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TropicalFruitGirl26

Yanni Gourde... 6 Yr Extension, $5.1M AAV

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Yanni will be a long term member and investment for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

From the Worcester Sharks, to the Syracuse Crunch, to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the little ball of energy known as Yanni Gourde has scratched, clawed, agitated, and performed his way to the big league....and looks like he is there to stay signing an extension while he finishes up Year 2 of his 2-year contract which currently only pays him $1M per.

Undrafted but not deterred, Gourde seemingly came out of nowhere to establish himself as a viable NHL player, despite the fact that most people felt (and some will likely continue to feel) that he was some sort of flash in the pan and that no way could he continue the pace he has set for himself.

Granted, he has only had one full season as an NHL'er, last year, and he put up 64 points in 82 games.  But in partial seasons prior and in seasons at the AHL level, he has shown a tenacity and work ethic that HAS translated to on-ice success....and the Bolts, under new GM Julien Brisbois, have rewarded him for it.

What Gourde lacks in size (listed at 5'9 170-175), he more than makes up for in heart. Truly.
Like a small dog who doesn't realize his opponent is much larger than himself, he gets in the face of anyone, isn't afraid to go into the dirty and dangerous areas of the ice, WILL park himself in front of the net at times, and when given open ice, can skate, pass, and score as well as any good top six forward.

Scorer, set up man, checker, agitator....reminds me a bit of an Andrew Shaw. A guy who does a bit of everything, some things quite well, and very versatile as a linemate to just about anyone.

 

Will he live up to a $5.1M per contract?
Hard to say. He worked real hard because he was trying to "make it"....well, I'd say over $5M annually is "making it"...but will that quench his hunger? Would he want to be one of the best the franchise has had? Will he continue to work as hard as he has despite the comfortable bank account?

This is what the Lightning are banking on.
One good thing in favor of the Bolts even with this contract....
The first three years of the contract, if he is playing reasonably well, but not quite what they wanted, they CAN move him before NTC's kick in on Year 4.
Gives the team, along with this season and next year at 1 million still, time to evaluate whether he continues to rise, or at least maintain what he has done, or if he looks like he might regress.

 

Also, the the very, very good crop of forwards the Bolts still have in their system and likely to have moving forward, Gourde should know more than most, after spending time with many of them in the minors, that there will ALWAYS be some young, hungry talented forward ready to take his spot if he gets complacent.
And he seems like a very proud player and surely wouldn't want to "get fat" after working so hard to get to where he is.....there IS a Stanley Cup to chase after all...maybe more than one!

Sadly, for certain current members of the Tampa Bay Lightning, namely Ryan Callahan, this contract could spell the end for him.
Cally currently has a cap hit of $5.8M, he has this year and next left on it.
Basically, with Gourde's $5.1M kicking in as Callahan's is expiring, the Bolts are essentially bidding adieu to Cally and replacing him with Gourde, who will be about 28 when that new contract starts.

Congrats on your extension Yanni!
Looking forward to your continued contributions and ALWAYS entertaining play style on the ice!

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
Corrected current contract info

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I certainly don't want to quench your enthusiasm, but has he really earned that amount?  I'm asking in all seriousness.  You said it yourself he has only had 1 solid year.  He had 25/39 for 64 PT at a 18.4 SH% I think I would want to see more from him before giving him this amount. Especially consider 18.4 SH% is a tad on the high side.  The question is can he sustain that.  We only have 1 year to base this info.  He did not exactly light it up in the AHL with seasons of 29G/28A = 57 PT (17 SH%) and 14G / 30A = 44 PTS (11 SH%) 

 

Now he may very well blossom into a  30/40 type player while getting top 6 minutes (B. Point / T. Johnson on 2nd line).  I'm just a bit hesitant for the time being.

 

HF.jpg.png.53e54fe3388c7a600cc5566627322443.png

 

For comparisons sake I listed other players with a similar salary to Gourdes extension.  Is he in the same class with some of these players who have already produced???  (ignore any goalies/ d-men in this list)

 

hf2.jpg.thumb.png.2d9159524bfc8dec8051e1603bd8afbe.png

 

 

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My opinion:

 

Too much for too long, one very good year shouldn't get you that long of a deal. A bridge deal of three years for around that money sounded about right.

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All good points, @pilldoc , @yave1964

There IS no getting around that he has small sample sizes to go with. 
Bolts ARE taking a bit of a chance here although as I stated in my opening post, they do have an "out" of sorts over the next 3 years or so, before any NTC's kick in.
Before then, how he trends should come into focus.

