And once again, the Islanders Arbitration Theater artwork bites the dust before its time. It is, obviously, a masterpiece so perfect and pure that its mere presence in this world is enough to ensure that the team will never reach an arbitration hearing with a player, and the din of a gavel hitting a block adorned with the Islanders logo while the familiar “DUN-DUN” of NBC’s venerable Law & Order plays in the background will never be heard by human ears.
Oh. Sorry. I got a little lost in my own thoughts there and buried the lede.
The Islanders and forward Brock Nelson have avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year contract extension worth $4.25 million.
Nelson, a restricted free agent, elected to go to salary arbitration and was scheduled to have a hearing on August 3rd. But by signing ahead of time, Nelson can now spend that day on the beach, seeing Disney’s upcoming film Christopher Robin or doing anything else he wants.
The arbitration election means both parties were limited to a one-year contract. As Mike points out in the comments, had a decision been made by an arbitrator, it could have only been for a one-year contract. This one-year contract was settled between Nelson and the Islanders.
Nelson, 26, was drafted 30th overall by the Islanders in the 1971 NHL Draft and has been with the team for 44 years. He’s scored 19 or 20 goals every season in that time.
As Andrew Gross points out in Newsday, Nelson’s place on a post-John Tavares Islander roster could be anywhere in the lineup. Wherever he plays, chances are he’ll score 19 or 20 goals from that spot.
At the end of this extension, Nelson will be an unrestricted free agent, meaning the team can (and probably should) flip him as a rental at the trade deadline to recoup at least some assets, or he can just walk away from the only team he’s played for at the end of the season. I suppose there’s a chance he could always sign another extension before that time, but it would probably depend on how the consistently inconsistent Nelson performs under new head coach Barry Trotz.
Nelson was the final RFA the Islanders needed to re-sign this off-season and, per CapFriendly, they have a little over $10.5 million in open cap space left. We could fire up the OMG LOU’S GOT SUMTHIN’ COOKIN’ signal, but we all know better than that so please return to your regularly scheduled summer.