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Islanders: Burying Contracts vs Trading Contracts For Cap Relief

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 have to figure out their cap situation for this season. Would they be able to get by with burying contracts?

Another day writing about the cap on the website. I know it must be getting tiresome but it’s important to discuss the implications for the 2021 season because the New York Islanders still have very little wiggle room.

As it stands at this moment, the team has $8.9 million and they still have to sign Ryan Pulock and Mathew Barzal. You’d have to imagine that $8.9 million won’t be enough to get both of those guys signed.

After the Devon Toews deal, Islander fans rightfully assumed that trades were coming. Well, the Islanders have yet to make any kind of move so I wanted to look at if it would be possible for the Isles to just bury contracts instead.

If the Islanders put Andrew Ladd, Thomas Hickey, Leo Komarov, and Johnny Boychuk in the minors that would bring them from $8.9 million to $13.2 million, clearing up an additional $4.3 million to work with.

If Pulock and Barzal both sign for $6 million AAV against the cap, then that would leave $1.2 million of wiggle room. Keep in mind that’s without the additions of Andy Greene and Matt Martin which still seem highly likely.

Unfortunately, I don’t see a scenario in which the Islanders could get by with burying those contracts. Adding Ladd to LTIR while burying the other three? Now that makes it a little more interesting.

That would essentially open up $17.6 million in cap space if they did that which seems much more doable. Assuming the combination of Barzal and Pulock falls between $12 million and $14 million that could allow for somewhere between $5.6 million and $3.6 million to get guys like Martin and Greene signed.

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Ideally, you probably want to trade one of those guys to clear the entirety of the cap hit but if you can’t the best option would likely be Hickey, Komarov, and Boychuk to the AHL and Ladd to LTIR.

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