Islanders rumour round-up: Johnny Boychuk, Mathew Barzal, and more

Johnny Boychuk #55 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Johnny Boychuk #55 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

What’s the latest rumor buzz surrounding the New York Islanders? Here’s a round-up of what’s going on.

The offseason leading up to the 2020-21 season is a long and weird one for every team in the NHL. Typically, on day six after free agency teams have done much of their business. Including the New York Islanders.

Over the last two years, Lou Lamoriello has usually made a signing or two and is basically closing up shop for the next month or so. But six days past the opening of the 2020 free agency period, the Islanders still have a ton of work to do.

Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock still don’t have deals. Pulock is headed for an arbitration hearing scheduled for November 6. They also have to make cap space in order to accommodate those signings or any other depth moves they want to make.

So here’s a round-up of where the Isles are with respect to moving cap space, signing Mathew Barzal, and what it’ll take to get Patrik Laine from Winnipeg.

Johnny Boychuk

With those two second-round picks the Islanders picked up for Devon Toews the Islanders should have enough to move Johnny Boychuk. Should being the operative word here. The last update on any Boychuk trade came three days ago. That’s a long time to wait after acquiring those picks from Colorado.

It took a 2021 second-round pick to move Marc Staal‘s $5.7 million cap hit for 20-21 to the Detroit Red Wings. It might take a bit more to move Boychuk who is owed $5.25 million in actual dollars over the next two years. And that’s likely why things haven’t progressed yet. There’s also the matter of Boychuk’s eight-team trade list.

Mathew Barzal Signing

According to the latest rumor, the Isles and Mathew Barzal have some distance in negotiations, although the two sides are not too far off.

There should be no reason to panic with the Barzal contract negotiations. The Islanders didn’t move out Devon Toews (and eventually Johnny Boychuk) if they don’t plan on doing everything they can to keep their start center.

Patrik Laine

The Jets are still looking to move the 22-year-old sniper, but with the acquisition of Paul Statsny they have a single need in the trade market and that’s a top-pair defender. Something the Islanders don’t have to spare.

With Devon Toews being traded for movable assets in order to eventually make a cap dump trade, the Islanders don’t even have a top-four defenseman to spare in any trade. A Patrik Laine trade to the Islanders was always a dream rather than a real possibility, but with the moves both teams have made so far, it seems absolutely impossible.