It appears the New York Islanders won’t need to get a new identity.
Identity line that is.
The team and Casey Cizikas have managed to work out a new deal for six years and $2.5 million per year, according to The Athletic’s Arthur Staple. That was what NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman had speculated the terms of the deal would be earlier this month on his 31 Thoughts Podcast.
As has been the case most of the offseason, the Islanders have not announced any official signing with Cizikas. Of the players that the Islanders have needed to sign, only Adam Pelech has been officially re-signed by the team.
It has been speculated that several Islanders, including Casey Cizikas, have agreed to contracts but the team is waiting to make any official announcements while they work towards another potential deal. The Islanders had been in a massive cap crunch following the 2020-21 season, but after trading away Nick Leddy and Andrew Ladd, and Seattle taking Jordan Eberle in the expansion draft, the team was able to clear a significant amount of space.
Still, the New York Islanders would be bringing back Cizikas at a significant discount considering the asking price that he would have likely received on the open market. Cizikas had reportedly asked for $5 million per when teams like Seattle approached him.
Casey Cizikas would have been a bottom-six forward wherever he went, but he’d likely have been given a third-line role. With the Islanders, he’ll remain on the fourth line between Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck.
While six years is longer-term than some may have wanted, it was likely a big part of what kept the AAV down for Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders. That is crucial for the Islanders as they continue to navigate the salary cap over the next few years.
The Islanders’ identity line will get at least one more year with one another as New York looks to get over the hump and into the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1984. Cizikas, Clutterbuck and Martin have been crucial pieces to the Islanders’ playoff runs over the last few seasons and their energetic, physical play has often set the tone for games.
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