Since this past off-season began, 16 defensemen have signed new contracts or extensions with a cap hit of $5 million or more. 11 of them were for 6 years or longer.
- Zachary Werenski — 6 years, $9,583,333 AAV
- Charlie McAvoy — 8 years, $9,500,000 AAV
- Seth Jones — 8 years, $9,500,000 AAV
- Darnell Nurse — 8 years, $9,250,000 AAV
- Cale Makar — 6 years, $9,000,000 AAV
- Dougie Hamilton — 7 years, $9,000,000 AAV
- Miro Heiskanen — 8 years, $8,450,000 AAV
- Quinn Hughes — 6 years, $7,850,000 AAV
- Colton Parayko — 8 years, $6,500,000 AAV
- Mattias Ekholm — 4 years, $6,250,000 AAV
- Ryan Pulock — 8 years, $6,150,000 AAV
- Rasmus Dahlin — 3 years, $6,000,000 AAV
- Neal Pionk — 4 years, $5,875,000 AAV
- Adam Pelech — 8 years, $5,750,000 AAV
- Alec Martinez — 3 years, $5,250,000 AAV
- Alex Goligoski — 1 year, $5,000,000 AAV/
Even with the flat cap, defensemen are making bank. And the fun thing is that this is likely to continue through this year and next off-season. There are a handful of other top-pair defensemen who will be free agents: Kris Letang, Adam Fox, Hampus Lindholm, and Morgan J. Rielly.
Rielly is not in that top tier of defensemen making $9+ million, but that next tier with the likes of Colton Parayko and Mattias Ekholm making $6+ million AAV. They were also UFA deals and extensions with their previous team. Rielly may not be the cream of the crop, but he’s a legit top pair guy who can run a top powerplay unit.
We’re going to hear a lot of “will they, or won’t they” when it comes to the Maple Leafs extending Rielly after this season or not. Can’t wait!
ONTO THE LINKS
Power Plays and Penalty Crackdowns | by Katya
Introducing the 2021-2022 Toronto Marlies | by Katya
Leafs Prospect Roundup: Eyes on Knies, Amirov’s absence, Tverberg on a tear | by Nick Richard at TLN
Cap comparables: Bruins’ Charlie McAvoy joins elite company | by Sportsnet.ca
Red Wings captain Larkin suspended one game | by TSN.ca
Canadiens’ Shea Weber allowed to go on long-term injured reserve: Daly | by The Athletic
Speaking of prospects, Topi Niemelä had a career game with one goal and two assists. He has 2 goals and 12 points this season — both are career bests for him in the Liiga through only 12 games.
Matt Knies had a good game of his own. He had this all-hustle secondary assist that tied the game between two top NCAA teams. He has 3 points in 3 games to start his rookie NCAA season.
#LeafsForever prospect Matt Knies with some brilliant hustle. He hassles the puck carrier, steals it and allows his team to score off the turnover. Knies gets the secondary assist, but that goal is not scored without him. pic.twitter.com/ejyw5WILpZ— Mr. Knies Guy (@brigstew86) October 16, 2021
Well, this is a weird thing that apparently happened.
Ford denies any special treatment went to MLSE - which helped develop the vaccine app - and was also allowed to lift capacity limits for stadiums before businesses such as restaurants or gyms.— Laura Stone (@l_stone) October 15, 2021
At least Barrie is self aware 😂 pic.twitter.com/pQVHPQDlXr— Ali Nasir (@alinasir242) October 15, 2021
The beautiful game pic.twitter.com/Awso1bzp9Y— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 16, 2021