Christian Arnold of NYI Hockey Now: The New York Islanders don’t really have much salary cap space to dip into the free agent market as they still need to re-sign restricted free agents in Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock.
If they were able to fit in a free agent, former Ottawa Senators forward Anthony Duclair could be an option.
Duclair wasn’t qualified by the Senators and he didn’t want the ‘substantial raise’ they were offering him. There have been a few teams to show interest, but he remains available.
Would the Islanders be able to sign him to a one-year deal around $1 or $2 million?
Arthur Staple of The Athletic: Will the New York Islanders be able to shed some salary to better fit in the contracts for Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock?
Trade candidates include Johnny Boychuk (two years left at a $6 million cap hit), Andrew Ladd (three years left at a $5.5 million cap hit – buyout proof), Thomas Hickey (two years left at a $2.5 million cap hit) and Leo Komarov (two years left at a $3 million cap hit).
The Islanders are likely going to have to attach sweeteners to deals to get a team to take on the contracts.
Not a lot of teams have the cap space to take on the contracts. Options could include the Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators and the New Jersey Devils.
It’s believed that the Islanders have deals in place for Cory Schneider, Andy Greene and Matt Martin but they haven’t been filed with the league yet. The Tampa Bay Lightning are in the same boat with Pat Maroon and Luke Schenn.
The Devils signing Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to an offer sheet makes a lot of sense if he’s looking for a big payday.
The Islanders don’t have to be worried about not being able to match a Barzal offer sheet as they have the space available to do so, and the time to move out a salary or two this offseason. Barzal would also want to go to that team. Detroit or New Jersey seem unlikely. The Nashville Predators or New York Rangers could be candidates but those teams may not be interested.