After weeks of speculation, the New York Islanders announced that Anthony Beauvillierl, Kyle Palmieri, Casey Cizikas, and Ilya Sorokin all agreed to new multi-year deals on Wednesday morning.
Official word came after reports surfaced that Casey Cizikas had already agreed to a six-year deal and that Anthony Beauvillier had said yes to a three-year deal. While the team did not release the terms of the new contracts, it was reported that Cizikas’ deal was six years, $2.5 million per year, Beauvillier’s deal was three years, $4.15 million per year, Palmieri agreed to a four year, $5 million per year contract and Sorokin’s new contract was worth $4 million over the next three years.
After signing Palmieri $5M, Beauvillier $4.15M, Sorokin $4M & Cizikas $2.5M, #Isles are $3.7M over Cap w/ 22 Players on Projected Roster.
Can potentially exceed cap by up to $6M w/ Boychuk on LTIR.https://t.co/W1JRApCWFe
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) September 1, 2021
All four of these deals were wins for the New York Islanders, who bring back key players at the right price as the franchise looks to build on the last two successful playoff runs.
“There was no doubt,” Cizikas responded during a Zoom with reporters when asked if there was any doubt he’d return. “Long Island is my home. It will always be my home. There’s nowhere else I wanted to be. I want to retire an Islander. That’s my goal and that’s something I’m going to be really proud of when that day comes.
“The way it worked out it worked well. … We have one hell of a team and we’re gearing up for another big year.”
Cizikas comes in as a significant win for the Islanders, with the gritty fourth liner reportedly asking for $5 million per year on the open market. The veteran forward has been a fan favorite on Long Island and has been a key part of the team’s “Identity line” over the years with Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck.
The trio has become known for their hard-nosed, physical style of play that has set the tone for games. Cizikas’ offensive game isn’t that shabby either, with the fourth-liner putting up seven goals and 14 points during the regular season and another five points in the postseason.
“Besides my family, (Martin and Clutterbuck) were the first two I called,” Cizikas said about who he told about his new deal. “We’ve been together for a long time and they’re two of my closest friends on the team. They were the first guys that I called outside of my family.”
Beauvillier is coming off a strong campaign statistically, with 15 goals and 13 assists in 47 games, before posting five goals and eight assists in 19 playoff games. His overtime in goal in Game 6 of the semi-finals was the highlight of the season for many.
Beauvillier was arbitration-eligible, given his restricted-free agent status, but did not file. With this new deal, the fifth-year NHLer gets a raise of around $2.1 million annually.
“I Knew (a new contract) was going to get done,” Beauvillier said. “I think Lou did a great job of just keeping everyone together. Keeping the same core and everything like that. I’m very excited to be here long-term. There’s nowhere else I’d rather play. I feel like there’s unfinished business from the last couple of years we really haven’t accomplished our goals. It’s exciting to get back and I’m happy to stay on the Island for another three years.”
For Palmieri, his play following his arrival to the New York Islanders a few days prior to the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline was worrisome.
Despite the slow start with his new team, with just two goals and two assists in those 17 games, Palmieri showed his worth in the postseason.
In 19 playoff games, Palmieri scored seven goals, which was tied with Brock Nelson for the team lead.
Prior to the 2019-20 campaign, Palmieri had recorded 20 or more goals in each of his last five seasons. He failed to reach the 25 goal plateau just once in that span. The 2020-21 season was an outlier, and with Jordan Eberle no longer in the picture, the consistent NHLer should be given more of an opportunity to produce in his first full season on the island.
Unless another move is made before the start of the season, Palmieri should get a chance on the top line alongside Anders Lee and Mathew Barzal.
“I’m thrilled. Obviously, it’s a place I wanted to be,” Palmieri said about the new contract. “I think the belief was that was mutual so I had a good feeling it would work itself out. I’m really excited to be a part of this organization.”
After a strong start to his NHL career, the 26-year old Sorokin will remain with the club for the next three seasons. Over that time, he should become the clear-cut number one netminder, just as Semyon Varlamov’s contract comes to a close.
In Sorokin’s first regular season on the island, he put together a strong effort. In 22 games, he posted a 13-6-3 record, with a 2.17 GAA and a .918 SV%, with three shutouts.
The “White Whale” as he is referred to by the Islander faithful showed his worth in the postseason. He was the prime reason why the Islanders were able to take down the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games, coming through with clutch saves more times than not.
In seven postseason appearances, Sorokin recorded a 2.79 GAA with a .922 SV%. He was 4-1 in the five games he started.
The goal of the offseason for New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello was to keep the team, a team that has made it to the semifinals each of the last two seasons, as intact as possible given the salary cap situation.
Wednesday showed that he was a man of his word.
NYI Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief Christian Arnold contributed to this report.