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Islanders: How more salary cap space can still be made

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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With $3.905 million on the cap, the New York Islanders still need to make cap space, even after Johnny Boychuk’s announcement. How?

The New York Islanders have $3.905 million in cap space under the $81.5 million ceiling and can still rely on getting some space from Johnny Boychuk‘s $6 million cap hit. But as it stands today, the Islanders have at most $6.001 million in space even with Boychuk’s LTIR money.

That $6.001 million isn’t likely going to be enough space to re-sign Mathew Barzal and get some depth options like Matt Martin and Andy Greene under contract as well.

More space is going to have to be opened up in order for the Isles to complete all the business they want to complete and fall under the salary cap.

LTIR

Yesterday, my colleague Matt O’Leary wrote about how Andrew Ladd could be another player placed on long-term injury reserve. And Matt is of course absolutely right, using Ladd’s $5.5 cap hit to create some more space would certainly help the Islanders.

And while we didn’t expect Johnny Boychuk to be placed on LTIR after ending his career, we certainly expect Ladd to hit LTIR.

But what if he doesn’t? What are the other options that the Islanders have to free up space?

Trade

Trading players would certainly free up salary cap, but some of the assets the Islanders have to trade arent’ enticing any team in the NHL. Boychuk was shopped heavily by Lou Lamoriello and there were no takers. So unless the Islanders are planning to move another valuable player (like Devon Toews), the trade route isn’t likely.

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Burying Deals

The Islanders have already used this option in the past and will certainly use it again. Players like Andrew Ladd (assuming he doesn’t do like Boychuk and “retire”), Thomas Hickey, and Leo Komarov could all find themselves in the minors for 2020-21.

By doing so the Isles could free up to $1.075 million in cap space per deal. If all three pass waivers and move to the AHL, the Isles could add another $3.225 million on the cap. With the $3.905 million they already have, that’s $7.13 million without tapping into Johnny Boychuk’s LTIR deal.

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