Islanders buyout tiers for current roster: Not many good options

Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders
Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello of the New Your Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Looking for buyout candidates on the New York Islanders roster isn’t easy, there aren’t many good options.

$8.905 million. That’s all the space the New York Islanders will have going into the 2020-21 season. That doesn’t include pending RFAs Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews. Like just about every team in the NHL the Isles have cap issues going into 2020-21.

Finding space to sign those three RFAs and maybe bringing a prospect is going to be tough for Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders.

Lou is going to have to look at every option to try and offload some salary somewhere to make some sort of space. We know that amnesty (or compliance) buyouts are not going to be something GMs can use so that leaves a few options:

  1. Trades
  2. Bury in the AHL
  3. Long-Term Injury Reserve
  4. Buyout

I wanted to look exclusively at the buyout option. To do so, I used CapFriendly’s buyout calculator.

I looked at how much cap space is freed-up by buying out any contract on the current team and placed them into tiers

  • Tons of space: $3+ million in cap space
  • Some space: $1 – $2 million in cap space
  • No space: <$1 million in cap space

I only looked at home much money comes off the cap in 2020-21. The purpose here was to look at who could (if anyone) create considerable cap space if their contract was bought out in the upcoming buyout window?

Some buyouts get better in later years. Like Semyon Varlamov for example. This is just an example, but a buyout in 2020 on the Isles starter would save $2.444 million in 2020-21, but if the Islanders bought it out in 2021-22 they would save $4.444 million in 2021.

With the delayed season, the offseason buyout window has been moved to September 25th to October 8th (or six days after the Cup finals).