Brad Stuart signs!

According to TSN, the sharks and stuart have agreed to a deal. Assuming TSN is correct, it looks like obht sides compromised to make the deal happen.

here’s a quick analysis I did of the deal for the Sharks list.

On Tuesday, November 12, 2002, at 05:03 PM, Kirk Nolte wrote:

>If the numbers in the story are accurate ($1.25M this year, minus the games
>he’s missed, $1.5M next year, and +$2M the third option year), what the @#$
>was everybody thinking???

The current numbers are $1.25m, $1.75m the second year. Interesting that it’s BOTH a player and a club option. that’s a cute hack (more on that in a minute).

> Stuart and his agent wanted Wade Redden money
>($3.6M for two years, and the Sharks were thinking Derek Morris money, $5M
>for three years). It seems to me that neither side “won”. After reading this
>story, I think he caved in too early…

If stuart wanted maximum money, then yes, he caved too early. But Stuart wanted to play hockey. What you see here is both sides compromising. Lombardi wanted him playing. Stuart wanted to play. Both sides made some compromises to make it happen. Both sides therefore won. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?

Both of those public names were negotiating points. I think both sides knew reality was somewher in the middle.

Lombardi made a big point that players coming off their first contract accept their qualification contract. Most players do. A few don’t. Lombardi felt that wasn’t negotiable, and that was a huge sticking point here.

and when it came down to it, the sticking point was resolved in a way that allow both sides to save face. If you look at the contract, it’s for more than the qualifying offer (by a couple of hundred thousand), but Stuart will forfeit, oh, a couple of hundred thousand in salary to games lost to the holdout. end result: Stuart and his agent can claim they made Lombardi move from his position, Lombardi can claim that the position didn’t matter, because the dollars work out the same.

In reality, both sides found a way to get what they want here.

Lombardi gives him a decent raise in the 2nd year of the contract. Stuart gets a guaranteed number that doesn’t depend on incentives or performance.

Third year is where it gets really interesting. If Stuart really develops well, he’s going to be seriously underpaid in year three, but Lombardi has an option on that year. So if Stuart really blooms, Lombardi takes the option, which then gives him leverage with Stuart on a longer-term deal. If Stuart doesn’t blossom, then we have a defenseman who’s going to be overpaid. it’s then in Stuart’s best interest to exercise the option, which then means the sharks own him for a third year at too much money, or if things are really, really bad, buy him out of the contract. Either way, Stuart’s had his interests protected here, also. The player option in the third year is effectively a clause where if things *don’t* work out like everyone hopes, Stuart gets a buyout payment that effectively returns to him the money he is giving up this season.

Everyone wins. Stuart gives up money now, for a contract that’s backloaded (which Lombardi wants). If he blooms, Lombardi has leverage on tying up Stuart to a second contract by renegotiating more money into year 3 in return for getting year 4 or 4 and 5. Stuart wins, because he gets to play, doesn’t get the money he wants NOW, but has guarantees in the contract to make sure he doesn’t get screwed later if things don’t work out. he did lombardi a favor this year, to some degree, but lombardi wrote him a little insurance to make sure it works out okay either way.

Sometimes, the best deals are ones where everyone comes away with a piece. Does everyone come away from this happy? Probably not — but everyone won some part of the fight, and everyone gave up some stuff they wanted. Nobody “won”, but nobody really “lost”, either. that’s the joy of compromise.

I like it. both sides seemed to have moved towards the middle here, and there are some interesting innovations in those option clauses to make it work. I like how BOTH sides got this done.