Editorials

Islanders: Devils Can Help With Cap Clearing

By Matt O'Leary
Feb 19, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) before the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 19, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) before the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New York Islanders still need some help clearing room. The Devils can help out with that due to their $18 million in cap space.

The Islanders have $8.9 million in cap space and have to clear even more. With the Mat Barzal and Ryan Pulock contracts on the horizon, the Isles can’t afford to keep everything the same with the current state of the roster.

Two candidates to get moved are Johnny Boychuk and veteran forward Leo Komarov. While moving cap has been tough, the Isles could potentially find one home for the both of them, New Jersey.

The Devils currently have $18.3 million in cap space but only have nine forwards signed and five defensemen. Honestly, both of those players would be upgrades to the blue line and bottom six for Jersey.

On the fourth line, CapFriendly has Brett Seney and Nick Merkley penciled in on the wings. Both guys combined for six games in the league last year, they could use some consistency on the line to go along with Pavel Zacha.

Komarov is perfect for a fourth-line role. He had 26 points in 2018-2019 with the Islanders and 14 in 48 games last season, a pace of 24 over a full 82 game season. Uncle Leo would bring a physical and veteran presence to the rebuilding Devils.

As for Boychuk, he would fit perfectly on the third pair. Right now, Connor Carrick is slated in on that pair next to Colton White. White is a 22-year-old with only nine NHL games under his belt. Who better to work with than a veteran and reliable Boychuk?

So what would a deal look like?

You know those two second-rounders you just got for Devon Toews? Put those in the deal and take back future considerations. Now, you free yourself up of an additional $9 million and can add another $5.5 million to that by putting Andrew Ladd on LTIR.

That $8.9 would then turn into $23.4 million to sign Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, Matt Martin, and Andy Greene. Figure for the four of them somewhere in the ballpark of $16 million, which would leave Lou Lamoriello with $7.4 million.

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Did I just solve the Islanders cap issues? A rebuilding team gets two picks in the second round and a couple of stop-gap veterans to help fill out the roster, while the Islanders get cap space. It’s a win-win.

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