The New York Islanders have to re-sign their “big 3,” and they need to be re-signed soon. This “big 3” will not be a cheap resign. Each of those three players is crucial to the Islanders’ success now and in the future. The deals will most likely be completed soon. No one has any idea what the negotiation status for all three players currently is because Lou Lamoriello doesn’t let anything slip. But, for the sake of argument, let’s imagine what these deals would look like.
Three potentially big RFA contracts for the New York Islanders:
The franchise player, the golden boy, the fastest player in the NHL. Mat Barzal deserves a hefty contract right now due to his recent play. Do I think Barzal could be playing better? Definitely, but he’s only 23 years old, which is scary. I think this deal will be a bridge deal. What do I mean by this? A bridge deal is almost like a “prove that you deserve all our money” deal. So, instead of a 7-8 year deal, I believe it will be a 3-4 year deal. So, when the deal is over, Barzal can cash in on big money. Right now, due to cap concerns, the Isles can’t throw all their money at Barzal. But, Barzal knows this by now and will take a discount to help the team win. Final deal: 4 years, $8 million.
The best defender needs a new contract, and he earned big money. The fact that Pulock isn’t an all-star is absolutely mindblowing. Ryan Pulock deserves at least $5.5 million. But, Pulock will probably get more than that. I think Pulock will get around 5-6 years. No reason to let Pulock possibly leave in 3 years. Isles must sign their best defender for a long time. Final deal: 6 years, $6.5 million.
The Islanders have a growing star here in Devon Toews, and they need to lock him up for a little while longer. Toews doesn’t deserve big money yet, but he has earned a decent contract. I’m thinking around $3.5-$4 million, and that’s a little generous. The number of years will be around 4. I think it’s a solid bet that Toews’ deal will get done first. Final deal: 4 years, $3.5 million.