I tried focusing on the positives of this deal, but I know this could backfire on TB if he cannot continue to do what he has shown in the smaller sample sizes.

I am not sure what the thought process is of new GM Julien Brisbois, though I'd like to think that he and Yzerman shared similar philosophies, but when I look at the team's salary structure as a whole, I do see some larger to mid sized contracts coming off the books (the aforementioned Ryan Callahan at 5.8M for instance), and so whenever Yzerman, and now Brisbois, signs these players, it appears it is with the idea that someone will come off the books and that new signee essentially replaces him.

I will NOT argue that perhaps he got too much too soon.
Perhaps this deal with the first three years being that "bridge" type that Yave alluded to, while the final three years, the Bolts are "stuck" with him, for better or worse, is a hybrid of sorts...……… giving the team a bit of flexibility, still ensuring security for the player, yet still carrying the danger of, he could be good those first three years, then be an anchor the final three.

Bottom line is, I like Gourde on the team. Bolts really don't have anyone like him in their current lineup. 

Meaning a guy who can play the game, be a pain in the arse, and be flexible regardless of what line he is on and who he plays with.
He also seems to be intelligent too because it would be EASY for an agitator to go overboard and take dumb penalties at the worst possible times..... for the most part, he avoids doing that, as he can be seen stirring things up, then backing off if things start getting to the point where the ref is going to start sending bodies to the box.

Bolts fans just best hope that Brisbois vision of what he can be moving forward is spot on.

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As for you list, @pilldoc

Some of those players I feel Gourde CAN be classified with, some not so much.

This salary bracket, the 4-5M range, is interesting because you usually find a bunch of guys who can either be totally worth that money, or some that just look grossly overpaid.

As an example, I'd say a guy like Gourde would compare favorably with say, Patric Hornqvist.
Of course, Hornqvist has a longer track record, and anyone who says Gourde does NOT compare to him would use that...and they wouldn't be wrong.

However, on the ice, Gourde is very much a Patric Hornqvist type.....Patric being a bit larger and a bit more physical, but Gourde being the better skater and can play with a bit more finesse. Both are players that score, can play on any line, and piss off the opponents.

Then I look at other players, perhaps a Brayden Schenn, Jason Zucker, or Kyle Palmieri, and see that those guys not only have longer NHL track records than Gourde, but are also multi-talented and can bring things to the table that Gourde perhaps cannot.... Schenn can be a 1c or 2c, is physical, can take faceoffs, and can be counted on to score... Gourde takes NO faceoffs, cannot play center, and while he can be physical, Schenn has a size advantage while still skating every bit as good as Gourde.

Jason Zucker is a VERY fast player, probably faster than Gourde, can probably be counted on to produce around 30 goals a year, and he too has put in much more time at the NHL level showing progress and continuing to do so for quite some time.

Kyle Palmieri.....definitely a more proven player as well and consistent producer.

Compared to these guys, Gourde may look overpaid.

Then you have slugs at the 5M mark that make Gourde look like an elite top line winger any day of the week...
Jori Lehtera…..Gourde, short track record or no, IMO, looks way better than this guy for the same amount of money.


Kevin Hayes...has just a slightly longer track record than Gourde, yet hasn't cracked 50 points in the NHL and has potted more than 20 goals only ONCE....and he is at the same 5.1M that Gourde will be at.

Willie Karlsson….one fantastic year...parlayed it to a 5.25M per contract....Gourde might look favorable against even him because of his short track record...and the fact that while Karlsson looks like he might be a better producer (or is he?), Gourde brings the other attributes mentioned that Karlsson does not.

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@TropicalFruitGirl26 

 

You make valid points.  Karlsson is a great example.... one (1) fantastic year does not make a great player.  He shot an totally un repeatable 23.4 SH% when his CSH% is only 14%.  Right now Karlsson is shooting at 14 SH%.  As of now in 13 games he only has 3G / 7A = 10 PT on 21 SOG.  He projects at 19G / 44A for 63 PTS.   Vegas IMO vastly overpaid for his services. There are going to be a lot of disappointed Golden Knight fans when he comes way short in his production this year.

 

He is an excellent comparison to Gourde.  Like @yave1964 mentioned, if Tampa was hell bent on extending him, a 3 year bridge contract would have been mutually beneficial to both parties.

 

 

 

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    • 2
      Post
      All good points, @pilldoc , @yave1964

      There IS no getting around that he has small sample sizes to go with. 
      Bolts ARE taking a bit of a chance here although as I stated in my opening post, they do have an "out" of sorts over the next 3 years or so, before any NTC's kick in.
      Before then, how he trends should come into focus.

