The New York Islanders signed pending unrestricted free agents Thomas Greiss last week and Cal Clutterbuck earlier this season. The Islanders are down to one restricted free agent and two UFA’s of note. Calvin de Haan, Dennis Seidenberg, and J.F. Berube are probably are in their last dance with the Islanders.
When the New York Islanders drafted Calvin de Haan, 12th overall in 2009, expectations were high. Keep in mind the Islanders traded up twice from their late first-round pick in order to select the 6’1″ defenseman. The Islanders saw a very high ceiling for de Haan.
While de Haan has not turned out to be a superstar for the Islanders, he has become a solid second-pairing blue liner. After being drafted, de Haan suffered through shoulder injuries which brought about questions on if he would become an NHL-caliber defenseman.
Calvin de Haan is not flashy but he gets the job done. So far this year the Ontario native has three goals, 13 points and is a +9. He is a restricted free agent at season’s end.
There are many reasons why de Haan could be elsewhere next season. He could be traded in a package to land a proven scoring forward. He could also be lost in the expansion draft as well. Finally, with the depth, the Islanders have on the blue line, de Haan could be moved to clear up some cap space as well.
Given all of that, there is a good chance this is de Haan’s last year with the Islanders.
New York Islanders
When Dennis Seidenberg was signed in September to a one-year deal, yours truly was a bit confused. However, the 35-year old defenseman has been solid night in and night out, so far this season. Few Islanders can say that.
Having said that unless the Islanders lose a defenseman in expansion and trade one for a proven scoring forward, it’s hard to see the veteran blue liner coming back.
With the depth of proven defenseman along with youngsters Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield who have shown they are NHL ready, it’s difficult to find a slot for Seidenberg. Keep in mind Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews are in Bridgeport and knocking on the door to join the big club.
The Islanders would have to be down minimum two defensemen to consider bringing back Seidenberg on a short-term deal. There will be plenty of interest in Seidenberg this summer with the year he is having.
Believe it or not, since September of 2015 when the Islanders claimed J.F. Berube off of waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the 25-year old goalie has only played in 14 games for the Isles. However, the Islanders believe they have a talented young goaltender in Berube.
But unless something very odd happens between now and the end of the regular season, Berube will be a UFA. He must play in at least 28 regular season games or he will be unrestricted this summer. So far he has only played in seven games.
In terms of next year, the Islanders most likely would like to have Berube as their backup goalie. Keep in mind the Islanders have two top goalie prospects in Ilya Sorokin and Linus Soderstrom. So they probably don’t want to go past a one-year deal with Berube.
Compared to the last off-season the Islanders upcoming summer will have a lot less drama regarding their own free agents. Still some interesting decisions to be made by the organization.