Forward Anders Lee signed a seven-year contract that carries a cap hit of $7 million per season with the New York Islanders after he became an unrestricted free agent on Monday afternoon, according to Michael Russo of The Athletic.
Anders Lee gets $7 million AAV on a 7-year deal with the #isles
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 1, 2019
The Islanders avoided losing their second captain in as many years after center John Tavares signed a seven-year contract worth an average annual value of $11 million with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1, 2018. Lee was named his replacement during training camp last Fall.
Lee expressed interest in returning to the Islanders after their season ended but went through the entire free agent interview period without a contract. He talked to teams such as the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche.
Lee, 28, posted 28 goals, 51 points, and a +20 rating in 82 games this past season after he scored 34 and 40 goals in each the past two seasons, respectively. He added a goal, five points, and a -1 rating in eight Stanley Cup Playoff games this Spring. In 425 career NHL games (all with the Islanders), Lee has posted 152 goals, 258 points, and a +11 rating.
The Islanders were able to retain one of their best offensive players and leaders by re-signing of Lee, a sixth-round pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, after they finished 22nd in the NHL with an average of 2.72 goals-per-game this past season
The Islanders were able to re-sign forwards Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle to five- and six-year contracts, respectively, earlier this offseason before they could have hit the unrestricted free agent market.
The Islanders currently have $13,653,334 with forwards Anthony Beauvillier and Michael Dal Colle left to sign as both are currently restricted free agents.
The Islanders lost goaltender Robin Lehner in free agency as the two sides have yet to come into an agreement. He signed a one-year, $$5 million contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday evening. Lehner, 27, led the NHL with a .930 save percentage and was third with a 2.13 goals-against average in his first season with the Islanders after signing there as an unrestricted free agent. He posted a record of 25-13-5 with five shutouts during the regular season en route to a Vezina Trophy nomination and a Masterton Trophy victory. Lehner revealed at training camp that he was battling mental health issues.
In 265 career NHL games with the Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, and Ottawa Senators, Lehner has posted a 97-110-40 record, .918 save percentage, 2.70 goals-against average, and 14 shutouts.
Shortly after Lehner left, the Islanders announced that they signed goaltender Semyon Varlamov to a four-year contract. Financial terms of the contract were not released.
Varlamov, 31, went 20-19-9 with a save percentage of .909, a goals-against average of 2.87, and two shutouts in 49 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season. In 448 career NHL games with the Avalanche and Washington Capitals, the 2014 Vezina Trophy finalist has posted a record of 213-169-50 with a save percentage of .916, a goals-against average of 2.68, and 25 shutouts.
By Harrison Brown