The New York Islanders have re-signed defenseman Johnny Boychuk to a seven-year, $42 million contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The deal breaks down as $6 million per season, which is pretty much what most observers (including myself) expected Boychuk would receive from the Islanders.
Remember all that talk at the start of this season over how Isles GM Garth Snow was taking a chance acquiring a player who could depart next summer via free agency? Remember how some folks suggested Boychuk wanted to sign with a winner, or with a club which will give him another chance at winning a Stanley Cup? Turns out they were right. Boychuk wanted to sign with a winner, and it’s the Islanders.
Now I know some of you will dismiss this as crazy talk, noting the Isles haven’t won anything, but in case you didn’t notice, they’re one of the top-ten teams in the NHL this season. That’s not a fluke. The Islanders really are that good, and Boychuk deserves part of the credit. Since he and Nick Leddy (who was also recently re-signed to a long-term extension) came to Long Island at the start of this season via trades, they’ve stabilized the Isles blueline. As Snow pointed out, the 31-year-old Boychuk’s been a very positive influence on and off the ice, while the franchise has treated the veteran defenseman and his family very well.
The Islanders appear to have built something special and Boychuk obviously wants to be part of it. He could’ve tested this summer’s UFA market where he likely would’ve received more expensive offers, but he’s bought into what the Isles have built. With the club moving to a new arena in Brooklyn next season and a bright future ahead of them, re-signing Boychuk sends a message that the Islanders’ days as a laughingstock are over.