With another disappointing season concluded with no playoffs, end-of-season New York Islanders report cards are a necessity. We begin with Calvin de Haan.
“The Good, “The Bad” and “The Ugly.”
Then, we will assign the grade to the player. So without further ado, here we go.
When number 44 was in the lineup—he was usually paired with Thomas Hickey. Both players tend to be able to play more of a 200-foot game and are quite responsible for both ends of the ice—but the thing that this reporter noticed about de Haan’s game, is that he was the most consistent man in the back. He seemed to know where he had to be – and got there without much fanfare or flash. deHaan blocked shots with ease, not being fearful of getting into the lanes and stopping those juicy slappers by the defense of the opponents. Although his offensive stats were not particularly top notch (1 goal, 11 assists in 33 games), he had at the time of his injury, a team-leading plus 11. His ‘keep it simple’ approach allowed the team to be somewhat stable on defense, despite the high Goals Against Average while in the lineup. With him gone, the Isles GAA went up nearly .5 goals per game, as the Bridgeport shuffle ensued.
This shoulder injury to deHaan happened at exactly the wrong time for him; both for the team and for him personally. At the 33-game mark, the Isles were 18 wins, 12 losses and three OT points. Without him in the lineup – the Isles were 17-25-7. The same number of points, in nearly 20 more games. Having played 155 of the prior 164 games the past two seasons, de Haan was playing on a one-year deal, hoping that his play would secure him a longer turn deal. Both his luck, and the luck of the team went out with his injury. In this reporter’s opinion, although not the biggest factor, but the injury has a serious trickle-down effect on the entire defensive corps. Nick Leddy was a +2 at the end of November, and we know how that turned out.
Unfortunately for de Haan, the ugliest result of this season may be the weight of his wallet. Being on that one-year contract, he was looking to have a strong season to potentially solidify a bigger and longer deal for the 2018-19 season. According to the Pro Hockey Rumors site, he was listed as number 9 on the list of Top 10 NHL Free Agents at the midpoint of the season. Being out for the final 49 games most likely has stymied his potential wealth for the foreseeable future. With his contract up – it may be good for the Islanders to take another one year shot on him, to see if this injury is only a blip in the road. So the former First Round draft pick in 2009, has a difficult decision on his hands.
If de Haan did not get hurt, basing strictly on taking his numbers and pushing it through an 82-game season, he would have eclipsed his former high of 25 points and could have beaten Thomas Hickey’s high plus-minus of 20. That could have given him some decent contract offers. But alas, we can never base the grade on just the games and the potential games players play. We must look at his impact on the team from game 1 to 82. So, I have to lower the grade and give him a “C.”
Final 2017-18 Grade for Calvin de Haan: C
Stay tuned to Elite Sports NY for more New York Islanders Report Cards.