7:50PM: Zibanejad has a full no-move until 7 days before the trade deadline in the final year of the deal. At that point it becomes a 21-team no trade list. (CapFriendly)
11:34 AM: The Rangers have confirmed it is an eight-year extension.
Chris Drury said in a statement, “Since joining the team in 2016, Mika has emerged as one of the premier players in the NHL. In addition to being a great player on the ice, Mika is an exemplary person off of the ice. We are fortunate to have him as part of our Rangers organization and are excited that he will continue his career in New York.”
11:31 AM: Larry Brooks reports that the Rangers and Mika Zibanejad have come to terms on an EIGHT-YEAR extension worth $8.5 million per season.
Zibanejad and the Rangers had reportedly been in contract talks since the summer.
Zibanejad, 28, has been with the Rangers since the 2016-17 season and has 136 goals and 147 assists in 323 games.
Adam Rotter: Eight years isn’t the big takeaway for me, it’s the $8.5 million cap hit. The Rangers may have preferred 5-6 years, but getting the cap hit not just under $10 million, but under $9 million is a big win and worthwhile tradeoff. The Rangers will need every dollar under the cap that they can find and this will help as their young players start needing new contracts.
Zibanejad probably could have gotten over $9 million, albeit for one fewer year, as a free agent next summer, but he wanted to stay and prioritized that extra year over a higher cap hit.
The timing of it all certainly makes it seem like Zibanejad will have a “C” on his jersey come opening night. He has long made sense to be the Captain, but his contract and future seemed to be the thing preventing it. Now that his contract is settled he certainly makes the most sense to be the first person to wear the “C” since Ryan McDonagh was traded.
Zibanejad deserves this. He has developed into one of the top players in the league, one of the best goal scorers and the Rangers top-line center. He is one of the only players that was here before the rebuild, stayed during the rebuild and come out of the other side with a long-term contract. When this process started you hoped that Zibanejad would take those steps to become a core part of whatever was to come next and he has.