Islanders reportedly extend Pulock, lock down underrated pairing

Islanders reportedly extend Pulock, lock down underrated pairing
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Gradually, the hockey world is realizing that the Islanders have a special defense pairing in Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech.

It looks like the Islanders locked both Pulock and Pelech to long-term contracts before that mainstream attention could translate to bank-breaking deals.

During the offseason, the Islanders signed Pelech to an eight-year contract that carries a bargain $5.75M cap hit. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the Islanders signed Ryan Pulock to an eight-year contract worth a bit less than $50M.

If Dreger’s report is accurate, Pulock’s extension would translate to a cap hit of around $6.25M starting in 2021-22. (Pulock’s current $5M cap hit expires after this season.)

Reported Pulock extension locks down underrated Islanders pairing

Amusingly, Lou Lamoriello might be most worthy of GM of the Year for what he’s accomplished after taking home that award.

In a time when other teams are overextending for defensemen they hope can form half of a great top pairing, the Islanders know what they’re getting in Pulock – Pelech. With that reported Pulock extension, the Islanders keep the two outstanding 27-year-olds in the fold for the long haul.

Pelech, 27, is locked in with the Islanders through the 2028-29 season. Pulock, also 27, would see his reported extension with the Islanders run from 2022-23 through 2029-30.

Considering the term for Pelech and Pulock, it’s possible that eventually, those deals might sting a bit for the Islanders.

But even that’s a bit of a stretch. These two still have prime years left, and at a combined $11.5M, normal regression should be easy to stomach.

Most likely, the Islanders lined up two steals while other teams overpay for less certainty with defensemen. Sure, you can picture someone like Seth Jones and Darnell Nurse scoring more points than Pulock – Pelech. But generating more value overall? The Islanders’ pairing are a safer — and it turns out, much cheaper — bet.

With these deals, the Islanders have a strong chance to be a nightmare to play against for years to come.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.