For the third summer in a row, the Islanders and Sean Bergenheim continue to be on complete opposite sides when it comes to a contract. Obviously, Sean Bergenheim and his agent Marc Gandler feel that he has proven himself worthy of a long term, lucrative contract, while Garth Snow still feels Bergenheim has some proving to do and should receive either a one or two year, low scale contract. The one major concern I hold is that he will go to Russia and receive a large contract that we just simply cannot match.
When I sit down to watch each and every Islanders game, I know one thing for sure, and that is that Sean Bergenheim will skate hard, work hard, hit hard, and shoot hard every single shift. Watching him from game one until game eighty two last year, it was obvious he made a tremendous all around improvement in his game. While his statistics demonstrate third line numbers (78GP 10 G 12 A 22 Points, I feel that he still has plenty of time to improve upon those. In my personal opinion, he has the skill and speed to truly develop into a second line winger who could put up 20 to 25 goals a season, and 15 to 20 assists, especially if he were to receive second unit power play time. He is truly an all around player and has the ability to prove why he was a first round pick.
Now that I have argued why I think he is a great player, he still has his flaws of course and I am sure this is why Garth Snow is apprehensive. Although he was better at controlling it a little better last season, he is known to take foolish penalties because he is a hot head. If he is beat or hit the wrong way, he is known to retaliate in a way that will cost the team. He is also known for a not so great attitude off the ice, which is very visible in the fact he has had contract disputes for three straight summers. If he were to focus a little more, and forget about the money part of the game, he could flourish into that second line wing position I spoke about in the previous paragraph. I just feel these minor distractions are going to cost him in the long run.
For my personal opinion, I think Garth Snow should stick with the idea of the youth movement. By giving Bergenheim a contract a few years in length, it might alleviate that concentration problem that Sean has. I am thinking that a contract maybe four years in length, valued at $1.5 Million a year would be a fair place to start. It is a nice, small cap hit, especially if he continues to develop as well as he is. In the third and fourth years of that deal, when he is surrounded by young, fast, and talented youth, he might be just the ball of energy they need. What do you think is a fair contract in terms of length and amount of money for a player like him?