The Islanders announced on Monday that they have locked center Frans Nielsen into a 4-year deal worth $2.1 million or $525K per year. The announcement coincides with a string of new extensions that indeed seem to imply that the Isles are dedicated to youth. Last week the team signed contract extensions with Bergenheim, Tambellini, Colliton and Walter. Locking in these core young players to relatively low impact contracts means the team has more money in the future to pursue high end free agents as the team becomes more competitive or so one might imagine.
The 24-year old Nielsen, the first Danish national to play in the NHL (not to be confused with the first Danish born player, defenseman Poul Popiel), has played in 31 games over the last 2 seasons notching 3 G and 2 A for 5 points. Nielsen has a career -1 rating and 1 GWG with a 9.1% scoring rate. We look forward to seeing Frans wearing the Orange and Blue for years to come.
On a side note, you have to love the fact that the Isles are open about contract terms. It has become cliché to read time and again that a team "per team policy" has not released the terms of contracts. I applaud the Islanders for not falling into that trap. Real hockey fans do not judge teams for the reasonable price tags often associated with the signings of "everyday" players. What makes us upset is the ridiculous contracts that turn heads and make us wonder WHY? How come I have to wait a week to find out the Vancouver Canucks are paying Rob Davison $560K for next season but I know instantly that Atlanta is paying Ron Hainsey the GDP of Lesotho? For the sake of reporting the NHL might want to make the contract info a little more carte blanche and a little less smoke and mirrors.