Friedman: NY Islanders want to keep Mayfield "very badly," don't know if they can

New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Two
New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Two / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

The NY Islanders are in salary cap hell. They have just a touch over $5 million in salary cap space heading into July 1st and seven contracts to get figured out. One of those contracts is defenseman Scott Mayfield. The 6-foot-5, 223 lb defenseman has been a steady stay at home presence for the Islanders for the last few seasons now. The problem is, the home grown talent may have priced himself off of Long Island.

The 30-year-old defenseman was a bit of a late bloomer, but he eventually came on for the Islanders. He's a large, right-shot defenseman and those don't just grow on trees. If he gets to unrestricted free agency, he'll be a hot commodity, espcially since the projected No.1 free agent in Damon Severson is already off the board after he was signed, then traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Sportsnet Insider Elliotte Friedman shared an update on the current status between the pending free agent defenseman and the Islanders.

“I’ve heard the Islanders want to keep him very badly,” Friedman explained on the latest episode of 32 Thoughts the Podcast. “They just don’t know if they can.”

When Lamoriello finally addressed the media two months after the Islanders were eliminated from the playoffs, he was short and to the point about his desire to retain Mayfield.

"We'd certainly like Scott back," Lamoriello said.

Mayfield's one saving grace could be whatever the future is with Josh Bailey. According to Lamoriello, he's not going to allow loyalty stand in the way of improving his team and made it pretty clear Baily's time on Long Island is up.

"Loyalty will never get in the way of impeding progress," Lamoriello explained. "Josh and I have, I think, a man-to-man relationship as far as honesty. We will work with him to help him. My priority is doing what's best for the team"

Bailey counts for $5 million against the cap despite only costing $3.5 million in real dollars. If Lamoriello can figure out how to get the veteran forwards cap hit off the books, he just might be able to keep Mayfield. He'll have to play his cards right, however, because there's not a pending free agent the Islanders have right now that Lamoriello stated he doesn't want to keep.