And you really couldn't blame Howard Gourwitz for asking that kind of money for his client. For one, Buff and Otter are similar players in terms of style and the value they can bring to a team. And Ott, if he isn't signed by the Stars to an extension, will enter unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career.
Considering the style he plays and the fact he's not a superstar, I can't blame him for wanting to bank every possible penny that he possibly can.
And considering Byfuglien's three year, $9 million contract is the only financial baseline that either side could go off of, I couldn't blame Gourwitz for asking that kind of money.
Unfortunately as has been documented several times both here and on other sites, the Stars don't have the luxury to give a player, even of Ott's caliber, a 200% raise from 1.5 million to three million. Not with Loui Eriksson's new extension kicking in next season that will see him get a bump in pay from $1.7 million to $3.2 million.
How might that impact the negotiations? I'll take a look after the jump.
First, a statistical comparison between the two. Statistics are from the excellent resource Hockey Reference.
As you can see, Clutterbuck and Ott have fairly similar metrics. Though right now, you have to say Ott is the more impactful player by virtue of scoring more points per game and getting about a minute or two extra per game in ice time.
All that having been said, I think the impact the Clutterbuck signing will have on the negotiations between Ott and the Stars will be minimal. For one, Clutterbuck would have become an RFA this summer had he not re-upped with Minnesota. And since Kevin Lowe no longer has a job as GM of any club, it's doubtful that none of the other 29 general managers in the NHL would have opened up the pocketbook and handed the Wild very valuable first, second, and third round draft picks in return.
Obviously, the club that retains the rights of an RFA holds the hammer in such negotiations. And we all know any potential courtship of Ott this summer won't have such restrictions put in play, assuming he makes it to free agency.
For Joe Nieuwendyk, the financials of the Clutterbuck signing might help his side a little bit. But in the end, it'll just depend on how badly Ott want's to cash in on his first trip through unrestricted free agency. It's a right he's clearly earned after eight years in Dallas. Or whether he wants to forgo that pay day in favor of stability and familiarity.