The New York Islanders tied up the last contractual loose end of their offseason, excluding the Tavares contract that is. They signed Calvin de Haan to a single year $3.3 million extension. And questions are mounting.
Just a few hours before the New York Islanders and defenseman Calvin de Haan were scheduled to speak with an arbitrator the two sides came to a compromise on a deal. de Haan signed a single-year $3.3 million contract.
That $3.3 million is just below the halfway mark between the $5 million that de Haan was asking for and the $1.95 million that the team was offering. It’s a decent upgrade on the $1.6 million he was making last season. A raise that he certainly deserved. But why a single year?
Why give your arguably second to third best defenceman a single-year contract leading him to unrestricted free agency?
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Theories. So Many Theories.
One theory put forward by a fan was that this is that the real money is going to be paid to de Haan after this deal expires. Repeat what you did in 2016-17 and we’ll give you the money you want in 2017-18.
That’s fair, but it’s not like the Isles don’t have the money right now. After the de Haan extension the New York Islanders still have north of $3.5 million to the cap. And that’s with a 23-man roster already.
If they send both Alan Quine and Shane Prince down to make room for Barzal and Ho-Sang the cap only falls by another $100,00. Giving de Haan whatever it would have taken to chew up a few UFA years was and is still in the books.
Then there’s the theory that de Haan is now trade bait to land a big fish like a Matt Duchene. His contract and play is so appetizing that teams will be willing to make a deal involving de Haan.
But there’s still the notion that at the end of the season de Haan is an unrestricted free agent. Team’s don’t like uncertainty, and a UFA status is very much just that; uncertainty. You think if de Haan goes to Colorado he’s not thinking: “I could get that $5 million I wanted on the open market”?
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Of course, he probably could, teams aren’t going to trade to acquire an expiring contract unless it’s the trade deadline and they’re looking to make a run at the cup.
My theory is that both teams are still far apart in their long-term valuation and they wanted more time to bridge whatever gap they had. Just look at the numbers they threw at each other the other day. They were $3.05 million apart.
I think both realized that the arbitrator could very well rule in the other parties favor. So rather than let someone else decide, they came to a short-term agreement at the 11th hour. No promises were made as to what will be paid in the next deal. They just wanted to extend the negotiation window between the two sides and both agreed to a number each side could stomach. At least for twelve-months.
De Haan is worth more than $3.3 million a year that much is certain. How much more is debatable. He’s not going to light up the league with points, but his solid defensive play is worth something. Now Garth has to worry about summer 2018, cause it’s shaping up to be a busy one.