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Johnny Boychuk And Nick Leddy: Breaking Down The Deals

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Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy are now locked up, but how do these contracts stack up against those of other top NHL defensive pairings?


On October 4th, just one week away from the start of the 2015 NHL season, New York Islanders General Manager Garth Snow traded for two excellent defensemen in Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk – both who had expiring contracts.

Leddy was to be a restricted free agent after this season and Boychuk unrestricted. There was no question that the duo would help the Isles this season, but the real questions came from people who doubted Snow’s ability to keep the two on Long Island for years to come.

Both Boychuk and Leddy made an immediate impact for the team and an immediate impact on the fans. From the very first game of the season, Isles fans who had seen this act before, took to Twitter to express how badly they wanted both guys, especially Boychuk, to resign for years to come.

And today, March 12th, in the midst of a season that has revitalized hockey on Long Island and seen the Islanders pick up 90 points and occupy first place of the Metropolitan Division for much of the season, Snow finished locking up the tandem, signing Boychuk to a seven year, 42 million dollar contract.This comes on the heels of Nick Leddy signing a similar seven year, 38.5 million dollar deal on February 24th. Boychuk will get six million dollars annually and Leddy five and a half million.

Leddy’s contract will take him to age 30 and Boychuk to age 38.

Boychuk and Leddy have been tremendous, stabilizing forces on the Islanders blue-line, both offensively and defensively.

So far this season Boychuk is second on the Islanders in plus-minus at a +17 and has recorded 32 points in 59 games. Leddy has also been surprisingly impressive for the Isles, especially defensively. Leddy has 29 points and is a +17 thus far this season. These are numbers from defensemen that the Isles have not seen in years and their impact has certainly been felt throughout the lineup.

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Something that Snow has been great at throughout his tenure is managing the salary cap, but it’s simply because he hasn’t spent much money at all since ownership hasn’t permitted him. But now, Snow is faced with a new challenge: spending, but spending wisely and in my estimation, he has done a fantastic job thus far.

Snow has now managed to lock up the Isles top three defensemen in Leddy, Boychuk and Travis Hamonic for 15.3 million per season through the 2019-2020 season. Leddy and Boychuk will get a combined 11.5 million annually.

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  • Obviously when you hand out as much term and money as Garth Snow has over the past couple of weeks, there will be skeptics but they have been rather slim thus far. So if you’re a skeptic, let’s see how these deals stack up against other top defensive pairings in the NHL, because we all know what it takes to sign top flight NHL defensemen these days.

    Here are the seven other Eastern Conference teams in playoff spots, their top pairings and how much they are paid per season:

    New York Rangers –> Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi: 10.2 million

    Montreal Canadiens –> P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov: 14.75 million

    Tampa Bay Lightning –>Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman: 8.5 million

    Pittsburgh Penguins –> Paul Martin and Kris Letang: 12.25 million

    Mar 7, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) defenseman Nick Leddy (2) left wing Josh Bailey (12) and center Anders Lee (27) in the second period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

    Detroit Red Wings –> Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall: 9 million

    Washington Capitals –> Nathan Schmidt and John Carlson: 4.625 million (not their true top pairing)

    Boston Bruins –> Dougie Hamilton and Zdeno Chara: 8 million

    (Salary figures courtesy of Spotrac.com)

    Not as much as you maybe thought, eh?

    When you take a look at it, yes these deals are no bargains for Garth Snow and the Islanders but there’s no doubt that these deals are very reasonable considering the leadership and on ice productivity these two have brought to the team. Leddy and Boychuk are a better pairing when put together than some of the duos on this list and both bring to the table fantastic two way games. Having this stability on the Islanders for years to come will be invaluable for the team.

    In closing, the Leddy and Boychuk deals are fantastic ones for the Islanders and I think Isles fans everywhere should be very excited about having this as a top pairing for years to come. It’s a great thing that we will have these two guys penciled into the lineup through the 2021-2022 season.

    And folks, if you’re ever having a bad day, just remember that Andrew Macdonald and Mark Streit combined will make just one million less than Leddy and Boychuk over the next few years.

    Let’s Go Islanders

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    Next: Islanders Defenseman Nick Leddy Out Two Weeks

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