The New York Islanders have lost two key defensemen to last year’s successful team. Can Thomas Hickey step in and fill the gap on the Islanders blue line?
Its has been a while since Thomas Hickey has played an NHL regular season game for the New York Islanders. In fact his last game with the big club came back on May 3, 2019 in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes. Unfortunately, the Islanders got eliminated from the playoffs that game and Hickey finished the contest with a -3 plus/minus in 18:29 of ice time.
To start the 2019-2020 season, Hickey failed to make the Isles out of preseason and started the season in Bridgeport with the Sound Tigers.
The rest of the season was a bit of a roller coaster ride. Hickey only played in 14 AHL games and was called up on March 5, after Johnny Boychuk suffered an injury, but the season was cut short due to the pandemic and Hickey did not see any action with the Islanders. He did in fact make the Islanders 2020 postseason roster, but did not play in any playoff games.
That leads us to now:
Hickey, who was the first round fourth overall pick in the 2007 entry draft, is currently entering the third year of his four-year contract with the Isles. According to Puck Pedia, Hickey’s contract carries a $2,500,000 AAV. This contract amounts for 3.07 percent of the Islanders’ cap space and he will also be available in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft.
The Islanders have traded away Devon Toews and have yet to re-sign veteran defenseman Andy Greene. This leaves a gap on the blue line for a seventh defenseman. Hickey is a solid candidate to fill in that role. He has valuable NHL experience and the Isles are still paying him a huge chunk of change for his services.
Especially if the upcoming season is going to be a potential sprint season with four to five games a week, Hickey can be a great option to provide the Isles defensive core with some valuable rest, while still giving them a great shot to win.
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It will be interesting to see where Thomas Hickey starts the 2021 season in the Islanders organization. He could be a nice asset on defense for the blue and orange or the Isles could potentially look to free agency to acquire a defenseman. Only time will tell what the Isles will do.
Isles Country: Do you think Thomas Hickey has any value for the Islanders this upcoming season? Leave your comments below!
*All Stats Provided by the NHL*