Cam Fowler, Ducks Reportedly Agree to 8-Year Contract Extension

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2017

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 18: Cam Fowler #4 of the Anaheim Ducks skates with the puck against the San Jose Sharks  at SAP Center on March 18, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)
Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images

The Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Cam Fowler reportedly reached an agreement Saturday on an eight-year, $52 million contract extension.

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet broke the news, and Darren Dreger of TSN confirmed the financial details of the deal.

Fowler is coming off a strong campaign for the Ducks. He scored 39 points (11 goals and 28 assists) in 80 games and showcased he's capable of the up-tempo, puck-moving game that blueliners are being asked to play more frequently. He added nine points in 13 playoff contests.

That said, it's a major commitment for a player who's gone through some up-and-down years since his outstanding rookie season with Anaheim in 2010-11, when he put up a career-high 40 points.

Dom Luszczyszyn of the Hockey News noted his Game Score projections show Fowler as a legitimate top-pairing defenseman heading into next season:

Yet, Micah Blake McCurdy of HockeyViz.com provided different advanced stats that show the Ducks star as more of a middling second-pair asset:

Those varying outlooks sum up Fowler's entire career. A consensus has never emerged about exactly how valuable he is to the Ducks.

That said, the NHL free-agent period has become far more mundane in recent years because players like the 25-year-old American are inked to long-term deals before they can hit the market. Teams overpay because replacing any lost players during the offseason has become a difficult task.

So Fowler gets a monster, long-term contract to stay with the Ducks. If he plays like a true No. 1 defenseman for at least the first four or five years of the deal, it will be worth the investment. If his play drops off again, however, it's a major cap hit to work around in the future.

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