The New York Islanders are the only remaining team in the NHL who hasn’t signed anyone during free agency. When will that change?
“If you have the time, take it.” Islanders General Manager, Lou Lamoriello lives by those words and it’s been pretty evident during this free agency period. As of writing this, three days into free agency, the Isles are the only team who have yet to sign anyone in free agency.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone repeat Lou’s favorite phrase I think I’d be able to retire from the blog game forever, and move out on a beach somewhere, never having to look at CapFriendly again.
The issue the Islanders are having is with the cap. Right now, they have $8.9 million in cap space (yes, they can go over it by 10%) to sign Ryan Pulock, Devon Toews, and Mathew Barzal.
While the Isles haven’t yet signed anyone, they also have yet to move some cap off of the books. Everyone knows that the Isles have to clear space so I can only imagine what the asking price must be on those cap hits.
Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Andrew Ladd, and Leo Komarov are all candidates to be moved to free up cap space, nothing outside of some rumors about Boychuk and Ottawa have materialized yet.
In all likelihood, it’s going to continue to stay quiet. As we know so well, Lamoriello doesn’t like to rush into anything when it comes to making moves and he holds his cards close to the vest when operating trades and free agency.
From the fan’s perspective it’s super annoying, and starting to get a little stressful. I think it’s completely reasonable to say you trust Lou but are simultaneously a little worried. That’s the boat that I’m in right now.
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Eventually, something has to give. I just wouldn’t bet on it happening anytime soon based on everything we’ve seen over the last two years.