%$@# The Recession

The aforementioned┬átitle seems to be the motto of the Buffalo Sabres these days. What would’ve seemed like a pipe-dream just months ago has quickly become the expected around Buffalo: The Sabres are willing to pony up the dough that’s necessary to obtain and keep top talent.

The latest example of this occurred today when the organization finalized a 7-year, $38.5 million deal with their young, stud defenseman, Tyler Myers. On July 1st, 2012, Myers will also be paid a $10 million signing bonus. The salary structure of the contract by year breaks down like this:

Yr 1: $2 million, Yr 2: $6 million, Yr 3: $5 million, Yr 4: $5 million, Yr 5: $4 million, Yr 6: $3.5 million, Yr 7: $3 million

By my calculations, this deal buys out three UFA years, which is phenomenal. If Myers were to hit free agency, I’d guarantee you that he could command $7.5-$8 million on the open market with a salary cap that will surely be above $64.3 million by that point. As far as I’m concerned, this deal is very fair for what Myers brings now and will be the mother of all steals if he progresses like we all think he will. We’re talking a $5.5 million cap-hit for whom we think will be the team’s franchise defenseman, as well the team’s eventual captain.

What I’m glad Pegula, Darcy and the rest of the Sabres front office seem to understand is the time-value of money or in other words, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. Since they have a vast amount of wealth at their disposal now, the Sabres are using that to their advantage by being willing to take a hit and pay out loads of salary in the short-term in the form of signing bonuses to entice players and to field a deeper, more talented team. Think of the signing bonuses as insurance for the players just in case the league locks out. I doubt that will happen though since another lockout will probably kill the NHL.

The first preseason game is on September 19th against the Canes and it cannot get here soon enough. This hockey junkie needs his fix and I’m sure the rest of you need it too.