Condra Avoids Arbitration – Signs 2 Years, 1.25AAV

The first year of Condra’s deal will be worth $1.2 million and his second year will be worth $1.3 million. It’s a marked increase from the $600,000 and $650,000 salaries that he made in the last two years of his expired contract. Condra is a weird player when looking for comparables, in that he's a winger, doesn't score much, and is among the leaders in shorthanded ice-time per game while playing around 13-14 minutes a night. Former Senator Patrick Eaves ticks all those boxes and signed a three-year deal with Detroit two summer ago at $1.2 million per. He was 26 at the time, the same age Condra is now.

Condra’s cap hit makes him the ninth highest paid forward on the team and with Colin Greening and Cory Conacher eligible for extensions, it’s probably only a matter of time before they surpass him as well. It is somewhat interesting to me at least that the Senators didn’t elect to buy out as many of Condra’s first UFA years as say, Zack Smith for example. Unlike Smith who would have been eligible for free agency at the end of the 2014/15 season and signed a contract that takes him through the first two years that he would have been an unrestricted free agent, Condra’s current contract only buys out the first year that he would have been eligible for UFA.

It may seem like minor quibbling to some, but, regardless of his placement within the team’s salary structure, Condra’s been an invaluable member of the Ottawa Senators. Although his 2013 playoff production (1 goal and 7 points in 10 games) was impressive, he has never produced at near the same clip during the regular season (Note: NHL regular season not Div II in Germany). He did post 6 goals and 11 points in his first 26 NHL games, but since then his production rates have dipped – his career highs in goals and points are 8 and 25 respectively.

Despite these modest numbers, his exceptional puck possession numbers and ability to drive play as a winger have earned him somewhat of a cult-like appreciation around these corners of the interwebs. Unfortunately for Condra, the fact his value is better quantifed by Corsi means he'll probably always be undervalued at contract time. But for a team looking to squeeze performance from every dollar spent, these are exactly the kind of players it pays to have.

 

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