Alex Tanguay - "Guess the Contract Competition"

You didn't really think I would sign cheap after a 69 point season did you? I'll be here for awhile Flames fans and I'll shoot when i want to dammit.

The Fan 960 reported yesterday that a deal with Alex is very close. Some key take-aways from the radio show were that it was: "Significant Dollars," "Long years" and "No hometown discount"

Those were exactly the words and phrases used. Now the immediate question that springs to mind is how you define those phrases. Significant dollars to me, may not be to you and so on. 

Just for fun I would like to offer a prize / gift to the M&G reader who guesses Tanguay's contract the closest without going over. A sort of "Price is Right" but before you get all delusional that I am offering you a car, I'm not. The gift is going to be a iTunes card for $20.00 which I will just e-mail you the code to unlock. 

You have to guess the length of the contract, then the Cap Hit without going over, then whether or not it has a NMC, NTC or neither. That is the order of operations. If you miss on the length of the contract you are immediately out in comparison to someone who gets the term correct but is way under on the Cap Hit, if you are a dollar over on the Cap hit you are out.

It is a three step tie breaker process which I doubt will hit the third tie breaker but it might. 

If multiple people get it all correct, exact term, exact same Cap hit guess, NMC vs NTC vs none - I will split the prize amongst the two who tie. Please note once again that going over in any of first two categories will negate your guess.  

Capisce ? 

Should be fun - only one guess per person and just post away in the comments below - your comment must be up a solid 24 hours before the contract is reported by a reputable source like TSN or officially announced. Arik, Hayley, Ryan, Craig and myself are not eligible for the prize and that's just cause we can delete posts, but I am going to post my guess for fun anyway. 

A few more comments on Tanguay's upcoming contract and why a longer deal may make sense after the jump. Don't let me influence your guess, I am just speculating for myself. 

Length

I think the length is going to be long by anyones definition. Something that will incite a strong negative reaction in the fan base BUT I don't see it as a terrible thing. At 31 Tanguay is not over the hill, he is in his prime and a long contract can get his Cap Hit down to a manageable level for the Flames this year. A front loaded contract that is 4-6 years will not surprise me. 

Why do this? As optimistic as you may want to be about the prospects there is no one down there who is even close to being a first line player in the next four years, why not lock up a legitimate first line NHL player?

The Iginla factor

The chemistry is obvious. The long sought after star center is the unreachable holy grail of the Flames that they have never found. Jay Feaster has already commented rather nonchalantly that it doesn't seem to matter who plays Center between the two of them, the result is more or less the same.

A long contract for Tanguay is also going to be the first strong signal that Jarome Iginla will likely be resigned in 2013/14. There is no logic in taking Tanguay much past Iginla's current contract IF Iginla is not going to resign, so a long contract with Tanguay provides the first signal of Jarome retiring a Flame. 

Another article would be justified to comment on this but personally my view is that if Jarome is not traded this off-season he should remain a Flame; unless he asks to be traded. His value is simply depreciating to the point now that his positive intangibles to the Flames outweigh the diminishing returns that will come after this off-season. 

Cap Hit

This is what will likely be my personal sticking point. I am ok with a longer deal for Tanguay because I see it being potentially structured as a front loaded deal for the first 2-3 years and with a couple token payments on at the end to lower the Cap hit BUT I have a feeling it is still going to be high. 

A 70 point winger is going to command some dollars on the open market and from the sounds of it the Flames are going to pay those dollars. I am not sure if this is prudent negotiating because a case can be made that Tanguay shines more playing with Jarome than he does elsewhere. 

The Flames may be prudent to see what other teams will offer for Alex first but the ominous quote from the Fan 960 was "No Home Town Discount" which may mean Alex is just fine packing his bag for higher dollars elsewhere on teams that don't have the Cap ceiling problems the Flames do. 

NMC / NTC

This may be the first contract in sometime where we see no NMC or NTC. It is just a gut feeling I have. I think the Cap Hit is going to be high but it will not include that NMC / NTC. I have no reason to say this, just a gut feeling. 

Alex Tanguay may be thinking to himself that if his contract is long enough and expensive enough it doesn't matter if he has an NTC / NMC or not, he isn't going to get traded. He may be right about that. Players, if they negotiate a high enough salary can make themselves basically immovable. 

So my guess is 6 years - 4 million Cap hit - No NMC or NTC

Thoughts ? 

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