Is a deal for Casey Cizikas already Done with the New York Islanders? Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman appeared to think it was on the latest edition of his 31 Thoughts podcast.
The NHL insider speculated that a deal had been completed by the two sides and that it was a long-term contract with a low average annual value. The rumored deal is that Cizikas has been locked up to a six-year contract with a 2.5 million AAV, according to Friedman.
“My theory is that Lou Lamoriello is trying to trade for someone, and he doesn’t want anyone to know how much cap room he does or doesn’t have,” Friedman said on the podcast.
That would fit with what others have speculated since free agency opened last week and the Islanders have remained radio silent since. It is believed that deals have been completed with Zach Parise, Kyle Palmieri, and since Anthony Beauvillier and Ilya Sorokin didn’t file for arbitration, those two may have also signed new contracts.
Andy Greene was re-signed prior to the NHL Expansion Draft and even that contract has not been officially announced.
“I do think he’s got a deal he’s working on,” Friedman added. “I don’t know if it’s Tarasenko or someone else. That’s my theory, he’s working on a trade and doesn’t want anyone to know how much cap room he’s got.”
Getting Cizikas to take a deal with a lower AAV, but longer-term was going to be the trade-off the Islanders were going to have to make to get things done. Cizikas was reportedly asking for around $5 million on the open market when teams like Seattle approached the bottom-six forward.
The Islanders’ offseason priority has been to keep their core intact and it appears Casey Cizikas is focused on remaining an Islander. And that may already have been accomplished.
Cizikas has become a crucial part of the Islanders’ core and keeping him in the fold is important for New York. Signing him for six years is longer than what most fourth-liners would be inked to, but it helps keep Cizikas off the market and the cap hit remains low, which is crucial if the Islanders are indeed trying to make another deal.
The Islanders are out of their cap crunch after dealing away Nick Leddy and Andrew Ladd earlier this month before the expansion draft and free agency.
Whether the rumored deal is true, we’ll find out eventually.