The New York Islanders have re-signed winger Tom Kuhnhackl to a single year deal worth $850,000. It’s not Lee, Lehner, or Panarin, but it’s still a good deal.
Tom Kuhnhackl was brought in last season’s free agency period on a single year $700,000 deal. His two Stanley Cup rings, character and professionalism were traits that new Isles GM Lou Lamoriello wanted on his re-shaped team.
Kuhnhackl posted nine points in 36 games and another three points in eight playoff games for the New York Islanders in the 2018-19 season. And that was good enough for the New York Islanders to re-up Kuhnhackl for another year.
A Kuhnhackl’s Worth
Look, it’s not the signing we as New York Islanders fans were waiting for. It’s not Robin Lehner. It’s not Anders Lee. It’s not Artemi Panarin. It’s not Mitch Marner. But Tom Kuhnhackl still has a place on this roster.
The Islanders desperately need help at the top end of the roster. But they can’t forget about the bottom half of the roster either.
Cal Clutterbuck could miss significant time next season after having back surgery in the offseason. Andrew Ladd could also miss time due to injury in the 2019-20 season. That’s two players in the New York Islanders bottom six that could be unavailable in 2019-20.
With them out, and with Kuhnhackl in, the Isles bottom six could look like:
Kuhnhackl is a player that both Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz trust to do exactly what they want him to do. Whether that’s to play a more defensive role or to provide some attacking depth. With an $850,000 cap hit it’s hard to go wrong here.
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Again, it’s not any of the big names the New York Islanders have been liked to leading up to free agency. But Kuhnhackl is an OK player to have on the team. So long as his deployment isn’t anything above the third line this is a good move by the Islanders.