The NHL Free Agency Frenzy is upon us! And the New York Islanders are thankfully silent. With both Nick Bonino and Justin Williams signed by other teams it doesn’t seem like the Isles will do much. And that’s, as Marth would say: “A good thing.”
The NHL Free Agency Frenzy is upon us, and the New York Islanders haven’t done much yet, but acquire an, at best, third string goaltender for another AHL player.
And that’s great. Based on what was available the New York Islanders were going to have to overpay to acquire any big name player.
All of Nick Bonino, Justin Williams, Martin Hanzal, and even my man Sam Gagner went for more than I’d be comfortable in acquiring. Heck, even Ron Hainsey was able to squeeze out $3m per year from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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Bonino went to Nashville for $4.1 million over five years. Taking a huge upgrade from his $1.9 million two-year deal with the Penguins. For a guy who played third line center, it’s a lot.
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Williams signed with the Hurricanes for a two-year $9 million deal. According to Staple that was too rich for the Islanders blood. But the fact that the Isles kicked the tires is the worrying part.
In Washington, he was surrounded by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson, two great players. He wasn’t going to get the same deployment with the Islanders, nor will he get that with the Hurricanes. Living up to that price tag at the age of 37-years-old will be tough.
Martin Hanzal ended up going to Dallas who is going to pay him $4.75 million per year over three years. Sure he’s big, but you don’t have to pay per inch of vertical clearance over Tyler Seguin.
Even my man Sam Gagner. Someone who I thought, if the Islanders went through free agency would be the best target, got a big payday with a $3.25 million deal for three years from the Vancouver Canucks.
It’s a lot for a guy who still has to rebuild his reputation around the league after a bounce back year with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
So far so good in free agency. The Isles didn’t bite on players that while they do play center, would ask for more than they’re worth. Stay away from free agents. Either make the trade we all want to see happen or just stick with the kids.