In December the New York Islanders lost one of their most reliable defenseman for the season. Calvin de Haan’s shoulder injury required season-ending surgery. What’s Cal’s future on Long Island?
When the New York Islanders beat the LA Kings in overtime at the Barclays Center it came at a high cost. The Isles lost Calvin de Haan during that contest.
It was a costly injury for both the Isles and de Haan. What does it mean for this relationship moving forward?
The 12th overall pick of the 2009 NHL Draft was heading into this summer’s unrestricted free agent market in very good shape. The 26-year old defensemen (turns 27 in May) was set to hit it big as a UFA come July 1st.
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de Haan over the last three years has become a solid second-pairing defenseman. While his game is not sexy, he is very productive and effective. The Ontario native is a very reliable blueliner.
Given Cal’s game and age, lack of high-end blueline UFA’s, and the cap expected to rise, de Haan could have expected a 4-5 year deal with an annual value around $5 million a year.
That all changed with de Haan’s injury.
Cal’s New Reality
It seems hard to believe that de Haan and his people can land a lucrative long-term deal even if he has a clean bill of health come July. Reason being this is de Haan’s third major injury to his shoulders in his career and at such a young age.
Any NHL club should wonder where Cal’s shoulders will be in the next three-four years. No team wants to be stuck with a highly paid player who is stuck on long-term reserve.
Where does that leave de Haan? Can he land a three-year deal? The move de Haan and his agent might take a long look at is a one -year contract, so he can re-establish his value and put this injury behind him.
If de Haan is looking at a one-year deal, then Garth Snow and the Isles would be wise to sign him. The Isles are developing a number of young defensemen (more coming) while trying to be a contending team. de Haan can help the Isles immensely next season while the youngsters continue to progress.
Yes, the Isles have a lot of talented young defenseman and others are knocking on the door in Devon Toews (also out for the rest of the year with an injury) and Mitchell Vande Sompel. However, it takes time for young defensemen to develop.
The injury to de Haan has really hurt the Islanders but much more so to Cal in terms of his next contract. A one-year deal could work out great for both parties from a short and long-term perspective.
If it takes a three-year deal plus to sign de Haan then the Isles should walk away. Way too much risk.