This is how huge contract extensions are announced in the year 2015. In a series of tiny, graphical notes from four different sources over the course of about five minutes. Follow along and taste the future:
New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 12, 2015
Yes! Yes! Yes! For seven more years!!— Johnny B (@joboych) March 12, 2015
BREAKING: #Isles sign Johnny Boychuk to seven-year, $42 million contract.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) March 12, 2015
As @StapeNewsday reports, it is a $6M AAV— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 12, 2015
And that, boys and girls, is how the Islanders locked up both of their pre-season defense acquisitions. About a week after signing Nick Leddy to a 7-year contract of his own, Garth Snow doubled down and showed that he and his team are all-in with this whole "contender" thing.
Boychuk is 31, so seven years is not an insignificant amount of time, especially for a guy who isn't a stranger to the physicality department. The $6 million AAV is manageable and probably a byproduct of the generous term.
But like Leddy, and Travis Hamonic and, before all of them, John Tavares, Boychuk's extension changes the team's reputation as a short term waystation for the almost down and out. Acquiring a top D-pairing in two separate trades in the same day vaulted the Islanders from an intriguing team worth watching to a deep, talented team that can play with any in the NHL.
Boychuk's hitting and slapshot are one thing, but this extension is also about his immediate role as mentor and rock in the locker room.
Boychuk, a 31-year-old defenseman acquired just before the season opener, also has a sly sense of humor that is keeping teammates loose during the grind of an 82-game season.
"He just makes me laugh, makes it light," the Islanders' captain, John Tavares, said of Boychuk. "He's tremendous within the room when we do hit adversity, just staying with it. There's no panic."
Now Boychuk and the Islanders are laughing all the way to the bank.
Update 1: the signing is officially official, per the Islanders.
"Ever since I came to the Islanders, the organization has been incredible to both myself and my family," Boychuk said. "I am proud to be an Islander and look forward to competing every night in front of such a passionate fan base for many years to come."
Update 2: Signing Bonus and NTC
From ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, the deal has a decent amoun of money up front, plus an initial no-move clause that transitions to a no-trade clause as the man ages.
Boychuk deal has $11 million in signing bonuses as part of that $42M total compensation, including $5.5 M signing bonus this July 1— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) March 12, 2015
Boychuck contract has full no-move clause which goes to partial NTC in July 2019 - Boychuck providing list of 8 teams he would go to— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) March 12, 2015
Update 3: Annual payouts
The deal is front-loaded for the next three seasons.
Johnny Boychuk seven-year contract breakdown: $7.5M, 2 years of $7M, $6.5M, $6M and two years of $4M. $42M total. $6M cap hit.— Mike Brehm (@ByMikeBrehm) March 13, 2015