With free agency set to begin this week, the rumors are circulating looking at what the New York Islanders would have to pay for two important pieces to their team. Both Adam Pelech and Casey Cizikas need new contracts (Cizikas as a UFA and Pelech as an RFA).
According to Arthur Staple of The Athletic, these asking prices may be higher than anticipated. The article breaks down a lot more than just Cizikas and Pelech but today we’ll just be focusing on those two.
Staple says that the Kraken reached out to Casey Cizikas about signing with their team and the asking price was in the $5 million AAV range. Now, I love Cizikas as a fourth line center but he’s not a $5 million player.
I think he knows that, and so does his representation. To me, that’s a if you want me to leave Long Island and come play for a lowly expansion team price. I do not anticipate Cizikas’ next deal to be in that ballpark, nor do I think Barclay Goodrow’s contract is a good barometer for what his next deal will be.
Cizikas got his big payday once already, I don’t anticipate him holding the Islanders hostage, a team he’s been with since 2009, in this COVID flat-cap economy.
As for Adam Pelech, his ask also seemed to be very high. Staple reports that the initial ask for Pelech was in the $7 million AAV range for seven or eight years. Apparently, the comp was Jacob Trouba for Pelech’s camp.
We’ve mentioned it before but defensive defensemen don’t cash in to that extent. Trouba had a 50 point season at age 24 and has 7+ goals in five of his eight seasons in the league.
Pelech is extremely valuable in the defensive end, there’s no denying his importance to the team. I just don’t see how they can justify the $7 million a year asking price when his production ceiling is in the low 20’s in points.
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The moral of the story, I don’t anticipate either of these two players getting anywhere close to what they’re asking and no, I’m not concerned about losing either of the two. Let’s wait for Lou Lamoriello to do his thing over the next week.