BROOKLYN (August 2, 2017) – The New York Islanders have agreed to terms with defenseman Calvin de Haan on a one-year contract.
de Haan, 26, established career highs in points (25), goals (5) and assists (20), while playing in all 82 games during his fourth full season with the Islanders. He finished second amongst Islanders defensemen in points and assists, while ranking fourth in the National Hockey League in blocked shots (190). At the completion of the NHL season, de Haan was selected as a member of Team Canada at the 2017 World Championships, winning a silver medal.
“Calvin is a home-grown product of the organization and has developed into one of our top defenseman during his time with the organization,” Islanders President and General Manager Garth Snow said. “He plays important minutes for our club and we’re excited to have him back for one more years[sic].”
The Islanders selected de Haan in the first round (12th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft. In 271 career NHL games, he’s scored 69 points (11 goals, 58 assists). He’s also recorded three assists in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Prior to his professional career, de Haan played three seasons of junior hockey with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League, serving as captain in his third year. He was named to the 2008-09 OHL First All-Rookie team.
de Haan also played for his country at the 2010 and 2011 World Junior Championships, winning silver medals at both events.
(Courtesy of the New York Islanders)
Just before his arbitration hearing, de Haan agrees to a one-year deal with the Isles. As per Elliot Friedman via Twitter, de Haan requested $5 million per year while the club submitted its offer of $1.95 million per. As per Mike Kelly via Twitter the deal is worth $3.3 million.
It appears as though the Isles got a bargain here; de Haan could have squeezed an extra million or so. However this could create a major problem next summer. With John Tavares set to become a free agent next July, if he decides to stay with the club, he’s looking at a major payday. With the future of the franchise hanging in the balance, it is doubtful Tavares takes a discount to stay with the club. And who could blame him?
What does JT have to do with de Haan? It’s simple: the more JT gets paid, the less money there is to go around for other players next summer. And now de Haan is one of those players.
We are getting mixed messages here. Snow touts the 26-year old blueliner as a homegrown-product, an important piece to the puzzle. It was thought that he would be part of the long-term plan with the Islanders. But the deal is for only one year. Snow admitted de Haan’s importance to the team in that he plays important minutes and just came off career highs in offensive production. Furthermore, he has shown to be a solid defensive-defenseman.
Unless the Islanders want him to prove himself, which I believe he already has, why the one-year deal for Calvin de Haan? He already completed a bridge deal. So why give him one more bridge to cross?
The one-year deal creates a situation where de Haan may not be back in 2018. For instance, let’s say Tavares cashes in, and Calvin has another good year. His demand of $5 million this summer would almost seem like a discount next summer. What if the Isles simply do not have the cap space? It’s either sign de Haan and clear cap room elsewhere, let him walk and cash in somewhere else, or trade his rights at the trade deadline or before the 2018 draft for a mid-draft pick.
Without being privy to the negotiations in progress, it is tough to say where each side was. But a viable solution could have been to sign de Haan for three or four years at anywhere between $3.7 and $4.2 million. If he is indeed part of the long-term plan, de Haan would have been rewarded with financial and geographic stability (assuming the Isles remain in the area). In return, the Isles get blueline stability at a cheaper cost, allowing more resources to focus efforts on signing Tavares, the supposed face of the franchise.
Now, the future is more chaotic and uncertain – and Tavares may or may not return either. I suppose the de Haan situation is a mere tangent in the overall Tavares saga. I’m sure Snow has a decent backup plan. Hopefully that excludes burning bridges.