Earlier today, the Anaheim Ducks announced the signing of starting netminder John Gibson to an eight-year contract extension, that gives him an Annual Average Value of $6.4 million per year. The deal comes following an incredible 2017/18 season, where the 25-year-old started and played in 60 games, posted a 0.926 save percentage, and gave at least a league-average performance in 65% of his appearances.
That quality start percentage was good for 4th in the NHL among starters (behind Antti Raanta, Pekka Rinne, and Marc-Andre Fleury), while his 25.3 Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA) were second only to Rinne’s 27.49. On a team that finished the season with an overall goal difference of +22, his performance was all the more necessary; had Gibson just been league average last year, Anaheim likely falls well out of a playoff spot in the West.
As such, I had Gibson on my theoretical Hart Ballot back in March, with this to say:
5. John Gibson, Anaheim. There might not be a player bailing out his team more in the NHL right now. The Ducks sit ninth from the bottom in possession, get outshot and outchanced routinely, and don’t score a particularly impressive amount of goals. Gibson, (with the help of backup Ryan Miller, also having a stellar year), has been one of the top-performing goaltenders in the league this year (third in SV% among starters), and it means more to Anaheim than any other team with a goalie in the Vezina discussion.
So yeah, even though Gibson somehow didn’t get a single 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place Vezina Trophy vote this season, I can see why the Ducks would like him to keep stopping pucks for them for a little while longer. The dollar figure seems pretty reasonable too; $6.4 million puts Gibson sixth in the league, as close to 11th as he is to fifth, as close to 21st he is to second, as close to 43rd as he is to first.
It’s the term that gets me, though, and it has nothing to do with Gibson. Here, let me lay this out, and we’ll keep it nice and simple.---
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