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Boychuk deal signals new era for Islanders

Johnny Boychuk has 32 points in 59 games this season, and a 56.3 Corsi for percentage. Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

A few weeks ago, the name Johnny Boychuk was suggested to an NHL general manager as a guy who would be a perfect fit to bolster his defense in free agency this summer. There was speculation that the New York Islanders had made Boychuk an offer, but without a signature on the contract, the possibility that he might find the open market remained.

Not to this GM.

“I don’t think he’s going to hit the market,” he said. “They’ll get him signed. He’s having a good year.”

It took a few weeks, but he was spot on. On Thursday, Islanders GM Garth Snow got it done. The Islanders announced a seven-year contract extension for Boychuk worth a total of $42 million.

That’s a lot of term and money for a 31-year-old, but it’s also the biggest sign that the rebuild is about complete with the Islanders. That Snow can now trade for and retain attractive free agents from other teams, something that’s typically eluded him during his time as GM with the Islanders, shows just how much the perception of the Islanders has changed.