New York Islanders Could Be Major Players in Next Years Free Agency
At the present time, the New York Islanders haven’t made any major moves this summer. However, they could be gearing up for next off-season. The Isles could be major players in next years free agency.
Since John Tavares departed the New York Islanders via free agency, head of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello has decided to take a breath and see what he has first.
With everyone now signed, Lou has left himself plenty of cap space moving forward.
Isles Cap Space
The Isles are currently $10 million under the cap. That is with 15 forwards, seven defenseman, and two goaltenders under contract.
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The Islanders have six players who are one year away from free agency (Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Brock Nelson, Jan Kovar, Tom Kuhnhackl, and Robin Lehner). These players cap numbers add up to $21 million.
That would give the Isles $31 million in cap space at season’s end and that’s assuming the cap won’t rise after next season.
Assuming the Isles link Lee to a long-term extension during the season (figure an annual number between $7 – $8 million), that still would leave the Isles with a boat-load of cap space.
Finally, the Isles only have one restricted free agent after next season in Anthony Beauvillier.
Major Free-Agent Class
At this moment having a ton of cap space for next years, unrestricted free agent class is a good place to be for any NHL team.
At forward Matt Duchene, Artemi Panarin, Tyler Seguin, Mark Stone, and Blake Wheeler are scheduled to hit the open market next July 1st. The blue line consists of Erik Karlsson, Ryan Ellis, Nate Schmidt, and Tyler Myers. Sergei Bobrovsky is the headliner in between the pipes.
Many skeptics would say why would any of these players why would any of these pending big free agents go to the Islanders. Hopefully, Lou and Barry Trotz will help show this season that the Isles are a team to keep an eye out for, as well as a future contender.
Next summer the Isles will be even closer to the opening of the new building in Belmont. Also, some of the Isles top picks in June’s draft could be NHL ready come the 2019-20 season.
One more reason why one of these premier players would seriously consider the Islanders and that’s money. The Islanders will be in a position to add a major free agent. If Lou feels that one of the premier guys in next years free agent class is the right fit, he will be very aggressive.