But if it's only worth signing elite players this age to four year deals then why would Dubas and his team of nerds do it? If they're as analytic-driven as we think and if they sign him for four years then maybe just maybe there's a decent chance they see him as better than you guys do.Because that would be fucking crazy
Excellent postRielly, and maybe a few teams, yeah. "Many" is a over stating it.
I really don't think you guys are accepting the age curve here, or how much younger the league has trended the last few season. For all intents and purposes, he's 31 (he turns 31 on Feb 21). A 4 year extension would carry him through his age 31-34 seasons.
I'll borrow a Zeke tactic for a moment and use TOI/G as a rough analog for quality of play.
There are currently 95 defenders averaging 20 minutes a night. 20 of them are 31+. 18 of them are 32+. 14 of them are 33+. But this is where it starts to get interesting. Here's that group of 14
Burns, Suter, Weber, Keith, Gio, Goligoski, Edler, Niskanen, J Bo, Stralman, Chara, Green, Greene, Hainsey.
It's made up of a few distinct groups imo. The top end of the group are the obvious guys who were perennial norris candidates/winners. The elite of the elite. Another group is guys who were plus skaters or offensive defenders who have just aged relatively well. Then there's the group that I think Muzz would belong to if he got here. Edler-Niskanen-Greene-Hainsey. Greene and Hainsey are only here because they play for dreadful teams. So our aging curve comparables imo are Edler and Niskanen. 2 defender of roughly Muzzins calibre who make it to 33 yrs old while remaining a legit top 3 defender.
It gets more grim though when you look at 18+ minutes a night (now we're up to 22 defenders of 140). That only adds 4 additional defenders to the sample above. Yandle, Jack Johnson, Seabrook, Sekera. Basically a 33 yr old Tyson Barrie and 3 guys who are unplayable. 17+? Add another 4 (26 of 159). Marc Staal, Boychuk, Engellund, Braun
The aging curve for a player of Muzzin's calibre isn't gentle like Presto's post from earlier (Good top pairing to good 2nd pairing to meh 2nd pairing to good 3rd pairing defender, nice and gentle decline), it's a lot more likely to go Fringe top pairing-mediocre 2nd pairing-sheltered veteran 3rd pairing-albatross.
The defenders that age gracefully are the ones who peaked at the very top. Muzz isn't that guy.