Pending league approval, the Flyers and [third-year center Mike] Richards have agreed in principle on a 12-year deal worth at least $68.4 million, with an annual cap hit of $5.7 million. Final details have not been worked out, league sources said.
This deal would eclipse – in money only – the 15-year, $67.5 million contract Islander goalie Rick DiPietro signed in 2006, although neither of these deals rank as the most lucrative in league history…
The 23-year-old Richards would have been a Group II free agent in July. This deal was inspired, in part, by what Anaheim did earlier this season, locking up Ryan Getzlaf to a five-year, $26.6 million contract. He, too, would have been an attractive Group II free agent this summer.
Honestly, it’s an intriguing gamble: paying players based on future performance instead of past results.