How can the NY Islanders make a trade for Alex DeBrincat fit under the salary cap?

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Why the Islanders Can Offer Term

Ilya Sorokin
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Mat Barzal, Bo Horvat, Adam Pelech, Ryan Pulock, and Ilya Sorokin are all locked up through at least 2029-30 (as are Mayfield and Engvall, but for much less money), meaning we have a decent idea of their cap situation for the foreseeable future and can confidently say that term for DeBrincat shouldn't be a problem.

Let's look at the future first. DeBrincat's next contract will likely be somewhere in the $7m to $9m range. Some players take a slightly lower AAV in exchange for more term, but it's unlikely that DeBrincat would do that, since he has the option of becoming a UFA in a few years (when the salary cap will be much higher). I'm guessing that a longterm deal for DeBrincat would be closer to $9 million per year. Let's say, for the sake of the hypothetical, that it's $8.5m, but keep in mind that a $500k difference either way won't affect the overall argument much.

Essentially nobody comes off the books after next year - just Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin, who will both be replaced by slightly cheaper fourth-liners. Sebastian Aho and Simon Holmstrom will also need new contracts, but it's hard to imagine either them getting a massive raise. In other words, the Islanders' cap situation in 2024-25 will be fundamentally the same as it is right now, with one important difference - the salary cap will be higher, by around $4 million.

The cap is expected to continue rising by roughly $4m per season for the foreseeable future (the only reason it isn't now is because revenues were much lower than expected during the COVID-19 pandemic and shortened seasons, problems which are hopefully in the past). Unlike many teams, the Islanders don't have any incredible young prospects who will likely need huge raises soon. Having DeBrincat locked down for 8 years doesn't really matter - if they can afford him this year, they can afford him in the future.

So, can they afford him this year?