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Islanders UFAs: Whats the story on all 2021 unrestricted free agents

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - JUNE 09: Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New York Islanders scores at 16:07 of the second period against Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Second Round of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on June 09, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - JUNE 09: Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New York Islanders scores at 16:07 of the second period against Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Second Round of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on June 09, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Regular Roster Players

Kyle Palmieri

Keeping Kyle Palmieri would be fantastic. And both sides want their relationship to continue. But making it work would be…difficult.

Again, keeping the 20-25 goal scorer would be a huge upgrade for the Islanders, even if he plays strictly on the third line with Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Add him to a power play that also features Andres Lee and the Isles man advantage could be downright dangerous.

But the Islanders currently have $5.786 million in cap space for 2021-22 without counting the Boychuk LTIR money. With Beauvillier, Pelech, and Sorokin still to sign most of that money is accounted for.

Now things can change, and if they do expect the Isles to bring Palmieri back in.

Travis Zajac

It wasn’t clear during the exit interviews that Travis Zajac wanted to return. Of course, the Islanders like him and I’m sure given the opportunity Zajac might want to return. But I don’t see an opportunity being available for him with the Isles.

There’s no doubt that Zajac will command far less than his $5.75 million cap hit from last year but the Islanders already have enough bottom six players that they won’t need Zajac’s services.

Casey Cizikas

There’s no doubt that the Islanders want to keep Casey Cizikas. Lou Lamoriello was very clear about that in his end-of-year presser. Stating he’ll do everything possible to keep Cizikas. And I have no doubt they will.

Cizikas can certainly get a bit more money on the open market, but where else will he have a similar role as the heart and soul of the team and have a chance to win like he would with the Islanders?

I don’t expect him to be signed on July 28, but I can absolutely see a repeat of the Matt Martin situation from last year, with an agreement on a deal that isn’t made official until later in the offseason.

Andy Greene

Andy Greene didn’t have a great playoff and while he wants to come back, I don’t believe the Islanders reciprocate that. As Lou indicated in his presser, there are younger players knocking on the door. Which makes Greene expendable.

Braydon Coburn

Coburn was brought in as defensive cover in case something happened (like an injury) during the playoffs. Nothing happened thankfully. Coburn’s Islanders career will end at three games.

Cory Schneider

He came to the Island to get another chance at an NHL role but never saw the ice even when the situation called for it. Could he serve as a backup for Sorokin if Varlamov leaves? Maybe? But again Barry Trotz didn’t want to play him so it’s a stretch to think he’ll see consistent time in 21-22.

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