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The New York Islanders have a total of seven restricted free agents on the book for the 2016-17 season. In order not to lose these players to unrestricted free agency they need to give them qualifying offers.
Today’s Slapshot highlights four key RFA’s for the Isles that may complicate their UFA shopping plans: Shane Prince, Jean-Francois Berube, Chris Gibson, and Ryan Strome.
Ryan Strome is the big name on that list. No disrespect to the other three excellent players on that list, but they serve as backups in the crease (Berube and Gibson) or as a third line winger (Prince). Strome is a former fifth overall draft pick and heir apparent for second-line center duties.
We’ve already seen the Islanders pay to keep players they want around for the future. Just last week the Islanders signed pending RFA Casey Cizikas to a five-year $16.75 million deal.
Cizikas is older than Strome by three years, meaning his contract bought out some UFA years, but Cizikas doesn’t have the offensive upside that Strome possesses.
In 2014-15, Strome put up 50 points in a season were the Islanders finished third in their division and took the Washington Capitals to seven games in their first-round playoff matchup.
The Islanders and Strome might opt to sign a two to three-year bridge deal worth around $2.5 to $3 million a year. Leaving the Islanders approximately $10 million on the cap to sign the rest of their roster.
New York Islanders Round-up From Around the Web
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Jordan Hart, son of ex-Islander Gary Hart is charged with drug possession in relation to late Rangers player Derek Boogaard. (Newsday)
Our friends at Stars and Sticks believe the Capitals should make a serious push for pending UFA Frans Nielsen. (Stars and Sticks)
In Hockey Wilderness’ mock draft they have the Islanders picking D Charles MacAvoy at 19th overall. (Hockey Wilderness)
ESNY adds their thoughts on what the Islanders should do when it comes to the draft. (ESNY)
Just in case you were wondering, here are OUR thoughts on what the Islanders should do in 15 days time at the NHL Entry Draft. (Eyes on Isles)