New York Islanders Martin Hanzal Isn’t a Good Fit In Free Agency

By Matt O'Leary
ST PAUL, MN - FEBRUARY 27: Martin Hanzal
ST PAUL, MN - FEBRUARY 27: Martin Hanzal /

The free agent market is a slim one and that being said the New York Islanders shouldn’t fall into the trap of signing someone who isn’t a good fit.

The New York Islanders quest for a second line center is an interesting one. Their best trade options are Matt Duchene and Alex Galchenyuk but there’s been a ton of issues with trying to acquire a player, mostly due to a delusional Joe Sakic.

Martin Hanzal is one of the “marquee” free agents in this 2017 class. Although he’s not an ideal fit for the Islanders in a couple of ways.

Similarly to Nick Bonino’s issue, he’s not a second line center. If the Islanders needed a third line center that’s one thing but Hanzal or Bonnino for that matter aren’t going to give you the offensive production needed from a top-six forward.

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Hanzal scored 20 goals in a season just one time in his 10-year career. It happened last season with both Arizona and Minnesota. So what does that mean? He’s going to want a raise.

His previous contract was a five year $15.5 million contract. That’s an average cap hit of $3.1 million a year for a guy who has scored 20 goals in a season just once. He’ll likely be looking for another five-year contract but this time expect him to be in between that $4-$5 million a year range.

Would you be willing to pay a 30-year old who’s ceiling is a 40 point season $5 million over the next five-years? No way!

That would turn into a Nikolai Kulemin like contract for the Islanders. Plus, at that point I’d rather run out Brock Nelson as the second line center. Despite his frequent hibernation periods on the ice he can still put up 20 goals and 40 points in his sleep. Plus he’d cost half the price!

Next: A Matt Duchene Deal That Works For Both Sides

Folks, the free agent class isn’t any good. If Garth Snow wants to improve his top-six it’s going to have to be by trade. If not the Isles are better off sticking with what they have, just so they don’t waste a large cap figure on a guy who doesn’t really serve the purpose he was intended to do.