This offseason will be an interesting one for the New York Islanders. We all know their defense was an issue this past season and one of their top four defensemen is a pending UFA.
Sadly it was an injury-shortened 2017-2018 season for Calvin de Haan. de Haan was injured in the New York Islanders 4-3 OT win against the Los Angeles Kings on December 16. The Isles were 18-12-3 with de Haan in the lineup. The would finish the season 35-37-10, or 17-25-7 without de Haan.
de Haan’s injury was a huge blow. He could be counted on to play solid defense for around 18 minutes a night. At the time of his injury, the Isles had given up 114 goals, which was good for 3.45 goals a game. They ended the season with 296 goals allowed, or 3.61 a game.
The Islanders started off the season as world beaters but unfortunately ended the year miserably. Going 17-32 without de Haan means the Isles basically lost two games for every one victory. We know the offense wasn’t the issue.
Due For a Raise
de Haan is coming off a season in which he made $3.3 million. Naturally, as a free agent de Haan should be expecting a pay raise. de Haan was the Islanders third highest paid defensemen behind Johnny Boychuk ($6 million) and Nick Leddy ($5.5 million). Even coming off an injury I would expect de Haan to make anywhere from $4.5-$5 million.
Clearly, John Tavares is on the forefront of everybody’s mind. de Haan was the Islanders other first-round pick in 2009 (12). In a perfect offseason, the Islanders would retain both first rounders for many years to come.
It feels as though the Isles has a few albatross contracts, such as Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, and even Boychuk. One should hope these contracts don’t come in the way of keeping a much-needed defender in de Haan.