Casey Cizikas
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Casey Cizikas Should Be A Priority For The Islanders In The Offseason

There might not be a better player for Barry Trotz’s system than Casey Cizikas. He is hardworking, defense-minded, not afraid to get physical, and obviously, the fans love him. After the Islanders’ heartbreaking loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Semi Final, Lou Lamoriello once again has a laundry list of tasks for the offseason, and a contract extension for Cizikas should be at the top of that list in big letters. Let me explain.

1. The Perfect Identity Player

Barry Trotz loves his fourth-line center, and Cizikas is unquestionably the heartbeat of the Isles’ “Identity Line.” He has a knack for killing penalties, forechecking, and even chipping in with timely goals. He plays like the Energizer Bunny – he never stops. Cizikas clearly also loves the Island Life. He raised his children on Long Island and actively supports the local community through charity work and donations. Cizikas has a heart of gold and it would truly be a shame to see him wear anything besides orange and blue.

2. No Clear Upgrade In Sight

When Matt Martin returned to the Islanders in 2019, it was a reunion of arguably the best fourth line in hockey. It would be impossible to replace a player of Cizikas’ quality and work ethic, and the first people to feel the effects of his departure would be Martin and Cal Clutterbuck. Travis Zajac has endeared himself to the organization during his time on the Island, but he is not nearly as physical as Cizikas. Trying to find another guy in free agency to do all of what Cizikas does is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, and one of the Isles’ biggest strengths would become a weakness if Cizikas were to leave them. As long as he does not price himself out of a return to Long Island, he should be the top priority.

3. If You Don’t, Someone Else Will

There will be a long line of suitors for Cizikas as he is a premium bottom-line center. A team starving for physicality like, for example, the NEW YORK RANGERS, would love a guy like Cizikas, as he would bring an edge to a team that has longed for one. It would be very bad news for the Isles if he were to remain in the division. Teams like the Maple Leafs, Panthers, Sabres, and Oilers would all fit well for Cizikas, but fingers crossed, he is open to a hometown discount.

We saw what happened when John Tavares left the Islanders, so even without a ton of future cap space, the Isles need to make something work.

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