The Islanders have signed their last remaining restricted free agent*, agreeing to terms with defenseman Thomas Hickey on a two-year contract.
Arthur Staple has the money matters:
Hickey gets $1.35 million over 2 years on a one-way deal. #Isles— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) July 18, 2013
We all know the Hickey story chapter and verse by now: World junior captain and teammate of John Tavares, a first round pick by the Kings, beset by injuries, hemmed into the AHL by L.A.'s other rising defensemen and dropped to waivers before this half-season began.
He was picked up by the Islanders in a waiver wire binge and after a few healthy scratches found a regular place in the line-up, usually beside another deposed King, Lubomir Visnovsky. Hickey's not the most bruising defenseman in the NHL, but his positional play and transition game got better as the year went on. Also worth noting, his first NHL goal was one of the most memorable we've seen in a while.
Hickey found himself scratched again during the playoffs, when Matt Carkner proved to be (or at least gave the appearance of being) a better fit for the Islanders against the Penguins.
But Hickey's just beginning to find his stride, and getting time to see him grow on a more-than-reasonable dime could be very intruiging.
* - Dasvidaniya, David Ullstrom.