The New York Islanders, in most cases, aren’t a team that analytics people tend to love. Now, that may finally be changing with the Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock step forward, and of course Mat Barzal as well.
Today, The Athletic looked at every single team in the league and ranked them based on how good their contracts are. The Isles were 10th in the league.
That’s a massive step in the right direction as they were ranked 21st in the league last year but obviously, a strong Lou Lamoriello offseason, headlined by dumping the Andrew Ladd contract, helped the Islanders move up this list.
What confused me was who was ranked as the worst contract on the team. According to Dom Luszczyszyn, it’s JG Pageau as the worst deal on the team.
"In terms of long-term deals, it’s just Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s that looks to be an issue. Having said that, it’s again important to note this only measures regular-season value and Pageau is a playoff beast. That makes his contract a bit more worthwhile."
He does add the caveat that Pageau is a stud in the playoffs, which his model doesn’t count that but I’d argue that Pager has developed himself into a nice regular season player too over the past two seasons.
In 2019-2020 he played at a .63 points per game pace and this past year, he finished with a .52. When you consider his ability to play down the middle, on the wing, in the top-six, in the middle-six, on the power play, or on the penalty kill I think that helps mitigate the $5 million AAV.
I’m not an anti-analytic guy but if having JG Pageau signed for the next five years through his prime doesn’t work in the model, then I might try to evaluate my model a little bit.
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
The moral of the story, if Pageau is the biggest “problem” contract on the Islanders then I’m more than happy. Lou Lamoriello has this team in a good spot once again.