As per a report by Luke Fox of Sportsnet, the New York Rangers might be getting closer to terms of an extension with center Mika Zibanejad and if accurate, the deal is a whopper of a contract. There’s been talk the Rangers were a team that might have had an interest in Jack Eichel, but that interested appears to have faded and the organization is focused on getting a deal done with their own player and Fox believes it could be among the highest-paid contracts on the team when all is said and done.
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While a new deal probably won’t put Zibanejad in the Artemi Panarin conversation, Fox does believe the team is prepared to give Zibanejad around eight figures per season. The report suggests he could earn $10 million-plus over the length of an eight-year extension.
Zibanejad was asked about where he sits with the Rangers on contract talks and if he’d like to get the extension done and out of the way. He responded: “The focus is what I do on the ice…I love it here, I love the direction we’re going.”
As Fox writes, the player exploded for 65 goals and 125 points over his past 113 games. As one of the premier UFA forwards under 30, Zibanejad is poised for a monster payday. Fox adds, “Individuals familiar with the situation have indicated that the parties share the mutual objective of getting something done and are earnest in trying to reach that end,” Larry Brooks reported on Sept. 7.”
Rangers Can’t Let Zibanejad Walk
One thing the Rangers know is that they can’t let the player leave without getting an asset in return. Zibanejad loves it in New York, but money will certainly speak louder than anything, so the Rangers are prepared to give it to him and if he starts off hot, expect talk about an extension to ramp up.
GM Chris Drury would not comment on negotiations, only saying, “Mika is a huge part of our team.” The Rangers are on the verge of turning a corner and working their way back into being a contender after one of the quickest “rebuilds” in modern-day NHL history. Zibanejad is a huge part of their unexpected early success and the team doesn’t want to say goodbye to a key piece just as they’re starting to make headway.
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