      I tried focusing on the positives of this deal, but I know this could backfire on TB if he cannot continue to do what he has shown in the smaller sample sizes.

      I am not sure what the thought process is of new GM Julien Brisbois, though I'd like to think that he and Yzerman shared similar philosophies, but when I look at the team's salary structure as a whole, I do see some larger to mid sized contracts coming off the books (the aforementioned Ryan Callahan at 5.8M for instance), and so whenever Yzerman, and now Brisbois, signs these players, it appears it is with the idea that someone will come off the books and that new signee essentially replaces him.

      I will NOT argue that perhaps he got too much too soon.
      Perhaps this deal with the first three years being that "bridge" type that Yave alluded to, while the final three years, the Bolts are "stuck" with him, for better or worse, is a hybrid of sorts...……… giving the team a bit of flexibility, still ensuring security for the player, yet still carrying the danger of, he could be good those first three years, then be an anchor the final three.

      Bottom line is, I like Gourde on the team. Bolts really don't have anyone like him in their current lineup.  Meaning a guy who can play the game, be a pain in the arse, and be flexible regardless of what line he is on and who he plays with.
      He also seems to be intelligent too because it would be EASY for an agitator to go overboard and take dumb penalties at the worst possible times..... for the most part, he avoids doing that, as he can be seen stirring things up, then backing off if things start getting to the point where the ref is going to start sending bodies to the box.

      Bolts fans just best hope that Brisbois vision of what he can be moving forward is spot on.
    • 1
      Post
      My opinion:   Too much for too long, one very good year shouldn't get you that long of a deal. A bridge deal of three years for around that money sounded about right.
    • 1
      Post
      As for you list, @pilldoc

      Some of those players I feel Gourde CAN be classified with, some not so much.

      This salary bracket, the 4-5M range, is interesting because you usually find a bunch of guys who can either be totally worth that money, or some that just look grossly overpaid.

      As an example, I'd say a guy like Gourde would compare favorably with say, Patric Hornqvist.
      Of course, Hornqvist has a longer track record, and anyone who says Gourde does NOT compare to him would use that...and they wouldn't be wrong.

      However, on the ice, Gourde is very much a Patric Hornqvist type.....Patric being a bit larger and a bit more physical, but Gourde being the better skater and can play with a bit more finesse. Both are players that score, can play on any line, and piss off the opponents.

      Then I look at other players, perhaps a Brayden Schenn, Jason Zucker, or Kyle Palmieri, and see that those guys not only have longer NHL track records than Gourde, but are also multi-talented and can bring things to the table that Gourde perhaps cannot.... Schenn can be a 1c or 2c, is physical, can take faceoffs, and can be counted on to score... Gourde takes NO faceoffs, cannot play center, and while he can be physical, Schenn has a size advantage while still skating every bit as good as Gourde.

      Jason Zucker is a VERY fast player, probably faster than Gourde, can probably be counted on to produce around 30 goals a year, and he too has put in much more time at the NHL level showing progress and continuing to do so for quite some time. Kyle Palmieri.....definitely a more proven player as well and consistent producer.

      Compared to these guys, Gourde may look overpaid.

      Then you have slugs at the 5M mark that make Gourde look like an elite top line winger any day of the week...
      Jori Lehtera…..Gourde, short track record or no, IMO, looks way better than this guy for the same amount of money.
      Kevin Hayes...has just a slightly longer track record than Gourde, yet hasn't cracked 50 points in the NHL and has potted more than 20 goals only ONCE....and he is at the same 5.1M that Gourde will be at.

      Willie Karlsson….one fantastic year...parlayed it to a 5.25M per contract....Gourde might look favorable against even him because of his short track record...and the fact that while Karlsson looks like he might be a better producer (or is he?), Gourde brings the other attributes mentioned that Karlsson does not.
    • 1
      Post
      @TropicalFruitGirl26    You make valid points.  Karlsson is a great example.... one (1) fantastic year does not make a great player.  He shot an totally un repeatable 23.4 SH% when his CSH% is only 14%.  Right now Karlsson is shooting at 14 SH%.  As of now in 13 games he only has 3G / 7A = 10 PT on 21 SOG.  He projects at 19G / 44A for 63 PTS.   Vegas IMO vastly overpaid for his services. There are going to be a lot of disappointed Golden Knight fans when he comes way short in his production this year.   He is an excellent comparison to Gourde.  Like @yave1964 mentioned, if Tampa was hell bent on extending him, a 3 year bridge contract would have been mutually beneficial to both parties.      

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