Carl Gunnarsson | LD
Stats: 9pts, 63 games
So if you got squeamish at the thought of the New York Islanders chasing Jay Bouwmeester this offseason, may I present Carl Gunnarsson. Essentially a younger and much cheaper Jay Bouwmeester.
At 31-years-old Carl Gunnarsson is three years younger than Bouwmeester. So the Islanders don’t need to worry about him hitting the inevitable cliff of effectiveness that is father time.
Gunnarsson has a cap hit of $2.9 million. Which is, by my math $2.5 million less than Jay Bouwmeester and his $5.4 million.
Unlike Bouwmeester, he doesn’t have a no-trade clause. Getting him will be a lot easier. And it won’t take much to trade for him either.
Gunnarson’s ability to protect the blue line is similar. His production is maybe a little worse, but then again, the Islanders aren’t bringing either Bouwmeester or Gunnarson for their production. They’re bringing them in for their abilities to stop puck going into their own net.
To be fair, the Islanders should only look at Gunnarsson and even Jay Bouwmeester if Calvin de Haan leaves the organization in free agency. de Haan represents a better option.
But that’s assuming that de Haan stays. Looking at the market for free agent defenseman I wouldn’t blame him if he sought to leave. He’ll get $5 million per season in another market. At this point, he knows that the New York Islanders won’t pay him that much to stay.
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Like I said, none of the names on this list are sexy. Carter Hutton is probably the best option for the New York Islanders going into 2018-19. The other two are contingency plans should they lose one of their guys to free agency.