30 November 2011
Via press release from the team:
The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Victor Hedman to a five-year contract through the 2016-17 season, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
“We are extremely pleased to announce that we have agreed to a five-year contract with Victor,” Yzerman said. “He has shown tremendous growth as a player in just more than two seasons in the NHL while also becoming a key member of our team. We look forward to his continued development in a Lightning uniform.”
"I'd like to thank our owner, Mr. Vinik, and of course GM Steve Yzerman for helping me move forward in my career," said Hedman. "I love it in Tampa Bay with the Lightning and I will do all I can to help this organization be successful on and off the ice."
Hedman, 6-foot-6, 229 pounds, has played in 20 games with the Lightning this season, recording two goals. He ranks second on the Lightning in average ice time with 22:55 per game, just five seconds behind team-leader Eric Brewer (23:00), and is tied for second for blocked shots with 40.
The No. 2 overall pick of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Hedman, 20, has played in 173 career NHL games, all with the Lightning after coming to North America prior to the 2009-10 campaign. Since that time no other Tampa Bay defenseman has played in more games and recorded more goals (9), assists (39) or points (48). He has averaged more than 20 minutes of ice time per game in each of his three NHL seasons, ranking in the top three or higher on the Bolts in each. Last year Hedman led all Lightning defensemen with 23 assists and was second among team defensemen with 26 points. Hedman was also fourth on the team with a plus-3 rating.
A native of Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, Hedman played for MoDo Hockey of the Swedish Elite League before joining the Lightning. In 2008-09 he was named the league’s Rookie of the Year at the age of 18 after making his debut during the 2007-08 season. Hedman has represented his native Sweden in multiple international competitions, including winning the Bronze Medal at the 2010 IIHF World Championships as well as Silver Medals at both the 2009 and 2008 World Junior Championships.
So assuming the TSN report is correct at $4 million per year (and I'll update later when we get some numbers), and maybe not everyone will agree with my take, but I like the contract.
Yes $4 million may seem like WAY too much to pay for Hedman now, but he's got a ton of potential. It's too bad that his first year in the league he walked into a mess with the team, so I'm giving him some leeway on where I think he should be at. But since I've seen tons of improvement each season with Hedman and can only see him improving in the next few years, I see us saying in a few years that this was a great contract.
Since Ohlund has been out with injury, he's logged just under 23 minutes per game taking on more minutes than I think the coaching staff would have wanted to give him each night. But after seeing his performance, he has showed that he can handle the big minutes. His progression to where he is at this year has been largely quiet, but if you watch him consistently, you can see how much more calm he is with the puck. The turnovers, they still occur, but it's much rarer these days. His decision-making with the puck has gotten better and the confidence he has when he makes a play is evident.
So, it will be interesting to see how the contract is structured. Will it be going the Tyler Myers contract route being front loaded, or a little bit more spread apart?
Per Bob McKenzie's twitter, the contract looks like this:
Hedman contract year by year: 12-13 $3M; 13-14 $3M; 14-15 $4M; 15-16 $6M; 16-17 $4M
and as per @erlendssontrib:
Steve Yzerman said Victor Hedman's agent stated his client would sign for however long the team wanted, said he loves playing in Tampa