Calvin de Haan and the Islanders avoided arbitration Wednesday, but the one-year agreement could be the beginning of the end of the defenseman’s tenure with the club. A career-long Islander since being selected in the first round, 12th overall, in 2009, de Haan is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The two sides were far apart on their arbitration numbers. de Haan sought $5 million in 2017-18 while the Isles countered at $1.95 million. They reportedly settled at $3.3 million on the one-year deal, close to the midway point.
Thornton had surgery to repair his knee in late April, and his expected recovery time means he’s unlikely to return to the ice until around the start of next season.
Wilson told reporters when the team announced the injuries in April, You see a player play with that type of injury, it tells you all you need to know about him.
That injury situation, along with Thornton’s age and salary, led the Sharks to leave their longtime star unprotected in the recent NHL Expansion Draft. He scored 50 points last season, a far cry from his career-high of 114 points 10 years ago, but his experience not to mention his popularity with fans will continue to be an asset for the Sharks.
Thornton has 1,391 career points, which ranks 23rd in NHL history. His 1,007 career assists rank 13th on the career list and his 937 points in a Sharks uniform ranks behind only Patrick Marleau (1,082 points).
Thornton’s signing comes on the same day Mr. Shark, Patrick Marleau, signed a three-year deal with the Maple Leafs to end his 19-year run in San Jose.