2) You may recall that earlier this season the Flyers extended the contract for forward Mike Richards for 12 additional seasons. Is there a trend developing here? Did the NY Islanders/Wang know something that others didn't last year when they signed Rick DiPietro to a 15 year deal? As we wrote after the Richards deal, many fewer folks derided the Flyers for that contract like the hockey media did when the Isles gave Ricky his. Now, only 16 months later Charles Wang is looking more like a visionary and less like a Kook (at least on this issue)
3) As for this deal, like the other two alluded to it makes sense for those teams, and WILL work ONLY if those players continue to develop and stay at their current high levels. Already DiPietro, a season removed from the deal's inception, is now paid less than many of his colleagues with similar numbers. If he were to continue to play at this level he will be vastly UNDERPAID in a very short time. Its still too early to make judgement on the Richards deal. He is having a very nice season thus far, but the jury is still out on the contract's wisdom.
4) Some said after the Richards deal that it's a dangerous trend to have so much salary locked up in so much unproven talent. However we believe that is NOT the case with Ovechkin. In a mere 2 1/2 seasons Alex has scored more goals than any other NHL player. He plays with a fire/intensity that few in the league can match on a game in and game out basis. This is probably why Caps owner Ted Leonsis felt that the risk of signing Ovechkin to such a long deal wasn't an issue. Unlike the deal he struck with Jaromir Jagr in 2001 this deal makes sense. Why? For one, at the time of the Jagr deal, a salary cap loomed and no one knew how that would affect the league. Now in the third season of the new CBA, most teams (with a few exceptions) have come to grasp what the new landscape means; Sign your star players to long term deals, and build out from there.
5) Also can we please stop with the inevitable Crosby-Ovechkin comparisons? We understand its inevitable as they came into the league at the same time, and are both amazing players. However we disagree with what some writers are/were saying; That no player should make more than Sid. That's absurd. Each team individually determines what an asset(player) is worth to them. Evidently the Capitals believed that AO was worth 9.5 mil(average)/season. It will make him the highest paid player next season, BUT its likely that in 2 or 3 years another player will get an even larger/season deal, and its almost assured that when Sid's extension expires in 2013 (he will be an old 25 LOL) you can bet your boots he will make a healthy 8 figures in salary, while Ovechkin will be 'stuck' at the same average salary till 35, regardless of performance.
6) Regardless of opinion for or against these kind of deals, no one will know their worth or foolhardiness for quite a while. Regardless it seems that Mr. Wang was well ahead of his time and will either be looked back upon as the father of the insane contract or a brilliant visionary. Only time will reveal which answer is accurate. Its also apparent that many GM/owners who were once deriding Mr. Wang are now imitating him.