Casey Cizikas agreed to a two-year, $2 million deal and Calvin de Haan to a three-year, $5.9 million deal on Tuesday, the last of the Isles’ restricted free agents to agree to terms.
Kevin Poulin still is headed to arbitration, but I don’t think he’ll be retained on anything more than a one-year, two-way deal, so I’m not counting on him to be in the mix.
Cizikas and de Haan will be, however. Cizikas’ second NHL season was a bit of a disappointment by his own admission -- he had six goals and 10 assists in 80 games, just one more point in 32 more games from his rookie season.
But Cizikas is still written in as the Isles’ fourth-line center and second-unit penalty killer, so he fills a need and at $1 million per, he fills it economically.
As for de Haan, he emerged from basically nowhere to become a mainstay top-four defenseman last season, so his deal could become very economical as well. He had 16 points in 51 games after being recalled from Bridgeport and, barring a trade, might just be starting this coming season as Travis Hamonic’s defense partner on the top pair. That would make his $1.97 million average annual value an outright steal if de Haan can handle 23-27 minutes a night.
Garth Snow has now taken care of all the in-house business. Trading one or two of the 16 forwards he has under contract is next, but that requires a willing partner. I wouldn’t expect that to happen until training camp draws near.