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Tuesday, July 24, 2012
You Make the Call: Is long term worth it?

By Sarah Goldstein

The Nashville Predators have Shea Weber locked up for 14 years. The face of the franchise is safe. The Predators' only concern now is writing the checks to add up to $110 million. Weber Watch is over (unless he demands a trade down the road, i.e., Rick Nash).

But 14 years is a long time. Weber will be 40 years old when the deal expires. The league will have been through multiple collective bargaining agreements. At least one realignment plan will likely have gone through. Even Justin Bieber will be 32 years old.

As owners try to eliminate these long-term deals in the current CBA negotiations, they still keep handing them out like candy on Halloween. But are teams getting a treat with these deals or is it all a big trick?

Think about some of the names who have signed deals longer than a decade: Rick DiPietro, Alexei Yashin, Roberto Luongo, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Vincent Lecavalier.

Not much needs to be said about DiPietro and Yashin. The Flyers shipped Richards out of town. Carter pingponged from Philly to Columbus to Los Angeles. The Canucks are trying to get rid of Luongo. And don't you think Lighting GM Steve Yzerman would like to have Lecavalier's $7.7 million annual cap hit to work with?

Ilya Kovalchuk quieted his critics this season, but his 15-year, $100 million contract caused plenty of issues (and a summer of drama) in New Jersey. Alex Ovechkin is getting $124 million over 13 years, but the Capitals haven't gotten any closer to winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Ilya Bryzgalov certainly hasn't solved the Flyers' problems in net with his nine-year, $51 million deal.

Yet none of these tales scared off teams this offseason.

It is hard to see what other moves the Wild can make in the future after doubling up with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter for 13 years. The Penguins must have been certain that Sidney Crosby's concussion issues are behind him to give him a 12-year, $104 million contract. And the Hurricanes showed how important brotherly love is by signing Jordan Staal to a 10-year, $60 million extension.

Here is the question: Are long-term contracts smart business? Would you sign a player for longer than a decade?

Tell us what you think in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter @ESPN_NHL or @sarahgold8.