The New York Islanders might need to make some cap space to sign some high prized RFAs. Johnny Boychuk and his $6 million cap hit could be moved.
With all the attention being paid to the acquisitions the New York Islanders are trying to make this season, we’re forgetting about the immediate future of this roster. The Islanders are looking to make big moves now, but how will that impact the future?
As in what happens after the 2019-20 season?
At the end of 2019-20 The Islanders have three big RFAs that will need a new deal; Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, Devon Toews will be without a contract. If the Islanders bring in another top-six forward with a top-six forward cap hit they won’t be left with much room in 2019-20 to re-sign their RFAs.
Luckily, Johnny Boychuk‘s deal could be traded at that time.
Dramatic Salary Drop
In the 2019-20 season, Johnny Boychuk’s base salary and cap hit will be $6 million. But in the 2020-21 season, his base salary drops by almost 80 percent to $1.25 million. With a $2.75 million signing bonus in 2020-21, his total salary is $4 million. But he still carries that $6 million cap hit.
*All dollar figures are in millions
**Data taken from Boychuk’s Capfriendly page
For a team trying to make the salary floor, Johnny Boychuk’s deal can be an enticing contract to get a hold of. Even if there are still two years left on his deal after the 2019-20 season. Here’s why.
Teams looking to make the salary floor need players with high cap hits, with low payouts, and on expiring deals. Boychuk’s AAV is $6 million but his actual payout is lower than that in the two remaining years after 2019-20.
With $5.5 million in signing bonuses and $2.5 million in base salary, he’s owed a total of $8 million, or 67 percent of his $12 million cumulative cap hit over his last two years.
If the Islanders can trade him after July 1, 2020, when signing bonuses are paid, the team taking him on will only be on the books for his base salary and a signing bonus of $2.75 in the last year of his deal. In total his new team would be on the hook for $5.25 million or 44 percent of his cumulative $12 million cap hit.
It Could Happen
The Ottawa Senators just did something similar with a trade for Artem Anisimov. The former Chicago Blackhawks forward carries a $4.5 million cap hit over the next two years of his deal.
*All dollar figures in millions
**Data taken from Anisimov’s Cap Friendly page
Because the Ottawa Senators acquired Anisimov after July 1, they don’t have to pay his $2 million signing bonus this year. That means, in total Pierre Dorion and the Sens are paying him $5 million over two years. Or 56 percent of his $9 million two-year cumulative cap hit.
A team acquiring Boychuk’s deal would be on the hook for less.
Boychuk has a modified no-move clause in his contract that allows him to list eight teams he can be traded to. That will be a significant burden in moving him.
But with the youth coming up in the system such as Noah Dobson and Bode Wilde, both righties like Boychuk, the veteran won’t get anywhere near the playing time he’s used to. That could be key to having him waive his no-move.
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
Of course, there’s an argument to be made that 2019-20’s Artem Anisimov could be better than whatever 2020-21 Johnny Boychuk’s will be. But last season Boychuk was still one of the Islanders better defenders. Even at the age of 37, Boychuk could do a job. Combined with the structure of his contract, Boychuk could be a desirable asset next season as the Isles look to make room to sign some of their young core.