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Islanders: Ilya Sorokin’s Impact On 2020-2021 Cap Space

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25: Ilya Sorokin #31 of Olympic Athlete from Russia warms up before the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game against Germany on day sixteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 25, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25: Ilya Sorokin #31 of Olympic Athlete from Russia warms up before the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game against Germany on day sixteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 25, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Not only did the Islanders sign Ilya Sorokin to an ELC for this year, they also gave him a $2 million deal for next season as well.

What a couple of days its been for the New York Islanders. Yesterday, we found out that Ilya Sorokin signed his ELC and now today we learned that Sorokin signed a $2 million one-year deal for 2020-2021.

What I wanted to do today was look at the cap situation now for the Isles with the $2 million added from Ilya Sorokin’s contract. Since the cap is expected to remain the same for 2020-2021, at $81.5 million, as it stands today, the Isles have $8.12 million in cap space for next year.

The issue is that the Isles have three very important RFA deals to get done this offseason. Devon Toews, Ryan Pulock, and Mathew Barzal all need new deals and $8 million surely isn’t going to cut it.

We also know that compliance buyouts aren’t an option, so Lou Lamoriello is definitely going to have to get creative. Let’s assume that the Isles are going to need $18-$20 million give or take for the three RFAs.

That means the Isles are going to have to stumble into at minimum $10 million in cap space. Perhaps that’s trading guys like Johnny Boychuk and/or Nick Leddy. Maybe Thomas Hickey can get moved with two more years left on his deal at $2.5 million.

The point here is that the Isles are going to have to get creative when coming up with cap space. Before Sorokin signed, we knew it was going to be tricky, but adding the $2 million to the mix makes it that much more difficult.

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Don’t get it twisted, I love that Sorokin is here and the $2 million price tag is about right on the money to where I expected a one-year deal to be. I’m just very curious to see what Lou’s plan is for this offseason, he’s got his work cut out for him.

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