for the next four years?

Some long-term deals have been ridiculous, but there are others that have been great for the team and not so good for the player. These must have been some of the players the Chicago Blackhawks had in mind when they signed Sharp to his new deal yesterday:

· Dustin Brown’s six-year deal with the Los Angeles Kings hasn’t even kicked in yet and already it’s looking like a steal. Brown leads the Kings with 23 goals, is on pace for 40 this season and plays 20 minutes a game. For that, the Kings will endure a cap hit of just $3.2 million per year until 2013-14.

· Henrik Zetterberg’s four-year deal that averages just $2.65 million isn’t up until after next season. For that, the Detroit Red Wings get one of the most talented players in the league.

· Still with the Red Wings, how do they keep doing it? Tomas Holmstrom had 30 goals last season and will almost certainly get at least that many this season. He still has two years to go on a deal that averages $2.25 million.

· Granted it was signed prior to the lockout and has been subject to the 24 percent rollback, but having captain Daniel Alfredsson in the fold for four more years at an average cap hit of $4.4 million has to have the Ottawa Senators feeling pretty good.

· The ageless Rod Brind’Amour has three years left to go on a five-year deal that averages out to $3.6 million, but he remains a good offensive player who leads the league with 706 faceoff wins. His winning percentage of 57.9 is best among all players who have taken 600 or more faceoffs; he has taken more than 1,200.

· Brendan Morrow of the Dallas Stars will get $4.1 million for the next five seasons after this one and in return, the Stars get a solid two-way player with very good physical and leadership attributes.

Ken Campbell is a senior writer for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Tuesdays and Fridays and his column, Campbell's Cuts, appears Mondays.

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