The New Jersey Devils have stepped up to the plate to become the first club to try out a long-term deal under the new collective bargaining agreement, signing Travis Zajac to an eight-year contract extension worth $46 million.
“I want to be here,” Zajac said. “I believe in this organization. I think it is a first-class organization. It’s the environment I want to surround myself on and off the ice, and my family loves New Jersey. We like the people here. We like living here. With all that and the players and coaching staff, I think we have a great chance here to always be successful.”
Zajac is set to make $3.5 million this season, $5 million next season and $6.5 million over the next four years until the 2018-2019 season. After that, his salary will drop to $5.75 million for the last two years of the deal.
According to New Jersey president and GM Lou Lamoriello, the Zajac extension was discussed prior to the NHL lockout and finalized after the lockout ended.
“He’s developed himself into an all-situation, complete player,” Lamoriello said. “He’s one of our core leaders. He has been from day one. His play in the playoffs was certainly monumental for us. As far as him coming back it’s quite evident what he means.”
Zajac will be entering his seventh season in New Jersey. He only skated in 15 regular season games last season, but potted seven playoff goals in helping the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Finals.
Zajac’s best season with the Devils came in 2009-2010 when he landed 67 points in 82 games. He scored 25 goals that season.
As you can see by the numbers, this deal isn’t of the extreme sort of previous deals under the old CBA. It’s still a big money contract, make no mistake about it, but it’s not on the level of other absurd contracts.
It’s also worthwhile to note that the new CBA has contract limits of seven years unless you’re signing with your current team, hence the reason Zajac’s deal is allowed to be an eight-year extension.
By the way, the extension also comes with a no-trade clause.