How many years should the NY Islanders offer defenseman Mike Reilly?

New York Rangers v New York Islanders
New York Rangers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

When the New York Islanders claimed veteran defenseman Mike Reilly off of waivers from the Florida Panthers it was out of necessity. The team was done three defenseman and Reilly was a player they were familiar with from his days in Boston and was made available a most opportune time.

While Reilly left a Stanley Cup contender, he'd also got what he wanted most: playing time and an opportunity to prove himself heading into unrestricted free agency this summer. The 30-year-old added some much-needed speed and puck-moving ability to the blue line and became an option on the power play, showing a willingness to join the rush and enter the zone in a way that the Isles lacked since Nick Leddy and Devon Toews. In 59 games with the Isles, he scored a career-high six goals and added 18 assists while averaging 17:16 TOI a night.

Reilly made a compelling case to be brought back to Long Island, but at what cost? Samuel Bolduc didn't appear to be ready to be in the top-six and Sebastian Aho is an UFA as well. That means there's a spot for Reilly to build on what he started last year with the team. However, there could be competition on the open market and it's possible that Reilly does receive an offer more enticing than the Islanders are willing to make.

Reilly signed a one-year deal with Florida last summer but will likely aim for a multi-year deal this time. The consulting firm AFP Analytics, which focuses on player projections, has Reilly slotted in as receiving a three-year contract with a $3.172M AAV a season. While Lamoriello has not been shy about handing out long-term contracts to players he wants to retain, that third year could be problematic, with the organization hopeful that younger, cheaper defensemen could assert themselves into the lineup over the next couple of years.

It'll be interesting to watch the market take shape for defensemen this summer and whether the Islanders have an inside track to retaining Reilly or if there will be a higher bidder in both term and AV that the team simply cannot match.