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New York Islanders Incredibly Expensive Fourth Line Not An Issue

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 11: Andrew Ladd #16 of the New York Islanders looks on during the third period of a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on October 11, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 11: Andrew Ladd #16 of the New York Islanders looks on during the third period of a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on October 11, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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The New York Islanders have sent Tanner Fritz to the AHL today. That means Andrew Ladd is ready to step in. Pushing the Isles fourth line’s cap hit to above $10 million. Good thing the Isles have a ton of cap space.

The New York Islanders announced that they were sending Tanner Fritz to the AHL on Thursday. The undrafted 27-year-old had already passed through waivers before being sent down.

Fritz was sent down thanks to Andrew Ladd seemingly ready to join the Islanders. Ladd has been out of the lineup since training camp with muscle tightness. Just the other day Ladd skated with the team, so it seems that the tightness is possibly gone.

With Ladd’s return, he’ll likely slot into the Islanders fourth line next to

Valtteri Filppula

and

Leo Komarov

. Making the Islanders fourth line one of, if not

the

most expensive in the entire league.

All the Monies Ain’t No Thang

We’re all well aware of Andrew Ladd’s massive contract. That $5.5 million AAV for the next five seasons (including this year) with a full no-trade for the next two years and a 15 team no trade for the next three hangs over this team like that coffee that’s been sitting in your office’s break room for far too long.

Add that to Valtteri Filppula’s single year $2.75 million deal and Leo Komarov’s four-year $3 million AAV deal and the Isles fourth line carries a cap hit of $11.25 million.

That’s 14 percent of the New York Islanders cap for fourth line players. Players that roughly play ten minutes a game. It’s way too much and could seriously reduce any flexibility the New York Islanders have to improve the roster.

Champions aren’t built from the bottom up. The NHL is very much a top-down approach when it comes to cap management. You pay the talent and the depth afterward.

Now, it’s hard to take this hard line against the cost of the Islanders fourth line. First, Valtteri Filppula is on pace to score a point for every single person that doubted him. Secondly, the Islanders penalty kill, which Filppula and Komarov were brought to address is still at 100 percent efficiency.

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Lastly, and more importantly, the New York Islanders have $10.9 million in cap space after Jan Kovar was sent through waivers. The Islanders have cap flexibility at the moment. The incredible cap hit from the fourth line isn’t an issue right now. Thankfully.

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