Now that Jonathan Huberdeau has been locked up for the next eight years, all Calgary Flames fans’ eyes are locked on MacKenzie Weegar as the next man up to sign an extension. Reports have been made stating that Weegar has a strong interest in re-signing with the team, and that has been music to all Flames fans.
There is a lot of excitement about Weegar, and if the reports do come to fruition, how long will he be signed for? We asked, you answered.
Uncertainty comes with contract extensions
Signing players to contract extensions is always a tricky balance between term and dollar amount. General managers always want to avoid signing players for too long, as at some point, age will always catch up with a player. At 28 years old, it is a guarantee that many fans will have different levels of comfort when it comes to different options for terms for Weegar.
How do our readers feel about the options? Let’s take a look at the poll. The poll included a bit of fun (wee!) but to clarify, the options were five, six, seven, and eight years for the term on Weegar’s contract.
Five years of Weegar
This option ended up being one of the lowest levels of responses. Signing Weegar for five years would take him to 33 years old. I can see why some fans want to see him only signed for five years as it really limits the risk of having to overpay for an underperforming defenceman in his 30s, however, there might be a bit too much of a cautious mindset in this option. Weegar is an elite defenceman, and players of his calibre do have a higher chance of performing at a great level at that age.
Additionally, I can’t see Weegar accepting a contract with this term. Weegar has greatly improved his game, and as a result, he will be looking for a big payday. Rightfully so too. Weegar would most likely want a contract with more term if he truly wants to sign a long-term extension with the Flames.
Six years of Weegar
A very similar number of our readers voted for a six-year term for Weegar. Personally, I would want Weegar for six years as well. I believe it is a perfect compromise for both the team and Weegar’s camp. At 34 years old, Weegar could still be a very good player, but even if he drops off, it would likely be near the last year or two of his contract. If the Flames could get him for 6 years, that would be great term, however, the average annual value might be higher as a result.
Seven years of Weegar
Roughly a quarter of voters voted for a seven-year term. As this contract would take Weegar to 35 years old, Flames management would either have to be very confident that Weegar will keep up his high-level play into his 30s, or they would have to not care about those years and treat it as a later problem. How valuable is Weegar, and is he worth potentially overpaying for his last couple years? It’s uncertain what management thinks right now, but it seems like a good chunk of Flames fans think it just might be worth it.
Eight years of Weegar
I was a bit surprised to see that most voters selected eight years for Weegar. It is the max term available for him, and it would match Huberdeau’s term with his extension as well. Almost 40% of our readers believe Weegar will sign for max term. All the risks of a potential overpay apply even more with this scenario.
However, signing Weegar for eight years might drop his AAV to a very reasonable number. On top of this, the low AAV would give the Flames more cap flexibility for the prime years that they would be contending for the Stanley Cup. This a lot of years and there is no doubt about it, but he could still be a very effective player, and it definitely could help the Flames in the short term too. I completely understand why most readers selected eight years.
Wait and see
First things first, Flames fans just want to see Weegar signed. We can all discuss the term and whether it is good or bad later on, but the main goal is to get Weegar signed to a long-term deal. The Flames want to compete for the Cup now, and that comes at the cost of giving good players big contracts.
Signing an elite defenceman like him will do wonders for the team, and there is no doubt that the Flames management knows that. Here’s hoping that Brad gets it done and that he caps off what has been an absolute rollercoaster of summer for the franchise.