The NY Islanders and the rest of NHL get some extra salary cap relief

2018 NHL Draft - Round One
2018 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The NHL announced today that the official salary cap limit for the 2024-25 season is set at $88M - higher than the initial projected $87.7M. The $4.5M increase is the league's largest since before the pandemic.

While $300K may not seem like much, it could be the little extra needed to put teams over the top in terms of signing a free agent.

According to Cap Friendly, the NY Islanders now have $6,587,500 in cap space heading into free agency on July 1st. But before that date, Lou Lamoriello has buisness to attend to trying to re-sign some of his own players.

Simon Holmstrom and Kyle MacLean are both restricted free agents Lamoriello will want to keep in the organization. Both players should be affordable as Holmstrom became a full-time NHLer this past year, and MacLean only just emerged during the second half of the season.

One would believe Mike Reilly is the one unrestricted free agent Lamoriello may hope to bring back. Turning 31 before the start of next season, Reilly became a crucial part of the Isles blue line after he was claimed off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

After signing those three players (if Lamoriello elects to do so), that should likely leave the Islanders somewhere between $2M-$3.5M in cap space heading into free agency. With a need along the wing besides Mat Barzal and Bo Horvat, that doesn't leave much space for improvement. Lamoriello will either look to make what he calls a "hockey trade," or, attempt to dump some salary using one of the second-round picks he acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Having a little bit of extra salary cap space is great, but it also benefits every team in the league, not just the Islanders. No matter the situation, Lamoriello may have to make multiple moves to acquire a single player he's targetting.