A one-year, two-way deal that pays $650,000 at the NHL level and $175,000 at the AHL level ($270,000 guaranteed), agreed to on July 24
As I'm sure many fans were so desperately waiting for, news broke earlier today that the Islanders and RFA Kevin Poulin came to terms on a 1-year, 2-way deal, worth $650K.
This deal came just a week before the 24-year old goaltender and the Islanders were set to meet for an arbitration hearing.
Though the contract is noted to pay the young, and highly-unproven, goaltender $650K, with the acquisition of fellow tender Chad Johnson, it is safe to say Poulin will see most of his minutes be played in the AHL, setting his realistic salary at $175K for the year.
What strikes me as an uncanny move is the $270K guaranteed money.
How often do you see a young player who, like previously mentioned, is relatively unproven at the NHL level, be offered guaranteed money?
The only explanation for that contract stipulation is the fact that Garth doesn't want to see Poulin walk.
Poulin had a very rocky season, finishing with an .889 S% at the NHL level (28 games) and a .910 at the AHL level (15 games). Despite showing glimpse of talent over the course of the year, his low points were as bad as it got, leading to many fans calling for him to be traded, even waived. [Yeah, I know Isles Twitter isn't the most forgiving of the bunch]
Though he, by no means, proved that he was the best goalie on the ice, Poulin did show that it wouldn't be smart to give up on him so soon, as he is still young and does have a lot of talent under his belt.
I would like to say I approve of this deal, but it is tough to gage.
I am a real believer in Poulin's skills and that he will come to find his form sooner rather than later, but what happens if he tears it up in the A this coming season?
Chad Johnson is a proven backup who is only 28, and signed to a 2-year deal. Halak is here to stay, as he has a 4-year deal behind him and is the goalie. What happens to the 25 year old Poulin coming off of a good year in the AHL?
What kind of deal could you sign him to that he would be happy knowing there are two, talented, goalies ahead of him?
What kind of trade could you whip up for an upcoming UFA who hasn't proven much above the AHL level?
These questions are left for next summer. So until then, let's enjoy the fact that the Islanders have had what could be the best offseason compared to the rest of the league, and did so without any players going to arbitration,