The New York Islanders have to re-sign Casey Cizikas. Lou Lamoriello has made the abundantly clear (just look at his protected list) and we know how important he is to the Isles fourth line and their identity as a team. The question is what’s the cost?
Well, Barclay Goodrow who is a comparable player, is closing in on a massive deal from the New York Rangers. A six-year deal at $3.6 million AAV is a lot for a player who hasn’t touched 30 points in his career but nonetheless, he is a very very good bottom-six player.
As Arthur Staple pointed out, Goodrow and Cizikas have had comparable numbers since 2017:
On the surface, yes that looks bad for the Islanders who need to re-sign their guy but there’s some much-needed context here for this situation. One player got their payday already while the other has not.
Goodrow up until this point has played on three contracts for a combined $5.03 million. Cizikas, who you can make the case is better (despite two years older) has also played on three contracts but with one major difference.
Cizikas’ career earnings is $21.13 million. If Cizikas decided to go to free agency and take a deal that offered him $3.5 million a year I’d have no gripes, he’s earned the right to cash in during his career and it’s his choice.
But, if he’s comfortable with it, this seems like a point in his career where a discount is applicable. Sure, maybe he gets $3 million or more on the open market but would he take maybe $12.5 million over five years ($2.5 million AAV) for the chance to win a Stanley Cup with the team that drafted him 12 years ago? I think it’s entirely possible.
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So while I understand where some are coming from with this contract, and comparing the player to Cizikas, it’s really not the same case in my opinion. We’ll see but I’m fairly confident Lou gets a deal done with Cizikas and I don’t see the AAV in the same ballpark as Goodrow.