An offer sheet is rumored to be coming for Toronto Maples Leafs star RFA Mitch Marner. Could the New York Islanders be that team ready to offer Marner a contract?
It’s clear that the New York Islanders need to add a top-six player. It’s a need that they carry over to the 2019-20 season from last season’s trade deadline. At the trade deadline, GM Lou Lamoriello was unable to land the big-name winger he was looking to bring in. It’s been the same story during free agency.
At the trade deadline, it was Mark Stone that eventually went to the Vegas Golden Knights and in free agency, it was Artemi Panarin who chose the New York Rangers.
At the trade deadline, Lou just wasn’t willing to pay the price to acquire Mark Stone’s expiring deal from the Ottawa Senators. A price that likely would have included blue-chip defensive prospect, Noah Dobson. Unlike at the trade deadline, Lou was willing to pay the price to bring in his desired target. Lou offered Panarin Connor McDavid money with a deal carrying a $12.5 million AAV. He’s getting bolder in his attempts.
Lou is clearly looking to add a big name to the New York Islanders roster. With Panarin off the market, the most coveted target is Toronto Maple Leafs RFA Mitch Marner. On Friday, a rumor emerged that an offer sheet was coming for Marner. Maybe Lou gets as bold as possible and tried to land his former player via offer sheet?
The New York Islanders don’t actually have the cap space to make an offer sheet for Mitch Marner work. The Islanders have $8.653 million in cap space. That’s not enough space to bring in Marner on a reported $12.5 million offer sheet.
But that’s without using any LTIR space or by moving any contracts out. All summer we’ve heard the Islanders are ready to move defensemen Nick Leddy and Thomas Hickey. If they move both, that’s another $8 million in cap space. That’s more than enough space to sign Marner to a reported $12.5 million deal and re-sign the Isles three pending RFAs.
Will Lou be bold enough to actually go through with an offer sheet? I have a hard time believing he will.
My gut tells me there won’t be another offer sheet, certainly not from Lou. We’ve seen one offer sheet over the last six seasons, it’s hard to think we’ll see two in a single week. I hope I’m wrong.