The wait is finally over and Carolina Hurricanes fans can let out that long held sigh of relief now that Andrei Svechnikov has signed a max-term, eight-year contract to remain with the Canes.
The new deal means that Svechnikov will be a Hurricane until the year 2029 and no one may be happier about that than Svech himself.
“I’ve been loving this place for years and now I’ll be here eight more,” Svechnikov said in a presser Thursday. “It’s a special place. We have a great team, great coaches and all the guys make this locker room special. You come here and you just want to have fun. That’s all we try to do. Have fun and win every game.”
Coming into this offseason, it seemed like a shorter term bridge deal would have been the most likely outcome based on the majority of RFA comparables out there, but that was simply not the case.
“I wanted eight years to play in Carolina,” Svechnikov said about what contract negotiations were like. “The Canes and me both wanted it so it was an easy decision. I want to be a Hurricane. We have a great team and great coaches and we just have to win the Stanley Cups.”
Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said that while talks had been ongoing for months, discussions really ramped up in the last three weeks with daily dialogue as neither side wanted negotiations to drag into the start of training camp — September 22.
Signed to a contract worth just a bit barely over $62 million — the largest value contract in team history (CC: @corylav) — the Carolina Hurricanes are putting their faith in Svechnikov for the long haul as they expect him to grow into an even larger role with the team.
The total value of Svechnikov’s contract is the biggest in team history. Jordan Staal’s was $60M over 10 years, Eric Staal’s was $57.75M over seven years.— Cory Lavalette (@corylav) August 26, 2021
Svechnikov will make $62 million over the course of his deal.
And it might just be one of the safest bets as the Russian phenom has become one of the most electric offensive players in the entire league at just 21 years old.
The 2018 second overall pick leads the entire draft class in scoring since he entered the league at 18 with 59 goals and 140 points in 205 regular season games as well as nine goals and 20 points in 26 playoff games.
Even Svechnikov himself didn’t anticipate it all going this well.
“Firstly, I just wanted to make it to the NHL,” Svechnikov said about his expectations for himself when he was drafted. “Then maybe score a couple of lacrosse goals. But really I just wanted to grow in the NHL and play my game and be a team guy and hopefully win a Stanley Cup.”
And winning not just one, but multiple Stanley Cups was a key talking point of Svechnikov’s presser.
Svechnikov felt that the team would have been able to win the Stanley Cup this past season had they been able to get past the Tampa Bay Lightning, but thinks that the team now has gotten both stronger and more experienced over the offseason.
And with Svechnikov’s contract and cap hit set, the Canes can now pursue potentially adding another piece to the roster.
Waddell stated that he is still having conversations with teams about adding to the group before the start of the season, but also said that saving the space for flexibility to potentially make an addition mid-season was an option that was still on the table as well.
But the Canes will be dependent on Svechnikov to reach his star potential if they want to be the last team standing at the end of the season.
Luckily for them, Svechnikov is one of the most determined and hard working players on the team.
And anyone who has talked with or listened to Svechnikov knows just how humble of a player he is. It’s not about the money or about how good of a player he is, it’s always about the team and what he can do to better it. So securing a big contract shouldn’t slow him down at all.
But it also goes beyond just himself as a player too. He’s genuinely one of the nicest people around and somebody you can’t help but root for.
Because the one thing that is the most important to Svechnikov, is his family.
When he finally had the contract signed, Svechnikov talked about how it was an indescribable feeling, but that it was mostly a lot of excitement. But what he said was the most important to him was how his family reacted.
“I was looking at my phone fire up a little bit,” Svechnikov said. “My whole family — my parents and my brother — were calling me. I talked with them and they were excited and that was the most important thing for me. That my parents and brother were excited.”
And about that $4,000,037 signing bonus?
“I don’t know really. I didn’t think about it, but I will probably just give it to my parents and my family.”
The signing bonus in year one is actually:— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) August 26, 2021
(Svechnikov's number is 37) https://t.co/ndiTvibtTn
A great deal for Carolina and a great deal for a great person.