Amidst the turmoil that surrounded this offseason, there were a few things that Isles fans knew were going to happen during the summer. One of these was the fact that Calvin de Haan was going to sign a contract with the Islanders, albeit it was tricky to guess the term and length. On Wednesday, the team revealed that they inked the defenseman to a 1 year, $3.3M contract.
De Haan is coming off the best season of his NHL career thus far. He scored 25 points and was a +15. He also averaged about 19 minutes of ice time per game, appearing in all 82 games this season. His corsi stats were not so bad either with the Isles controlling the puck 45.1% of the time that he was on the ice. The Isles’ goalies also stopped 90.9% of shots when he was on the ice. The coaching staff also trusts him in the defensive zone, with 57.3% of his starts coming in that area.
However, the contract reveals what management really thinks about the player. Garth Snow wants to see if this year was a fluke or if he can put up that kind of season again. That’s why he signed him for only a year. If he has a good year and deserves a new contract, it could be negotiated. If not, he will become a UFA and the Islanders can use the money to pay John Tavares.
It’s important to also keep in mind that the Islanders now have eight defenseman with NHL experience under contract. Training camp and preseason will determine who will slot where in the lineup but Isles fans can expect one of them to be traded come October, perhaps Thomas Hickey. After his play at forward at the end of last season and his constant overtime heroics however, Weight may want to try him out on the fourth line.
Islanders fans should be excited about this signing. It gives the team more defensive depth after the departure of Travis Hamonic. Winning teams always have solid defense so to improve ours is undoubtedly something to be happy about.