It’s a little quiet right now in New York Islanders land, but that won’t be the case for long. In 11 days, the team will submit a protected list for expansion, and then later this month is free agency.
With some key RFA’s like Adam Pelech, Anthony Beauvillier, Ilya Sorokin, and UFA Casey Cizikas it’s going to be a busy offseason for the Isles. Some have already started predicting what is going to happen with the Islanders offseason, including Arthur Staple of The Athletic.
His article included three different scenarios for the Islanders, and while it was an excellent read I don’t want to rehash too much of it here. Instead, I want to discuss two things that surprised me in his piece.
Now maybe I’m naive, but his numbers for Adam Pelech and Casey Cizikas seemed higher than I anticipated. Which if that’s the case, it’ll make life more difficult for Lou Lamoriello.
Starting with Casey Cizikas, Staple is predicting a six-year $15 million deal. This is on the heels of a five-year $16.75 million contract given to him after the 2015-2016 season. Zeeker, who just turned 30 in February would be under contract through age 36 which is honestly pretty scary.
I love Casey, and I think Staple is probably fairly close on the AAV but the six years is the jarring part to me. In a perfect world, Cizikas is under contract for three or four years and with an AAV a tad closer to $2-2.25 million per year.
As for Adam Pelech, who is one of the more important pieces on this team he had two different deals. One was an undisclosed number of years at $5.5 million and the second one in option two was seven-years $37.8 million ($5.4 million).
I was way off with my thoughts on Adam Pelech. For me, I’m at four or five years with an AAV of around $4.5-$4.75 million. An AAV closer to $5.5 million was not something I was anticipating for Pelech if I’m being completely honest with you.
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The Isles will have roughly $11.8 million in cap space once they move Johnny Boychuk to LTIR. How they manage to get everything done and stay under the cap is going to be a tall order.