A Pretty Good Deal
So is this the day the "John Ferguson is a Genius!" emails flood in?
Has to be, right?
Everyone, including this writer, has hammered JFJ over and over and over for the inflated Bryan McCabe contract. The Ed Belfour and Tie Domi deals were similarly panned, and there has been a picture painted that Ferguson is utterly incapable of making smart business arrangements with players.
Well, then how to explain the Nik Antropov contract?
Actually, Ferguson was slammed by many for that one as well, a two-year extension last June that will pay the Kazakh $1.95 million this season and $2.15 million next season.
He's got 29 points in 29 games, including 14 goals, good enough for 22nd on the NHL scoring list. That's one spot below Daniel Briere, who's in the first year of an eight-year, $52 million contract. Antropov has the same number of points as Jason Spezza (seven years, $49 million) and Ryan Getzlaf (five years, $27 million).
Now, that's not to say Antropov is as good as Briere, Spezza or Getzlaf.
But at his current salary, he appears to be an excellent bargain.
I get many emails from people wondering "Why do you defend John Ferguson so much?" Well, it's not up to me to defend him. But I am convinced he's not a complete village idiot, as some contend, and that he's done one or two good things during his tenure as Leaf GM, and that he was put in a very difficult position when he took the job and working for MLSE is no walk in the park.
In the case of Antropov, he's seems to have engineered a very good deal for the Leafs. You may not like everything he does, or very much at all, but you've got to give him credit for that one.