Before the start of the season, it felt inevitable that this would be Mayfield's final season with the Islanders after nine seasons. The team-friendly deal signed by the 6'5 right-handed defenseman would expire, and he would simply price his way out of being on the Islanders' blueline next season.
In his contract year, Mayfield set a career-high in goals (6) and points (24) as the Islanders' defense factored in the scoring more so than in previous seasons. He also played all 82 games and had to step up into a more prominent role when the team lost Adam Pelech to injury in December.
Even with his improved regular season numbers, Mayfield's biggest value is in the post-season, where his physical presence becomes more of an asset, as defenders can take extra liberties at times against forwards. Look no further than the way Mayfield helped kill a key penalty by pinning the puck along the boards for over 20 seconds late in the 3rd period to protect a lead.
But Mayfield has let be explicitly known how much he and his family love Long Island, making it reasonable to assume he'd be willing to accept another hometown discount to remain with the Islanders. “I love it here,” Mayfield said back in November. “My wife loves it here. The community is great. The team is great. The ownership is great. We love everything about the Islanders. It’s part of the business, and now it’s all about just playing my game."
His new deal won't be for $1.45M AAV, but 3-4 year contract at around $3-3.5M AAV could end up being the sweet spot on both sides given what it would cost the Islanders to replace him on D.