The New York Islanders have some decisions to make regarding a few defensemen that are unrestricted free agents (UFAs) this offseason. One of them being Andy Greene.
Although the Islanders desperately needed a top scorer, General Manager Lou Lamoriello felt that adding a veteran defenseman that would bring back stability to the team’s defense was a bigger priority.
Before being shipped to the Islanders, Greene spent all of his 14 seasons in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, signing with them in 2006 as an undrafted free agent out of college. Over those 14 seasons, Greene played in 923 games, scored 246 points (49 goals, 197 assists), had a plus/minus of -19, just 259 penalty minutes and averaged 21:34 of time on ice.
With the Islanders, Greene has played 10 games, recorded three assists, an even plus/minus, two penalty minutes and averaged 16:32 of time on ice. Greene did what he was supposed to and filled the hole that Pelech left and brought back stability to the Islanders’ defense.
However, with Pelech coming back from his injury next season, should the Islanders re-sign him?
Although Greene is still a good defenseman and can add some offensive ability to the Islanders’ defense, I think it’s best if the team doesn’t re-sign him.
Greene is coming off a five-year deal with an annual cap hit of $5 million. With Greene still capable of playing top-four minutes, Greene will probably want another multi-year deal with an annual cap hit of at least $3.5 million.
With Greene most likely not having a consistent spot in the Islanders’ lineup next season, I see no reason to offer Greene any type of contract, let alone a multi-year deal at that much. Pelech will be back and taking his rightful spot at the left side of the team’s first D-pair.
20-year-old defenseman Noah Dobson will also still be with the team, this time hoping for a more consistent role in the Islanders’ lineup after mainly serving as a seventh defenseman this season. If the Islanders need defensive depth they still have Thomas Hickey and can always look at free agency to add younger and cheaper options, like Tim Heed or Brandon Manning.
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The Islanders’ also have some restricted free agents (RFAs) that they have to extend this offseason. Some of these names being very important to the team’s current and future success, like Devon Toews, Ryan Pulock, and Mathew Barzal. So there just isn’t roster room and/or cap space to re-sign Andy Greene.