The Islanders announced this afternoon that they've agreed to terms with Casey Cizikas on a five-year contract extension. Although the team didn't say, Arthur Staple of Newsday has the full parameters.
#Isles sign Casey Cizikas to a five-year deal worth $16.75 million.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 2, 2016
I'm gonna come right out and say what a lot of people are also probably thinking: Cizikas is a nice player, who's played his role on the fourth line very well over the last couple of seasons. This past season might have been his best as a pro, setting a career high in points (8g-21a-29p) and getting huge minutes in big spots.
But unless he's been developing a laser-guided wrist shot in secret or plans on gunning for the Selke Trophy, that is a lot of years and lot of dough for a guy whose best work is as a bottom sixer and who has never topped 50% CF in any season.
Especially in a summer in which the Islanders have a lot of places where they can spend their money (UFAs Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen come to mind first), giving $3.3 million a season to a role player (even a pretty good one), is risky business. This is essentially the same deal they gave Josh Bailey back in 2013, but the difference is they had a ton of cap space back then and Bailey was seen as more of a frontline forward.
Hey, maybe Cizikas blossoms into a consistent scorer or a shutdown defensive center. Stranger things have happened to guys after they turn 25. Right? Please say yes.
At least we know Don Cherry is happy, even if he can't pronounce "Cizikas."
Staple adds more insight into where the Islanders were coming from. Buying the UFA years was a big deal, as was a potential arbitration hearing.
It's steep for sure. #Isles bought 3 years of UFA, so it was going over $2M per at that length. Also tells me Martin is definitely gone...— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 2, 2016
... And could be some C insurance in case Nielsen leaves. Bottom line, #Isles love what CC brings. At that price, he'll need to bring more.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 2, 2016
Also Cizikas was arb eligible. Closest comp is Marcus Kruger, who makes $3.08m AAV starting next year. CC would have gotten $2.75-3m award.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 2, 2016