Travis Zajac's deal with the Devils: first max contract under new CBA4:09 PM
One of the major hurdles coming out of the last CBA that owners looked to rectify was long term, back diving player contracts which effectively circumvented and in some ways cheated the supposed design of that agreement (see: Ilya Kovalchuk, Roberto Luongo, Rick DePietro, and Marian Hossa's contracts). Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly stated in a December press conference following a week's worth of what then was promising negotiations turned sour that term limits would be "the hill we will die on."
Today Travis Zajac became the first beneficiary of a max deal allowable under the new agreement as New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello announced that the club had signed the forward to an 8 year deal which will pay him $46 million. The 8 year term is the longest allowable being that the team re-signed it's own player. That number may seem a bit steep for a player who has never tallied more than 25 goals or has yet to reach even the 70 point mark ( the 2009-'10 campaign saw him reach career highs with 25 goals and 67 points), but the club seems to want to invest in his potential and keep him as a core member for the foreseeable future. Former Devils captain and fellow country man Zach Parise departed for big money and the chance to play in his home state when he signed with Minnesota for big money prior to the lockout this past summer.
Zajac's deal breaks down as follows:
Year 1: $3.5 million
Year 2: $5 million
Years 3-6: $6.5 million
Years 7-8: $5.75 million
His cap hit for each of those seasons is $5.75 million.