Brandon Tanev is a perfectly okay hockey player. He's a very serviceable 3rd line winger, and he gets paid as such. He signed a 6-year, $3.5M AAV contract with the Penguins in the summer of 2019 after putting up a career high 14 goals and 15 assists in 2018-19. Not too shabby, but he hasn't been able to hit those numbers since. Luckily he has a few more seasons to build up a case for himself on his next contract, and Brandon Tanev wants to learn from one of the best on how to cash out.
Jeff Skinner had a 40-goal season in 2018-19. Truly one of the more remarkable contract years in recent memory. And after hitting the 40 mark for the first time in his career, the Buffalo Sabres figured there could be a 50 burger on the horizon. So they signed him to an 8-year, $9M AAV contract extension. That currently has him as the 26th highest paid player in the league right now above guys like Crosby, Draisaitl and Stamkos. And in the 3 years since he signed that deal?
29 total goals, 52 total points. For $5.5M cheaper, here's what you're getting out of Brandon Tanev in that same time frame.
26 total goals, 54 total points.
Sure, it could be easy to see that interaction as a chirp. Obviously leading with "Skinner, you fucking suck" makes the conversation seem more on the contentious side. But I truly believe that what Brandon Tanev is getting at here is that "Skinner, much like myself you fucking suck. Yet you somehow manage to make $5.5M more than me while we put up the same production. How can I do the same?". And when you look at it that way, it's a lovely tale of two kings trying to raise each other up and see both of them succeed. You love to see that.
Sidenote: It's gotta really suck for some of these guys that sites like CapFriendly exist and everybody can see how much they're making. Bet guys like Eddie Shore never had to deal with guys chirping his wallet like that.