DeBrincat agrees to three-year, $19.2 million deal with Chicago Blackhawks
General managers, players and agents around the league had a hard time coming to terms with their restricted free agents this past off-season.
Over a dozen of these high-profile RFAs -- including Winnipeg's Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Toronto's Mitch Marner and Colorado's Mikko Rantanen -- held out and missed large portions of training camp.
It was entirely possible the Blackhawks were going to deal with this headache next season when it came to Alex DeBrincat.
But GM Stan Bowman avoided this mess in impressive fashion by inking DeBrincat to a three-year, $19.2 million contract Thursday. DeBrincat will still be a restricted free agent when his deal expires after the 2022-23 season, but he'll have arbitration rights at that point.
"From the beginning, it was apparent they wanted to get the deal done," Bowman told reporters in Prague as the Hawks prepare for their season opener against Philadelphia on Friday. "And I think it was a deal that works both for us ... and rewards him for his performance and it sets us up well for where we're headed."
DeBrincat scored 41 goals last season and 28 as a rookie. He has racked up 128 points in 164 games.
"It's nice to get it done," DeBrincat said. "It shows the confidence the team has in me. I didn't want to wait around like all the RFA's."
In a Sept. 21 interview, Bowman called the RFA holdout situation "a new phenomenon."
It was one that saw eight of those 16 restricted free agents sign long-term deals and eight agree to "bridge deals."
The bridge deals among forwards were:
• Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk signing for three years at a $7 million hit.
• Laine signing for two years at a $6.75 million cap hit.
• Tampa Bay's Brayden Point signing for three years at a $6.75 million hit.
• Vancouver's Brock Boeser signing for three years at a $5.875 million hit.
• Los Angeles' Adrian Kempe signing for three years at a $2 million hit.