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New York Islanders Calvin de Haan Worth in Free Agency

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 07: Calvin de Haan #44 of the New York Islanders skates during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at Barclays Center on October 7, 2017 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 07: Calvin de Haan #44 of the New York Islanders skates during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at Barclays Center on October 7, 2017 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
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Calvin de Haan is a pending unrestricted free agent. The New York Islanders defender is free to explore his options with other teams. But he might not be in for the big payday he thought he might get.

Generally, when a player hits the free market as an unrestricted free agent in the NHL it’s to make a ton of money. New York Islanders captain John Tavares is the prime example.

After taking a team friendly deal with a $5.5 million cap hit for five years, John Tavares is going to explore the open market to get his fair share. Whether that be from the New York Islanders or not, Tavares is going to be paid handsomely.

That might not be the case for some players. For instance,

Calvin de Haan

probably won’t get the big payday he may have originally thought he’s was in line to receive when he signed his last deal.

The Model

In the 2017 offseason, Calvin de Haan and the New York Islanders barely avoided arbitration by signing a single year $3.3 million deal. Once that deal expired Calvin de Haan would be able to hit unrestricted free agency.

And after his 2016-17 NHL season that saw him put up a career-high 25 points, it seemed like a safe plan for de Haan to bet on himself. Another year like that and de Haan could be paid handsomely as one of few defensive free agents in 2018.

That was until he got injured and missed 60 percent of the 2017-18 season.

Now, according to one model, de Haan is predicted to make much less than he may have hoped in free agency. Matt Cane is predicting de Haan to get a single year $1.674 million deal in 2018.

The reason for the drop isn’t stated, but missing 49 games in 2017-18 is likely the reason. And yes, $1.674 million is far too low. There’s no way that de Haan signs a deal worth half what he made 2017-18. And I feel like Matt Cane would say the same thing.

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But, what the prediction indicates is that de Haan shouldn’t think he’s going to strike it rich this offseason. Cane’s model predicts what the player might make. It also predicts how that changes based on how long the player actually signs.

In de Haan’s case, the AAV range is from $1.674 million for a single year deal to $3.640 million on a seven-year deal. (See line 103 of Cane’s fantastic database.)

He Won’t Make Less, But Not Much More

I don’t think Cane’s model will prove to be true in the case of de Haan, but I do think it did exactly what it was designed to do. It assessed the player’s recent performance and market value and predicted how the market might act. In the case of Calvin de Haan, the model thinks he’s a risk.

A $1.674 million AAV shows that de Haan injury caused the model to devalue his potential contribution and that brought down his value. And that makes perfect sense.

This is the second time that Calvin de Haan has a similar injury. That’s going to make GM’s around the league a bit skittish. They’ll think twice before tossing him big free agent money.

Which is why a single year deal is perfect for Calvin de Haan. Bet on yourself again. The deal won’t be less than the $3.3 million AAV he had last season, but it won’t be much of an increase. The $3.640 million that Cane predicted for a seven-year deal seems about right.

Give de Haan a single year at $3.6 million. That’s a number that the New York Islanders could and should bring him back on.

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Calvin de Haan on a single year $3.6 million contract makes perfect sense for any team and for Calvin. It gives him another, hopefully, healthy season to get back on track to a big UFA payday.

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