The New York Islanders start their 2021 playoff campaign on Sunday, May 16, in Pittsburgh. This playoff run could be the last stand for some key veterans.
The New York Islanders have certain key veterans who after this playoff run could be elsewhere come next season. This list includes Casey Cizikas, Nick Leddy, Scott Mayfield, Leo Komarov, and Andy Greene.
Cizikas is an unrestricted free agent this summer. There is no question that Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz want him back but will the Islanders current salary cap situation stop them from re-signing him?
Cizikas is a terrific defensive center who plays 13-14 minutes a night. Trotz has signaled him out many times calling the “Islander Identity”. But what will Cizikas get on the open market in terms of years and annual average value?
Leddy & Mayfield
Believe it or not, come next it’s a real possibility that Leddy or Mayfield could be elsewhere. Two factors in play here, the first being the upcoming Expansion Draft. The Isles can only protect three defensemen and Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech will be two of these slots.
That leaves one spot for either Leddy or Mayfield. The Isles could make a trade with Seattle but that will cost heavy draft capital, which the blue and orange have traded the last two years.
One option is Lamoriello moves the 30-year old Leddy and his $5.5 million cap hit for draft picks (Leddy is signed for 1 more season). Another possibility is the Isles deal Mayfield who is signed for two more seasons with a measly cap hit of $1.45 million. If Lamoriello was going to move Mayfield landing a young forward in return would be ideal.
Komarov & Greene
The Isles would love to keep Uncle Leo around, there is no doubt about that. But given their cap situation and the fact that Komarov has a $3 million cap hit for next season (signed for 1 more year) if they can find a landing spot for him he has to be moved.
Greene will turn 39 come the beginning of next season. With top defensive prospects, Samuel Bolduc and Robin Salo just about ready to start their NHL careers this could be the end of the line for the veteran blue liner.
There are changes every season for all NHL clubs but some Islander veterans could be having their last dance with the blue and orange.