The Islanders have been in the midst of a very slow free agency period so far. The only real news was the re-signing of Adam Pelech to an eight year, $48 million contract in July. But on Wednesday, the Islanders at long last announced four re-signings of important players. The four players who re-signed with the Islanders are Casey Cizikas, Kyle Palmieri, Anthony Beauvillier and Ilya Sorokin.
Casey Cizikas signed a six-year contract with the Islanders for $15 million. This is a pretty hefty term for a fourth line center, but the $2.5 million annual cap hit is very team friendly. And no one can question Cizikas’ importance on the Islanders identity line along with Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck. He does a lot of things well, he’s reliable on faceoffs and the penalty kill and even has good scoring pop for a fourth liner. Although not the flashiest name on the team, Cizikas plays a significant part in the Islanders style of hockey. His role would’ve been borderline impossible to replace, making every year and dollar on this contract a worthwhile investment.
Kyle Palmieri signed a four-year contract worth $20 million at an average of $5 million per season. Palmieri had a down year last year, and didn’t have too great of a regular season stint with the Islanders after being traded. But he was one of the team’s leading scorers in the playoffs and was necessary to bring back after losing Jordan Eberle. Barring another move, he’ll most likely be taking over Eberle’s role as the first line right winger. A first line promotion will certainly help Palmieri’s numbers and he should, at least, replicate Eberle’s production. The Islanders may have an issue on the back end of this deal if his production continually drops. But in the immediate future this is a deal worth making and helps keep the Islanders contender status.
Anthony Beauvillier agreed to a three-year contract worth $12.45 million for a yearly average of $4.1 million. Of the four contracts announced, this one definitely has the best value for the Islanders. Beauvillier is a very talented player already for the Islanders and is still just 24 years old. He plays an important role on the second line and has played exceptionally well in the postseason over the last two seasons. The interesting part with Beauvillier is that he actually can still improve being that he’s somewhat inconsistent with his scoring. Overall, locking down a very young player on a relatively old team is a great move. The $4.1 million average is a great bargain for a player as young and talented as Beauvillier.
Lastly there’s Ilya Sorokin, who agreed to a three-year contract worth $12 million at a yearly average of $4 million. After a very impressive rookie season, the Islanders had to make sure to lock down Sorokin to a multi year deal. While he’ll be splitting starts with Semyon Varlamov this year, Sorokin will be the bona fide starter in short order. Varlamov’s contract expires after this season, leaving the belief that the Islanders will let him go and give the job to Sorokin afterwards. The term and average of this deal are very fair, and could even be a steal if Sorokin improves. With this move the Islanders solidify their goaltending situation over the next three seasons.
Featured image courtesy of NHL Trade Talk
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