Why is no one worried about Dan Paille?
As noon rolls around on July 1, 2008, Sabres fans can breathe easy knowing the core of the team isn’t going to walk away from Buffalo in the coming hours. Sure, someone might shed a tear for Dmitri Kalinin, but I don’t expect there to be much of that.
The big concern this year is the team’s restricted free agents. The Sabres were able to get Paul Gaustad under contract before the Noon, Eastern Time deadline, so that leaves the select few of Steve Bernier, Clarke MacArthur and Daniel Paille.
With all the talk of what these guys may get, the one name that should pop out is Paille’s.
While Dan isn’t exactly a core member of the team quite yet, he has proven himself as a pretty nice player. 24 years old, loads of potential, possibly captain material on the verge of being a 20-goal scorer and defensively responsible to boot. Who wouldn’t want this guy?
For those who remember Bucky Gleason’s “If I Were GM” column, that’s worth a 4 year, $5 million deal. I tore it apart there, and now it looks like even that was a low-ball.
By looking at Mr. Gaustad’s new deal (4 years, $9.2 million) and the Florida Panthers giving Rostislav Olesz a 6 year, $18.75 million dollar deal, it looks like Paille is in for a payday. Come on, a $3.125-average-per-year deal for Olesz, a guy who hasn’t broken 30 points in a season!
Look at some of the comparables for Paille:
|Name||Age||GP G A Pts +/- PIM||’08-’09|
|Daniel Paille||24||77 19 16 35 +9 14||(RFA)|
|Valterri Filppula||24||78 19 17 36 +16 28||(RFA)|
|Ryan Kesler||24||80 21 16 37 +1 79||($1.75M)|
|Brooks Laich||25||82 21 16 37 -3 35||(RFA)|
|Chuck Kobasew||26||73 22 17 39 +6 29||($2.0M)|
Do you honestly expect any of them to sign a new deal for less than 2 million per? It’s not going to happen. Paille is worth at least as much as Paul Gaustad, so you can throw him right into the $2.3-per range.
But will some team try throwing an offer sheet his way? It’s certainly a possibility. Anyone could send him a 5 year, $12.5 million offer, and only risk giving up a 2nd round pick. If they feel Paille is worth a 1st and a 3rd (which he most definitely would be a bargain at that price for a contending team), they could go as high as around $3.9 million a year and only give up that much.
Now it’s up to Darcy Regier to get Paille signed before any of this happens. Time is of the essence, because if one trigger happy GM starts striking out on UFAs, he’s gonna go looking for talent. It won’t be long until they’re looking at Paille.
My prediction: Minimum 4 year deal, approximately $2.6 million per.
Take it to the bank.