Going over Islanders four offseason priorities

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey
New York Islanders v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Manage the Cap

While Lou's primary focus is on improving the playing roster, he can't go all "treat yo' self" and buy whatever he wants without considering the price. He's only got ~$13.5 million to work with. And that's without giving extensions to Dobson, Bellows, and Salo, three players we expect to have spots on the roster next year (or at least compete for one for Bellows and Salo).

Lou has to manage the cap so he can (1) bring in or sign the players he wants through free agency and also (2) have enough space to re-sign the guys he wants to keep.

How he achieves this will be very interesting.

I imagine someone like Josh Bailey might have to be moved. Shedding $5 million in salary would be massive for the Islanders attempts to re-sign their RFAs and have enough cap space to bring in the players they need elsewhere around the roster.

If that's not enough space does he move Anthony Beauvillier? Likely in a deal to land either a top-line winger or top4 defenseman? Probably.

There's still a possibility that Varlamov is moved, but with his trade protection (16 team no-trade list), it's hard to see him moving.

If the Islanders need to shed even more cap space either Beauvillier or Bailey will likely be moved. Maybe even both. That's how Lou could manage the cap to get everything he wants.