Thomas Chabot enjoyed a nice season for the Ottawa Senators last year. With Erik Karlsson in San Jose, Chabot took over Karlsson’s role essentially and thrived for the most part. Even a week ago, an extension was just a rumor. Things change quickly.
As a result, the Senators signed the defender to an eight-year, $8 million AAV extension. Let’s take a deeper look
What Thomas Chabot means to the Ottawa Senators
Chabot’s ice time rose to over 24 minutes a night as the defenseman finally saw some power-play time of substance at last. The result was 16 power-play points overall and some think just the tip of the iceberg.
The defenseman experienced an overall rise in points to 55 in 2018-19. Expectations indicate further increases in 2019-20 as Chabot could project to play 26-27 minutes a night at times.
Now, the contract is signed and sealed. The first question asked has to be, what will Ottawa surround Chabot with? Does the second become who will be his defensive partner? These are important questions after all. Either way, Chabot carries this team on his shoulders at least from the defensive rearguard.
Chabot has improved every single season from an offensive and defensive point of view. Only an injury slowed him down over the final quarter of the season. The 22-year-old expects to be the focal point of the Ottawa Senators blueline for many years to come.
Next, there is the numerology.
The numerology of Thomas Chabot
Fortunately, Chabot is such a matter of emphasis that his point production should not suffer much even if other categories do.
Possession metrics were ridiculously positive for Thomas Chabot. The defenseman maintained a +6% relative last year and that was up from the previous years. One of the main reasons was the middle third of the season where Chabot was producing at a point a game pace.
Eventually, Ottawa will not be so poor defensively that the relative numbers even out some. On the other hand, Chabot’s might creep upward a bit as well.
Consequently, many point to that his expected goals for that were 6.38% up from the team average relative. Also, his points per 60 were quite good at 1.48.
Here is a standardized RAPM chart from Evolving Hockey.
Tougher minutes and times will likely greet the rearguard in 2019-20. Unfortunately, training camp comes quickly and the defenseman will have to improve a little bit defensively. There still exists a huge void defensively on Ottawa and it will take time to fill that. Erik Brannstrom helps only so much.
This move keeps Chabot in Ottawa and buys several years of the unrestricted free agency years along the way.
The details of the Thomas Chabot deal
The Chabot re-signing shows an eight-year contract extension for $8 million AAV which is unexpectedly lower than most speculated he could receive.
Thomas Chabot’s eight-year contract has an average annual value of $8 million, with the following breakdown: $7M in 2020-21, $7M in 2021-22, $4M in 2022-23, $8M in 2023-24, $10M in 2024-25, $10M in 2025-26, $10M in 2026-27 and $8M in 2027-28.
— Sens Communications (@Media_Sens) September 19, 2019
Salary breakdown was shown above but the interesting part is the last four years at just $38 million. The kickers in this deal are later and not early. However, this benefits Chabot more than it does the Ottawa Senators.
Here is a PuckPedia snapshot on Thomas Chabot.
Chabot’s extension is all base salary (no bonuses) and in the final 4 years (UFA years) contains a 10 Team No Trade List.
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) September 19, 2019
Four years were bought of unrestricted free agency again for $38 million (10,10,10,8). This is where the debates begin. Paying a potential franchise defenseman based on potential. Ottawa gambled in a huge way here and hopes to lock up its core similar to maybe the Arizona Coyotes.
Chabot possesses a modified no-trade clause over those UFA years also. It consists of a ten-team list where the defenseman cannot be shipped off to.
Some final words on Thomas Chabot
Chabot must step up and play as similar to Erik Karlsson as humanly possible for Ottawa to have any chance to improve in the standings. He needs help but the defenseman may have to produce at a 65+ point level. Can Chabot do it? The answer is yes but can he sustain that pace. That remains a question to be answered later.