Kevin Labanc just did the San Jose Sharks a massive favour.
Another big name restricted free agent is off the market. The San Jose Sharks have signed Kevin Labanc to a one-year contract. Labanc may have just done the Sharks the biggest favour that he possibly could have done as the deal is worth only $1 million.
Although only for a year, the contract comes as a major favour to the Sharks and can be considered a major win for Sharks general manager Doug Wilson.
After a tremendous rookie season in which he potted 56 points during the regular season, $1 million is an absolute steal for a player of his caliber. Labanc has quickly become arguably the best value player not on their entry-level contract.
The craziest part of his new contract may be the fact that the Sharks did not even add any bonuses in the deal to add to the contract’s value. It is an even $1 million.
Labanc proved to be a core player for the Sharks last season by scoring 17 goals and adding 39 assists in 82 games during the season. His 56 points comes while spending most of his time as a third line right-winger. He averaged only 14:01 a night which makes his 56 points all the more impressive. 20 of his points including two goals came on the power play which he became a regular member of as he averaged 2:19 minutes on the power play per night.
Labanc finished the season with a 2.923 P/60 (points per 60 minutes) which was the 46th highest in the league which was ahead of stars like Vladimir Taresenko, Gabriel Landeskog, Claude Giroux, Tyler Seguin, Jonathan Toews, Mark Schiefele, Mark Stone, Ryan O’Reilly and so many more stars. At just 23-years-old, this further shows how much left he has to bring to the table.
The free agent losses of Joe Pavelski, Gustav Nyquist and Joonas Donskoi, not to mention the potential loss of Joe Thornton, means that Labanc can likely expect an even larger role with the deal next season that should see his ice time take a major increase.
He proved what he could do while playing barley over 14 minutes a night and with an increase in ice time and higher caliber line mates, he will be given every opportunity to improve that much more.
At $1 million for one season, Labanc will likely receive a major pay raise next season and signing for the year helps gives the Sharks a chance to make some cap room for Labanc to be compensated fairly. It just comes as a surprise that the Sharks still have over $5 million left in cap space.
Due to the fact that they did not have to pay Labanc a significant amount of money, the Sharks have some room to add some depth to their group and take a chance on some new players.
The Sharks are going likely going to have to make some additions to their roster in order to get further in the playoffs this year and Labanc gave Doug Wilson some much needed cap room to make that happen.