The ultimate list of unrestricted free agents the Islanders can steal from their Metropolitan Division rivals

The New York Islanders may not extend their season into the final weeks of April, and it’s clear they need help in free agency this offseason.

Apr 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) skates with
Apr 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) skates with / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Islanders are not in the best position to add talent to a lineup that needs it if they want to return to the playoffs in 2024-25, assuming they don’t win more games than those ahead of them in the standings at the moment and surpass them in points. That could always happen, but it still puts them in quite an interesting situation for next season. 

The Isles are one of a few teams that clearly have enough talent to contend as a wild card, but they don’t have enough for anyone to seriously consider them for a deep playoff run. But if general manager Lou Lamoriello added a star player to the lineup on an extended contract, it would change a lot. 

But here’s the problem - the Islanders have such little cap space at the moment that there is no possible way they would have enough to sign a potential star pending free agent in their own division - per the theme in this article - unless Lamoriello was interested in moving around a few players. 

Islanders could have enough room to sign one big-name free agent

But Lamoriello should also acknowledge that his team has a solid core, with Brock Nelson, Bo Horvat, Kyle Palmieri, Ilya Sorokin, Mathew Barzal, Noah Dobson, Ryan Pulock, and Adam Pelech. So why not move someone like the aging Casey Cizikis, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, or Anders Lee, and make a move to sign a star free agent who could help this team in scoring?

Doing so would give Lamoriello more money to spend in free agency, but it’s also worth mentioning Pageau (16-team) and Lee (15-team starting in 2024-25)have no-trade clauses, so in some circumstances, doing so would require them to waive that clause. 

However, teams figuring to contend that could use some physical players like Cizikis, Pageau, and Lee may be willing to make a deal if they have the space - especially if the Isles retained some of their salaries?

And that could very well open things up for the first two free agents the Isles can take from their Metropolitan Division rivals. Should hardly any player movement occur, never fear because there are also “consolation players” on this list, too. 


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