Dallas Stars Goaltender Kari Lehtonen's Price Quick-ly Rises....Pavelec

Apr 3, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) waits for the game to begin against the San Jose Sharks at the American Airlines Center. The Sharks defeated the Stars 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Two months ago I looked at the mammoth contract Kari Lehtonen can plan on getting within the next year. Since that time three more goalies have signed long term deals to remain with their respective clubs for a while Ondrej Pavelec, Carey Price, and Jonathan Quick have all signed the next four plus years of their lives away for hefty sums.

Two of those three contracts sparked debate across the interwebs with Carey Price in general sparking discussion because, well, he's Carey Price. The three contracts combined have a value of 116.5 million dollars, and no doubt caught the attention of Kari Lehtonen. I predicted five years and 32 million two months ago. Does that still hold up, or have these recent contracts made Kari's price jump considerably?

No.

The recent contracts have equal parts crazy and rational, but none of them makes any appreciable change to the contract Kari can expect.

The contract most likely to cause Kari's price to jump is that of Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec signed a four year deal for 19.5 million dollars with the Jets. The deal has been almost universally panned. The main argument in favor of the Pavelec deal increasing Kari's price is that Pavelec is a clearly inferior goalie to Lehtonen so receiving such a large contract has to raise Kari's price tag. The logic is sound, but the problem is that the ceiling for a contract is pretty clearly defined too.

The contracts Price and Quick signed added further definition to that ceiling. The Kings handed Quick a ten year deal for 5.8 million dollars. It's hard to complain about the cap hit. The term is nutty, especially for a goalie, but with inflation the cap hit will continue to look better as the years go by. The cap hit is slightly lower than what I expected Lehtonen would get (5.8 vs 6.4), but that's accomplished by stretching the deal out over ten years. The Stars could do that, but it obviously wouldn't make sense to do so.

The Price contract is the most interesting when applied to Kari. The Canadiens gave Price six years and 39 million dollars for a cap hit of 6.5 million. They've been pretty comparable performers over the past couple of seasons at even strength. Price is quite a bit younger than Lehtonen (24 vs 28) it stands to reason that Price would get a longer deal than Lehtonen.

Five years and 32 million dollars still sounds like a decent guess despite what seemed like a ridiculous goalie market after July 1st. What say you? What will Kari sign for five for 32, or will some other outcome occur?


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