The Ottawa Senators held strong in their ask of a long-term contract for Brady Tkachuk, and it appears as though it has paid off. Ottawa has signed their prized RFA to a seven-year, $57.5MM contract. That makes Tkachuk the highest-paid player on the Senators, just eclipsing the $8MM cap hit that Thomas Chabot carries. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that the deal includes a full no-movement clause in the final three years. The full breakdown is as follows:
- 2021-22: $4.0MM salary
- 2022-23: $6.5MM salary
- 2023-24: $10.5MM salary
- 2024-25: $10.5MM salary
- 2025-26: $10.5MM salary
- 2026-27: $8.5MM salary
- 2027-28: $7.0MM salary
Senators GM Pierre Dorion released a statement:
This is an exciting day for the Ottawa Senators. Brady possesses a very dynamic skill set and is a prototypical power forward in today’s NHL. He scores goals, he plays physical and exemplifies what it means to be a pro for all players in our organization.
As expected, the deal does not include any signing bonus money, a staple of Dorion’s negotiations. Tkachuk is expected to be in the building tonight for the team when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs, but will not play, according to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff.
Compared to the short-term deals that could have taken Tkachuk to unrestricted free agency much quicker, this is a huge win for the Senators. They will pay their star forward a bit more than some of his contemporaries–Andrei Svechnikov signed an eight-year, $62MM deal ($7.75MM AAV)–but will not have to worry about another negotiation for quite some time.
Technically, because the season has already started, Tkachuk’s cap hit for the 2021-22 season will actually be slightly higher, coming in at $8,330,674 according to CapFriendly. That really doesn’t mean much for the Senators, who are nowhere near the cap ceiling. The hit will come down to $8,205,714 for the final six years of the deal, still making Tkachuk the most expensive player on the team.
There is no doubt that the 22-year-old forward is the heartbeat of the Senators, though it is important to remember that this is still a player that has never eclipsed 22 goals or 45 points in a single season. Ottawa very likely paid a premium in this deal because of their history of losing (trading) stars as they approached free agency, something they obviously wanted to avoid in this situation. The team is expecting big things from the young group they’ve assembled, and needed the leader back on the ice to push things in the right direction.
That essentially ends the RFA period for this season, with all of the major players signed. Quite a bit of money was handed out this offseason as things return to normal, even though there is no significant salary cap movement expected until 2025.
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