In an effort to bolster their defense, the New York Islanders are returning Thomas Hickey on a four-year deal.
Coming off a three-year deal that paid him $2.2 million annually, the 29-year-old will be making an additional $300,000 on his new four-year deal.
Hickey, originally drafted fourth overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, was claimed off waivers by the Isles before the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season.
In 409 career games, all with the Islanders, Hickey has recorded 22 goals and 111 points. He netted five goals and a career-high 25 points last season.
Hickey has developed a penchant for scoring clutch goals throughout his career. He has recorded six game-winners, including five in the overtime frame. In the playoffs, he has one goal and six points in 20 contests, with the biggest coming in Game 3 of the Islanders’ first round series against the Florida Panthers in 2016, when he won it for New York in overtime.
Hickey was a team-best plus-20 last season and third on the team with 110 blocked shots in a third-pairing role.
The Calgary, Alberta native spent a lot of time playing with rookie blueliner Ryan Pulock and served as a reliable defensive-defenseman.
The Islanders have already re-signed goaltender Christopher Gibson and defenseman Seth Helgeson to two-year, two-way deals.
After letting former restricted free agents (RFA) Brandon Davidson, Shane Prince, Alan Quine, and Kyle Schempp go, the Islanders still have to re-sign RFAs Brock Nelson, Ryan Pulock, Ross Johnston, Devon Toews, and Kyle Burroughs.
Now that it’s past 12:00 pm EST, free agency has officially begun.