When you look at Rangers social media, the fans are buzzing about Jack Eichel, Buchnevich’s trade, and the teams need to bring in grit. One thing that hasn’t seen much talk of is Adam Fox’s contract. We’ve seen some huge money contracts handed out to d-men this summer and it got me to thinking about what should be the most important next move for Chris Drury. And that is an immediate extension of the reigning Norris Trophy winner, Adam Fox.
In just his second season in the NHL, Fox brought home the Rangers first Norris Trophy winner since Brian Leetch did it in the 1996-1997 season. Fox also cemented his place as the centerpiece of the Blueshirts new core moving forward for the next decade plus. At only 23 years old it can be argued that Fox’s best hockey is still in front of him and it would be in the team’s best interest to lock up this future star immediately.
We’ve seen it multiple times in recent Rangers history where they would like to bridge their young players instead of committing to them long term which would only serve to hurting the Blueshirts cap wise. The fact is, when you bridge players you’re really rolling the dice on yourself as an organization because if the player exceeds expectations then they’re going to look to potentially get overpaid in their next deal as a makeup for the bridge. There is also certain kinds of players that you do the “show me” deals with and players that you don’t. Adam Fox is one of those that you don’t look to bridge and you go long term with right off the bat.
Fox has shown, even in two years, that he is the kind of player that teams trip over themselves to find in the draft and even more so via trade or free agency. Very rarely does a player of his caliber fall into your lap and for former GM Jeff Gorton to land him for just two second round picks is some sort of thievery. The best move that Gorton’s successor Chris Drury can make is by locking Fox up for the next eight years.
After watching what Cale Makar, Darnell Nurse, and Seth Jones have gotten this summer, with Makar easily the best of the lot, Fox and his agents must be foaming at the mouth to negotiate with Chris Drury. Even more so with the leverage of the Norris in their corner. The worst mistake that the Rangers could make this season would be to try and bridge Fox and kick the can down the road for two more years because that will be certainly be a scenario the Blueshirts would regret.
Fans always enjoy griping about player contracts because in a salary cap world you never want to overpay a player. In the case of star players however, and make no mistake Adam Fox is a star you should never have an issue overpaying star players. Where team’s find themselves getting into cap hell is when they decide to overpay on depth or bad players. Fox, on a 8×9.25 or 9.5 AAV, while steep would be a deal that’s fair for both sides. Many fans are probably hoping for Fox to take a hometown discount, having grown up an NYR fan, but after proving your value and winning a Norris Trophy why would he? While Chris Drury may have a lot of irons in the fire this summer with a perspective Eichel deal or worrying about Zibanejad extension, the former Rangers captain number one focus this summer should be locking up Adam Fox before the season begins. If Fox enters the new year without an extension and he continues where he left off last season then his price tag will only continue to rise.
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