Lamoriello Wants to Keep NY Islanders Impending Free Agents

New York Islanders Training Camp
New York Islanders Training Camp / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Not much came from NY Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello's press conference this afternoon as expected - but one thing he made clear was his desire to bring soon-to-be free agents Scott Mayfield, Semyon Varlamov, and Pierre Engvall back to the organization.

Our intention is to look at the people that we know first and feel we'd like back," said Lamoriello on his impending free agents. " We certainly would like Scott back and certainly Engvall, Zach, and Varlamov. Right on the record. They are priorities."

With all four set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, it will be difficult to have them all back in the blue and orange next season. With only $5.3M currently available in cap space and the cap ceiling estimated to rise only $1M, there's little room to work out deals with all four.

Mayfield is the longest tenured Islander of the four, seeing action in parts of nine seasons with the franchise, but the the 30-year-old is yet to collect a big pay day. Coming off a five-year deal averaging only $1.45M a season, Mayfield is set to earn a contract possibly triple his previous salary. While Mayfield has made it obvious he'd like to remain on Long Island, setting his family up for life with a nice pay day may be too difficult to pass up.

“I love it here. My wife loves it here. We’ve kind of set up, we have a house now,” Mayfield told The NY Post ahead of a January matchup with the Montreal Canadiens. “We have friends outside of hockey. We love the community. We love what we’re able to do. We have season tickets that we’re able to have military members at games. So we’ve definitely ingrained ourselves in the community."

Semyon Varlamov has been an integral part of Ilya Sorokin's development in the NHL, not to mention backstopping the Isles to consecutive appearances in the Conference Finals. Varly may agree to remain with the team in a backup role but may be offered a starter's position elsewhere, forcing him to make a decision.

Acquired at the trade deadline, Engvall gave the Islanders a dimension of speed missing since the injury to Mat Barzal. Playing alongside Kyle Palmieri and Brock Nelson, the three became the Islanders' top line down the stretch.

"We'll take one thing at a time," said Lamoriello after acquiring Engvall in February. " He's certainly an individual that you'd like to keep in your organization with the style he plays and his speed. I can't overemphasize his speed."

There is no secret that Lamoriello wants Parise back, as the two have formed a bond since their days in New Jersey. Parise has made it known that the only options he is considering are returning to the Islanders or retirement. His production last season made his one of the best "bang for your buck" players in the NHL.

"He's just taking a step back and looking at what's best for him and his family and making a decision," Lamoriello said. " We certainly want him back. We've told him that. We'll encourage him any way we possibly can.