After separating themselves from a part of their past this week in the compliance buyout of goaltender Rick DiPietro, the New York Islanders invested in a piece of their future by signing 22-year old defenseman Travis Hamonic to a 7-year, $27 million deal.
From the Islanders:
"We are excited to come to terms with an important part of our young core as we look to take the next step in becoming a perennial playoff contender,” General Manager Garth Snow said. “Travis has shown he is an elite defenseman in this league and we’re thrilled that he’ll be a part of the Islanders organization for seven more years.”
In three seasons with the Islanders, Hamonic has averaged 22:14 of ice time, including over two minutes per game on the penalty kill. He averaged 24:59 TOI in their first round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hamonic will see those numbers rise even more next season.
"We're building something special with the Isles," Hamonic told Newsday's Arthur Staple. "I would never have signed this long if I didn't truly believe that. Seven years is a long time -- to me, that's enough time to win a couple Stanley Cups."
The Islanders now have seven players currently signed through the next three seasons, according to CapGeek -- that third season being their first one in the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. By that time, given the team's current developmental path, they should be a perennial playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
In other news, the Florida Panthers shipped out George Parros to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a prospect and a 2014 seventh round pick. Now Brandon Prust will have a tag team partner in the lineup and a guy who can handle all the upper weight class fights.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy