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[Updated] Anders Lee Re-Signs with New York Islanders

Seven years, a total of $49 million. Whew!

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Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders
Captain in the house.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It didn’t proceed how anyone expected, but in the end Anders Lee is staying with the New York Islanders.

After meeting with hearing from other teams — while the Islanders chased but failed in a bid to land Artemi Panarin for more money — Lee agreed to terms with the only NHL team he’s known.

He’s looking like a lifer now.

UPDATE: Lee’s agent tweeted a clarification about how he approached the entire situation, including making sure he worked on things with the Isles that would allow them to pursue another big fish:

For the Twitter averse, that is Lee’s agent Neil Sheehy saying:

Anders Lee never left the NYIslanders. We did not “negotiate” with teams as Anders wanted to stay with the @NYIslanders. There was much interest and his $7M AAV allows Lou Lamoriello to pursue players who can help the Islanders win. Anders was staying with-or-without Panarin.

There was NEVER a moment on this FA Day where it was even a possibility that Anders Lee was going to leave @NYIslanders no matter what else happened. This type of “FAKE NEWS” fries my bananas! Anders Lee said the most important quality in a teammate is “LOYALTY” and he meant it.

The reported terms are a seven-year deal and $49 million. That’s an average annual value of $7 million per — pricey given the aging curve but palatable for what he can be expected to add, especially in the first years of the deal.

The difference all season long as reported by Arthur Staple was on term, not money. Once the calendar turned to July, the sides could no longer do an eight-year deal. So that shaves one year off a max offer, though seven years is still a healthy commitment for a net-front forward who will turn 29 in a couple of days.

Also of some possible relief, earlier in the day the rumor was that Lee’s asking price was $9 million AAV — though perhaps that was on a shorter deal from other teams — so coming in $2 million lower than that feels, somehow, like a win.

The Montreal Canadiens were reportedly chasing Lee, but their offer sheet to Carolina’s Sebastian Aho would’ve at least temporarily complicated things.

And that brings us to something else: How often does a top free agent make it to July 1...only to then re-sign with his existing/near-former team? So cheers to Lee and the Islanders for getting it done, at what appears to be fair for both sides.

So here we are. Facing an offseason with key free agents and needing upgrades, the Islanders have at least managed most of the former by retaining Lee, Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle.

To be continued. The Islanders still need to solidify (or announce, with rumors pointing to Semyon Varlamov) their next goalie.