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Islanders: Predicting Adam Pelech’s contract extension

Adam Pelech #3 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Adam Pelech #3 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Adam Pelech is due an extension at the end of 2020-21, what could the New York Islanders top defensive defenseman get?

Adam Pelech doesn’t get much respect around the league. The New York Islanders and their fans know very well how valuable the defensive defenseman is worth but outside of Long Island, he’s virtually unknown.

Without him on the Isles blueline, the whole system came crumbling down in the second half of 2019-20. But because Pelech is at best a 20 point player, he gets overlooked and undervalued by non Islanders fans and media. So when Adam Pelech inevitably signs a contract extension at some point before the 21-22 season, heads will turn because the number will certainly be much higher than the $1.6 million AAV he currently holds.

So to get everyone ready, here’s a shot at what Adam Pelech will sign for once his current contract expires.

250% Raise

First, Pelech will be a Restricted Free Agent once his four-year $6.4 million deal expires at the end of the 20-21 season. So there’s no UFA worry with Pelech just yet.

Now, what does he sign for and for how long?

That parts tough. As with any negotiations you want to find comparables. We’re looking for a player who plays 20+ minutes, doesn’t score a ton, is good a keeping the slot clear, and was signed at around age 26. The closest comparable I could find was Brett Pesce out in Carolina.

The left-shot (now 26) Pesce regularly scores between 16 and 30 points over a season, plays around 21:00 minutes a night, and a few years back Andrew Berkshire showed how Pesce is one of the top defensive-minded defensemen in the NHL.

Pesce signed a six-year deal starting in his 24 year season with a $4.025 million AAV.

Because Pesce signed that deal nearly three years ago, I’d typically apply some sort of inflation to this comparison, but with a flat cap for the next few years, I think this cap hit fits for Pelech.

With Ryan Pulock signing for $5 million, even on a team-friendly deal, there’s no way Pelech’s deal raises above $4.5 million. A four-year deal with a $4 to $4.5 million AAV would be a fair cap hit for the top defensive defenseman on the top defensive team in the league who are already pretty tight to the cap ceiling.

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A $4 to $4.5 million AAV is also a 250% raise on Pelech’s current $1.6 million cap hit. Which is more than fair for someone who’s as important to what the Islanders do as Pelech is.

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