Islanders five takeaways from 2021-22 roster: Lou Lamoriello the genius

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders attends the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders attends the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The final roster is in. Late on Sunday the New York Islanders officially 2021-22 roster was leaked….released? The Islanders didn’t officially announce the roster yet, but it is available, somewhere.

I’m sure, bright and early tomorrow morning, the Islanders will have a post on their website officially announcing the roster for the 2021-22 season. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait that long to go over the roster. We already know it now.

So here are five takeaways from the roster.

Five takeaways from New York Islanders 2021-22 roster

First and foremost let’s get to the actual roster before I dive into the takeaways:

Forwards (13)

  • Anders Lee
  • Mathew Barzal
  • Kyle Palmieri
  • Anthony Beauvillier
  • Brock Nelson
  • Josh Bailey
  • Zach Parise
  • Jean-Gabriel Pageau
  • Oliver Wahlstrom
  • Ross Johnston
  • Casey Cizikas
  • Cal Clutterbuck
  • Leo Komarov

Defense (8)

  • Adam Pelech
  • Ryan Pulock
  • Zdeno Chara
  • Noah Dobson
  • Andy Greene
  • Scott Mayfield
  • Sebastian Aho
  • Thomas Hickey

Goalies (2)

  • Ilya Sorokin
  • Jakub Skarek

IR (1)

  • Semyon Varlamov

Takeaway 1: Where is Kieffer Bellows?

The Isles first-round pick in 2016 isn’t on the roster. But he’s also not in Bridgeport. Remember, he’d have to pass through waivers first before going to the minors, and that didn’t happen yet. So where is he?

The contract hasn’t been filed yet.

By all accounts, Kieffer Bellows is signed but the deal hasn’t been made official yet. So there’s no need to include him on the roster and mess up the very delicate cap balancing act that the Isles put up for today’s deadline.

We still don’t know where Bellows will end up – whether he’ll stay with the Islanders or head to Bridgeport – but don’t worry if you didn’t see his name on the list, you didn’t read it wrong.

Takeaway 2: Tight to the cap

According to CapFriendly, the Islanders cap hit is $87,493,355 million. That’s well above the $81.5 million ceiling, but with Johnny Boychuk’s $6 million cap hit on LTIR they can effectively go up to $87.5 million.

That means the Isles are $6,645 under their cap ceiling. That’s is indeed very tight.

Of course, the Isles can still create some space for themselves if they need it. Thomas Hickey for example isn’t likely going to play. Pushing his $2.5 million cap hit to the minors ($1.125 million will be “buried”), creates some space.

It would also allow the Isles to add a player to the roster. Hello Kieffer Bellows.

Takeaway 3: Skarek?

So this is Lou Lamoriello doing his thing yet again. Jakub Skarek is on the roster, but he isn’t expected to stay there. Skarek’s $764,167 cap hit is the reason he’s on the roster.

You have to think that Cory Schneider‘s contract will be a league-minimum $750,000 deal like Zach Parise and Zdeno Chara. That extra $14,167 on Skarek’s deal matters. Remember, the Isles needed to get as close to the dull $6 million from Boychuk’s LTIR money.

Takeaway 4: No surprise appearances

This roster looks just like you would have figured it would look like when camp opened. There’s no Robin Salo or no Erik Gustafsson. Anatolii Golyshev isn’t on the roster nor is someone like Austin Czarnik or even Richard Panik for that fact.

The Isles playing roster seems pretty…un-surprising. In a good way.

This roster is deep and should take that necessary step forward to, hopefully, a championship.

Takeaway 5: Lou Lamoriello is a genius

Lou was able to navigate the cap, to within a few thousand dollars, not lose anyone for free through waivers, and still hasn’t even filled all of his contracts! He even threw everyone for a jog by only filling the Michael Dal Colle and Anatolii Golyshev contracts after the filing deadline.

The real genius seems to come from the later contract.

Golyshev was loaned to Bridgeport without going through waivers. How? How does a 26-year-old not go through waivers when being assigned to the minors? It all comes down to article 13.4 in the CBA.

(I want to thank @MouserGuru, @PhilzFacts, and @unflinshing for helping me sort this one out.)

The article in the CBA says the following about 25+-year-old players and being exempt for waivers:

A Player 25 years old or older who plays in one (1) or more Professional Games in any season shall be exempt from Regular Waivers for the remainder of that season. -Article 13.4 NHL CBA

A “Professional Game” would be an NHL, AHL, and even KHL games. But – and here’s the beauty of it all – because Golyshev hasn’t yet played a “professional game” while under an NHL contract (remember he didn’t sign until March 2021) he’s still waiver exempt this season.

Incredible move by Lou and his staff.