I believe it's fair to say that we all would have preferred Kopitar and Doughty had signed contracts with either: A lower cap hit (AAV) over 8 years A shorter term (perhaps 5 or 6 years) at a similar AAV Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world, and honestly, when you've won Cups, Norris/Selke, and Gold Medals, you dictate rather than negotiate your contract. I know that many of us are a bit worried about the contracts on the team, especially when our hands are tied instead of being able to take on short-term, bad contracts in exchange for valuable assets for the rebuild. Given the shift we've seen in RFA contracts as well, Kopitar and Doughty's deals could provide a headache moving forward when we have a younger team of up and coming talent. However, I wanted to throw out there the possibility that Kopitar and Doughty's contracts could actually help us in navigating the hellscape of signing relatively unproven but impactful RFA talent. A team like Toronto had no grizzled, long-tenured, multiple Cup and/or trophy-winning veteran to act as a cap hit ceiling for Marner and Matthews, whereas I'd argue that Boston (McAvoy), Calgary (Tkachuk), and Tampa Bay (Point) did have internal ceilings in the forms of Bergeron, Giordano, and Kucherov/Stamkos. Sure, Tavares was there, but he had just arrived and didn't have the history with the franchise that the guys listed and Kopitar/Doughty do with their teams. Given that the cap ceiling is going to be going up significantly when the new TV deal kicks in and Seattle joins the league, Kopitar and Doughty's AAVs will still be high, but might actually provide at least a short-term barrier from ballooning post-RFA cap hits for players like Turcotte, Kaliyev, this year's 1st round pick, and dare I dream, Vilardi. Young players are already pushing near $10M AAVs, and it may turn out in our GM's advantage to point at Kopitar at $10m/yr and Doughty at $11M/yr and say, "You can have that cap hit when you go out and win 2 Cups, a couple of Selke's, and a Norris." Thoughts?