Per Arthur Staple of Newsday, the Islanders have signed restricted free agents center Casey Cizikas and defensemen Calvin De Haan. Cizikas’s contract is a two year deal worth $2 million and De Haan’s contract is slated for three years’ worth $5.9 million. Both are steals if they can stay healthy.
Zeeker, will likely center the fourth line for the foreseeable future giving the Islanders four solid centermen. With John Tavares on the first line, Mikhail Grabovski manning the second line, the “Great Dane” Frans Nielsen on the third line and Zeek on the fourth, the Islanders can now send four solid lines out every night.
With De Haans’ emergence last year, the Islanders blue-line is finally starting to take shape for the future. My guess for the pairings headed into opening night against Carolina, barring any trades or camp invitees, would be something along the lines of:
Visnovsky (if healthy)-Hamonic
Though let’s be honest, the majority of the blue-line is never healthy and that could be detrimental to the season. There is no telling if anyone other than Hickey or Reinhart will make it out of camp intact (knock on wood). Not trying to jinx them but the whole d-line have had their share of impact injuries and that does not bode well for the future.
There are still teams who need to shed cap space before the season starts so keep an eye out for potential trades. The three teams that must shed cap space are the Flyers, Blackhawks and the Lightning. Whether or not they are future trade partners has yet to be determined, but those are the three teams to look to for a potential trade. That’s just my opinion.
The last remaining restricted free agent that must be signed is goaltender Kevin Poulin who has an arbitration hearing at the end of the month. It is hard to imagine he would receive anything longer then a one year deal if at all. His play the last two years has dropped considerably and the only conceivable way he returns to the organization is on a minor league deal. Truth-be-told I don’t see that happening, but you never know.
While the team looks good on paper there is no telling just how their final season will play out at the Coliseum.