February 9, 2012

Four More Years for Frans

Frans Nielsen had one heck of a Tuesday.

With Evgeni Nabokov stopping everything in sight, Nielsen would do what he does best - score a goal in the shootout to help the Islanders to their 1-0 win. Naturally, he used his patented forehand/backhand deke, which has made him the most successful shootout scorer since its implementation in 2005 (20 for 34).

But this was how he celebrated. Just before game time, it was reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie that Nielsen had agreed to a new four year, $11 million contract to remain with the Islanders.

Wednesday morning the Islanders made the announcement official, inking Nielsen to the AAV of $2.75 million per season through 2016.

With just under three weeks to go before the NHL trade deadline, Nielsen was drawing among the most interest of the teams soon-to-be UFA's. In the end, both Nielsen and Snow found numbers that they liked.

Snow should be thrilled with the deal. Nielsen has turned into one of the more underrated players in the league according to a recent players poll done by The Hockey News. As far as third line centers with decent offensive games go, the Islanders get Nielsen at below market value.

The really good thing about this deal is on the outside, it forces the Islanders to only allow Casey Cizikas or Ryan Strome into the line-up if they truly are ready as John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nielsen and Reasoner are all still under contract up the middle (if a guy like Reasoner is even here or not is another story).

The other side of it, one that many people are bringing up and I can see why, is that some feel that Nielsen is too undersized to be an adequate 3rd line center.

For me, personally, its up in the air whether or not Nielsen is a 2nd or 3rd line pivot. For an ideal second line guy, you'd like to see a bit more offense. Traditionally, you want a 3rd line center with more size. But, the ideal move for the Islanders at this point is to get a second line center from outside of the organization and keep Nielsen in a third line role.

At any rate, it was nice to see him get locked up. It may be for one year too long in my opinion, but as long as the price doesn't hinder the Islanders from improving the other areas of their team then they will have a player at a key position locked up for a good price.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I admire the move and the player. He's not the perfect player for sure, but I feel he minimizes his mistakes and doesn't make the huge costly types that result in goals against.

I wouldn't ordinarily compare forwards and defensemen, but with all the ballyhoo for Kenny Jonsson night (looking forward to his NYI HOF induction on Saturday (MSG+ 1230)) it made me think a little about the two guys. Jonsson was certainly steady and reliable on the back line. Like I said, I think Frans is similar up front. Maybe its the Scandinavian thing?

In any case, it's a good move for NYI.

And, for closure, here's a couple of vids I found on Jonsson, think is sounds similar to Frans' style? I did.

Stan Fischler on Jonsson's Legacy and Leadership:

Garth Snow on Jonsson's Contribution to the ’01-02 NYI Playoff Team: