The Islanders continued to solidify their nucleus of young players Tuesday.
One day after Nassau County's rejection of a referendum to build a new Coliseum, the team gave its fans some good news. Forward Blake Comeau avoided arbitration, settling on a one-year contract. The deal is worth $2.5 million, multiple sources have confirmed to Newsday.
The 25-year-old winger, who is coming off a career-high season of 24 goals, was scheduled to have an arbitration hearing Thursday, the last on the NHL's schedule.
Comeau, who also finished with a career-high 46 points, is one of several signings this summer to lock up the team's young core.
In May the Islanders signed both Calder Trophy finalist Michael Grabner and versatile power forward Kyle Okposo to five-year deals. They also signed two-time 30-goal scorer Matt Moulson, top-line right wing PA Parenteau and hulking defenseman Milan Jurcina to contract extensions during the season.
The next order of business for the Islanders will be to sign former first-round pick Josh Bailey, who is a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level deal. Bailey opted against signing his qualifying offer last month and is likely seeking a multi-year deal to remain with the team.
Comeau's signing came less than 24 hours after a blow at the polls by Nassau County residents who voted overwhelmingly against borrowing money to help build a new Coliseum.
Moulson and Okposo both expressed frustration but said the failed referendum won't derail their hopes for this season.
"As players, our goal has stayed the same," Moulson said. "We're very excited to get the season underway and keep that goal of getting into the playoffs. We have a lot to accomplish this year and we're not going to really dwell on the vote and the outcome."
Said Okposo: "Obviously, it's disappointing . . . but now we're just looking forward to the season and proving we can take that next step."