New York Islanders No Reason for Anthony Beauvillier Contract Delay

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Anthony Beauvillier puts on his hat after being selected 28th overall by the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Anthony Beauvillier puts on his hat after being selected 28th overall by the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

With about a month to go before training camp opens, Anthony Beauvillier is the only player for the New York Islanders without a contract. Why?

Last week the New York Islanders locked up RFA’s Joshua Ho-Sang and Michael Dal Colle with new contracts. Making Anthony Beauvillier the only player on the roster without a contract for the 2019-20 season.

We’ve been assured by GM Lou Lamoriello that all of the Islanders RFA’s will be re-signed by the team. With both Ho-Sang and Dal Colle under contract, the question is why is it taking longer to get Anthony Beauvillier under contract?

I’m curious why a player who has absolutely no leverage to speak of and is more than happy to sign a single year deal with the club still isn’t under contract?

Cold. Hot. Cold Again.

In the middle of July’s Guillaume Lepage spoke with Anthony Beauvillier’s agent about the prospect of a contract extension with the Islanders. Beau’s agent – Philippe Lecavalier – indicated that his client is open to a long-term deal (if the money is right) and even a one-year deal.

"« Nous sommes ouverts à tout, a indiqué Lecavalier. Ça dépend toujours des chiffres liés à un contrat à long terme, mais si on est en mesure de le faire, pourquoi pas? Un contrat d’un an est aussi possible, mais ça va probablement tourner autour de deux ou trois ans. »"

Beauvillier didn’t have a particularly good season in 2018-19. With 18 goals and 28 points, he regressed from a sophomore season that saw him net 21 goals and 36 points.

Beauvillier’s 2018-19 season can be summed up as: “Cold. Hot. Cold again.”

Over the first 16 games of the season, he netted a single point. Just one. After being sent down to the AHL in 2017-18 for a similar issue, the team tried to get him going in a different way. They paired him up with Valtteri Filppula and Leo Komarov on the third line.

It worked for a short period of time. Between November 15th and December 18th (16 games), Beau scored 12 points. But then for some reason, he went cold again. Over the next 16 game sample, he scored six points. Followed by another three points in the next 16 game sample.

After starting the season ice-cold Beau heated up after the demotion before slowly tailing off once again. Cold. Hot. Cold again.

A Bit More Than The Lou Special

That type of season doesn’t get rewarded in the NHL. RFA or not he’s not going to get a windfall of money. But he’s also worth more than the Lou Lamoriello RFA special. Consisting of a two-year contract worth $1.4 million. The same deal that Devon Toews and then Michael Dal Colle signed.

We know that Anthony Beauvillier can play at the NHL level. Heck, we know that he can produce at the NHL too.

After being recalled to the team from a stint in the AHL during the 2017-18 season, Beauvillier lit the lamp with 0.72 points-per-game. That’s a 59 point pace over the course of a full NHL season. Last season, from November 15th to December 18th he was scoring at 0.75 points-per-game. A pace of 62 points over the course of a full season.

Beauvillier can play at the NHL level it’s clear. But it seems that without the proper motivation – being sent down to the AHL or demoted from the top line – Beau isn’t the player the Isles need him to be.

Again, e’s worth more than a $700,000 AAV, but that considerable flaw in his game means that he isn’t worth much more than the Lou special. A deal with an AAV between $1 million and $1.5 million should do the trick.

What’s The Hold-Up?

The Islanders have the money with $6.7 million left on the cap. So that’s not the issue. That means the hold-up on any contract comes down to (1) one of the two parties being unwilling to sign a new deal or (2) both parties being still well apart in negotiations.

I doubt it’s the former. From everything we’ve heard from both camps seem intent on signing an extension. That means it must be the latter, that both sides are still apart in terms of what the deal should be (either length or value of the deal).

With the way Lou Lamoriello approached contract negotiations with Robin Lehner and Anders Lee this offseason, it wouldn’t at all be surprising if Lou is holding firm at a value below what Beau’s camp thinks it should be (like that $700,000 Lou special). I assume that’s what the hold-up is all about.

Again, Lou held a firm line with Vezina finalist Robin Lehner, who eventually signed with the Chicago Blackhawks for a similar AAV that the Isles signed Varlamov to. Lou also held a firm line on the length of Anders Lee ‘s contract extension. Lou had to cave at the eleventh hour when he didn’t get his way with the Isles captain.

Sure, Beau had a rough year. But he has three seasons of NHL experience and has shown flashes of something more. There’s no reason for him to sign the same deal that Toews (who had never played in the NHL) and Dal Colle (who had barely played in the NHL) signed.

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I imagine when all is said and done Beauvillier will be under contract like Lou said, and I imagine it will be for an AAV between $1-$1.5 million. And I imagine much like Lee, Lou will have to cave and give Beau more. Something he could just do now and get it over with.