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Sports Rangers reportedly begin extension talks with star center Mika Zibanejad

01:45  12 september  2021
01:45  12 september  2021 Source:   prohockeyrumors.com

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The Rangers have started discussions on a contract extension with center Mika Zibanejad with a mutual objective of getting an agreement in place, reports Larry Brooks of the New York Post.  The 28-year-old has played on what has become a very team-friendly deal for New York over the past four seasons; and that contract, which carries a $5.35M AAV, is now in its final year, setting him up to hit unrestricted free agency next summer.

a hockey game in the snow: Mika Zibanejad is in the final year of his current deal. © Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Mika Zibanejad is in the final year of his current deal.

Zibanejad has seen his offensive production increase sharply over the past three seasons.  He notched 74 points in 82 games in 2018-19, then managed to beat that total by one in 25 fewer games in 2019-20.  While his output dipped last season, he still managed to put up 50 points in 56 contests.  While it took him a while to get there, Zibanejad has produced like a legitimate No. 1 center over the past three years.

The Voice (TF1): The big galley caused by Kylie Minogue

 The Voice (TF1): The big galley caused by Kylie Minogue to welcome Kylie Minogue in the season 3 of The Voice was not at any rest for Mika and the production of the show of TF1, far from there! © PA PICTURES / ABACA Welcome Kylie Minogue in the season 3 of The Voice was not at any rest for Mika and the production of the show of TF1, far from it! To coach the talents before the very dreaded battle test, the the Voice coaches call other stars of the song every year.

Accordingly, Brooks pegs his asking price of being upward of $10M per season on a long-term pact of either seven or eight years.  Interestingly enough, that price tag is what Buffalo’s Jack Eichel costs, and New York has been linked to him in trade speculation all summer long.  Adding his contract would all but eliminate the possibility of being able to afford an extension for Zibanejad.

One comparable that GM Jeff Gorton will likely want to point to is Philadelphia’s Sean Couturier, who inked an eight-year extension with a $7.75M AAV earlier this summer.  He also recently had a two-year spike in offensive production before settling down a bit last season.  Something at or slightly above that price point is where they’d likely want to go.

"Now we can say" ... The strange revelation of Mika on a star present in The Voice

 on August 30, the official account of The Voice published a video "revelation" of Mika. Video in which the coach of the croochet returned on a strange anecdote about a star © TF1 "Now we can say it" ... The strange revelation of Mika on a star present in The Voice she thought Being that it was never going to know ... Still, Kylie Minogue has just been swinging by Mika .

While the idea of signing Zibanejad to a max-term contract might not necessarily be desirable as he’ll be 37 at the end of such a deal, if the inclusion of that extra season helps bring the cap hit down, it could be worth doing.  Right now, cap space isn’t an issue, but that will change fairly quickly.

Next summer, they have nearly $53M in commitments to 14 players, per CapFriendly, but that amount would dwindle quickly with a deal for Zibanejad and defenseman Adam Fox, who is undoubtedly heading for a substantial raise of his own.  Youngsters Kaapo Kakko and Vitali Kravtsov will also be restricted free agents of their own, while a year later, 2020 top pick Alexis Lafreniere will need a new deal as well.  As their cheap entry-level contracts expire, the price tag of this roster will go up quite quickly.

Even with those extensions, there is still room for one pricey middleman.  If the Rangers eventually wind up with Eichel, it won’t be Zibanejad sticking around barring one of their other high-paid players being moved elsewhere.  But if those talks continue to prove unfruitful, a long-term agreement with Zibanejad — who has made it clear that he wants to stay with the Rangers — may very well be the next best thing.  Brooks adds that talks have been productive so far, so that process at least appears to be off to a decent start.

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