The real Sam Reinhart's HAS STOOD UP.
Pay the man!
In a season partially coached by Ralph Krueger and his atrocious player utilization strategies, as well as lineup castrated by injuries and covid setbacks, Sam Reinhart's efforts and success finds himself 8th in goals in the league!
Let us dive into what that likely means for a contract extension. For this conversation I'm going to categorize Sam as a center and compare him to other top 5 centers in goals in the league, as that's largely where he's found his tremendous success this season. LETS FACE IT, HE DESERVES THAT POSITION.
To do that, I'm going to first look at what kind of company he's amidst for goal scoring wise. He finds himself behind Austin Matthew's (1st O/A, 5 year 11.6m AAV) , Connor McDavid (2nd O/A 8 year 12.5m AAV) , Tyler Tofolli (4th O/A 4 year 4.25m AAV) , Aleksander Barkov (6th O/A 6 year 5.9m AAV), Leon Draisaitl (9th O/A 8 year 8.5m AAV).
Austin Matthew's and Connor McDavid are honestly in leagues of their own, so it's not really fair to add their salaries and playing styles into this comparison. So, for that purpose I will omit them from this comparison.
Simply averaging Tyler Tofolli, Barkov, and Draisaitl AAV you would end up with 6.217m AAV.
I think Sam's best comparison there is Barkov. I think Draisaitl may be a bit better, and i think Tofolli is having a fantastic season - but Sam is a bit better. So at 6.2 AAV ,THATS PRETTY DAMN CLOSE , but let's keep on chiving on.
Like I just said, Tofolli has had himself a hell of a shortened season playing above expected (IMO). Barkov is also playing extremely well , but he's more of the - well that’s about right- margin. Draisaitl is having a slightly below average season but nothing to talk badly about at all. All of this considered with Sam right in the middle of this, I'd say he's put himself in for a well-deserved pay raise.
Let's take a look at who he needs to play with to find success. WAIT WHAT?!?!?! HES FOUND SUCCESS NO MATTER THE LINE MATES ?!?! But … but …. MANY said that he NEEDS JACK FOR SUCCESS?! Well Sam has definitely put that horrible logic to bed.
I think if the Sabres can lock up Sam at a very reasonable 5yr x 6 AAV contract or slightly above, they have done well. In fact, I would even be as bold to say the man deserves 6 x 7. I don’t want to see the Sabres go crazy here, but he is DEFINITELY a core piece that brings EVERYTHING to the table. Leadership, talent, play driving abilities and flexibility within your lineup!
Pay the man!