[sny-box]Hamonic’s no household name, and maybe he never will be, but in just three seasons he’s established himself as a key element of New York’s promising young core. That $3.85 million cap hit is a little generous in the early going — a trait shared by most of these deals — but it aims for bargain territory in a hurry, especially as it buys up three years of free agency at the end. Hamonic is already a top-two defender for the Isles, averaging nearly 25 minutes last season with a game that’s smart, tough and reliable, but his best years are yet to come. This easily ranks as the smartest deal of the summer.[/sny-box]
The difference between Hamonic's and most other long-term deals is that this one starts when the player is only 23-years old. It'll expire when he's in his prime, as opposed to the long-term deals that go to older players and cover years they will probably be retired or somewhat useless, when they're approaching 40. From what we've seen so far, Hamonic justifies the long-term commitment from the team and, as Muir notes, at a good price in the short-term. The hope is that later on down the road he'll justify the higher price tag, too. But even if he doesn't the Islanders won't be stuck with an over-the-hill player signed to an unmovable contract.