Defenseman Scott Mayfield has reached agreement on a two-year, one-way contract extension, the New York Islanders announced today.
The team doesn't report salary or cap hit in its announcements, but Arthur Staple of Newsday reported it is for a cap hit and average annual value (AAV) of $625,000. Brett Cyrgalis of the Post said that's broken down through a $575,000 salary in 2016-17 and $675,000 the following season.
A one-way deal is no surprise -- he's waivers eligible next season -- but also a good indicator that they expect him to be on the NHL roster next season, when he'll be 24 years old. Having spent the bulk of his two pro seasons in AHL Bridgeport, he's appeared in just 11 regular season games and two playoff games with the Islanders thus far. Now it looks like he will take on the 7th (or even 8th, if/when they carry eight) defenseman role vacated by Brian Strait, who left for Winnipeg as an unrestricted free agent.
From the team release:
Mayfield, 23, appeared in six games with the Islanders last season, compiling 11 penalty minutes and scoring his first NHL goal. The St. Louis, MO, native spend the majority of the season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League, scoring 12 points (five goals, seven assists) with 80 penalty minutes in 54 games.
The Islanders selected Mayfield in the second round (34th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft. He's appeared in 11 regular-season games with the Islanders and two Stanley Cup Playoff games. Mayfield has also played 200 AHL games with the Sound Tigers.
Salary Cap Impact: Slight Savings
The deal in itself has minimal impact on the salary cap, as it is nearly minimum salary and in fact is $150,000 less of a cap hit than Strait's now-expired contract. Mayfield's cap hit is also now less than Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech's -- and less than his own previous contract ($1.7 million NHL AAV, including signing bonuses), which like Pulock and Pelech's current deals, was an entry level contract.
However, the one-way deal means Mayfield's
cap hit (sorry, should've been clearer here) salary remains the same even if he's loaned to the AHL (which, again, would require him clearing waivers first). So Mayfield's overall cap impact on the new deal is less, though his actual cost is more since he'll be making NHL rate the whole season.
Pulock and Pelech's
cap hits salaries -- thanks to two-way contracts -- are greatly reduced whenever they are in the AHL, and they are both still waiver-exempt next season.
That doesn't mean too much since the Isles aren't exactly pushing the top of the salary cap. But if they want to preserve space and flexibility for other moves or disasters during the season (a team's cap hit is calculated on a daily basis) and there are times when Mayfield is in the top six above either of those two, you could see Pelech and even Pulock being in Bridgeport at times.
Based on how they finished the season and playoffs, it looks like Pulock has secured a spot in the top six, which would leave Mayfield and Pelech as the next in line. But of course, things can change. (Except cap navigation; that remains as complicated as ever.)