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Islanders lock up Frans Nielsen for four years

Feb 7, 2012, 7:25 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin, Frans Nielsen AP

The New York Islanders locked down shutdown forward Frans Nielsen to a four-year, $11 million deal according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Nielsen would have been an unrestricted free agent this summer if this deal hadn’t been reached.

McKenzie reveals that the salary breaks down as such:

2012-13: $2 million
2013-14: $2.5M
2014-15: $3M
2015-16: $3.5M

Nielsen doesn’t get much press because he’s a defensive forward, but he’d be the kind of sturdy two-way player who’d turn some heads if he played on a playoff contender.

Nielsen averages 2:09 shorthanded time per game, good for third overall on the Islanders and No. 1 among the team’s forwards. His offensive output isn’t half-bad, either, with nine goals and 25 points in 51 games this season.

Naturally, Nielsen lacks the platform to get the recognition of a Dave Bolland-type asset because he plays for the Islanders. That being said, if the young squad turns things around soon, he’s likely to be a very valuable piece – and at a reasonable price, too.

  1. eichiefs9 - Feb 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Not to mention he’s the best shoot-out man in the league. Not an overly important stat but when the Isles are eventually a playoff contender, those couple extra points he may help them earn could make or break their season.

    • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2012 at 7:43 PM

      This welcome news underlines the fact that the Isles are in transition to being a contender. On a contending team, Frans would be a very good 3rd line center and he might be on the Isles as well if Josh Bailey had not been such a disappointment.

      One of the reasons the Isles’ secondary scoring has been lacking is that Frans is being used as a second line center. When Ryan Strome becomes NHL-ready, this team’s secondary scoring will explode.

  2. broadstbully33 - Feb 7, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    the islanders are 4 dmen and 2 goaltenders short if being a contender….true story

    • danphipps01 - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:06 AM

      I disagree on the goaltending matter. Montoya’s a good goalie with nothing in front of him, and one who’s constantly being shuffled out for the fifteen other guys they’re paying to fill the net. Nabokov’s easily a solid enough backup, especially lately. Could even be a starter again with an actual NHL defense in front of him. If they had better defense, both those guys would start putting up substantially more impressive numbers.

    • bcisleman - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:19 PM

      Underscoring how foolish this post was is the fact that you wrote it in the middle of probably the best goaltending performance by ANYBODY this year by Islanders goalie Nabokov against YOUR TEAM!!!

      Nabby and Montoya are both very good goalies, Streit, Hamonic, and MacDonald are very good defensemen. Isles need another top four and maybe an upgrade at 3rd pair.

  3. 4cupsinarow - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Smart signing… Very underrated player. Great on the PK, good playmaker on the PP and more then solid in 5 on 5 play. Deadly in the SO. Should end up being a great 3rd – 4th line center and special teams guy for years to come.
    And broadstbully your pretty close… Isles have DeHaan, Donovan, and Ness real close with Mayfield and Kitchon not far behind on the defensive side, and Poulin, Nilsson and Koskinen close in the nets. Poulins probably ready now (the kid is going to be a star in goal)

  4. spizzjr - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    @broadstbully I’m srry did last nights shutout sting oh yeah not to mention Nielsen scored the winning goal in the shootout against bryzgalov last night go eat a cheesesteak and have a good cry

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