Navigating the salary cap is one of the more important tasks for any GM. Teams that can avert total cap chaos by walking the tightrope of inking players to deals that match their value (or compensate for future value without breaking the bank) remain successful. Those that don’t see struggles and front office changes.
ISLANDERS is a minimalist strategy game about building cities on colorful islands. Explore an infinite number of ever-changing new lands, expand your settlements from sprawling villages to vast cities and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. New York Islanders. Current Cap Hit: $77,594,163 (under the $81.5MM Upper Limit) Entry-Level Contracts. D Noah Dobson (two years, $894K) Potential Bonuses Dobson: $537.5K. Dobson was a victim of the NHL-CHL agreement that prevented him from being eligible to play in the AHL. The New York Islanders had just three players crack the 50 point margin in 2016-2017. Here are five players likely to do it in 2017-2018. John Tavares, Anders Lee and Josh Bailey were the only New. Graziano: Which Islanders Prospects Have Chance To Crack Lineup? By Andy Graziano. WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York. June 16, 2019 1:00 pm. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins.
Islanders is a small city builder game that focuses on placing buildings, organizing things properly, and a zen experience that doesn’t include stress or competition. Then crack the code.
PHR will look at every NHL team and give a thorough look at their cap situation heading into the 2020-21 season. This will focus more on players who are regulars on the roster versus those who may find themselves shuttling between the AHL and NHL. All cap figures are courtesy of CapFriendly.
New York Islanders
Current Cap Hit:$77,594,163 (under the $81.5MM Upper Limit)
D Noah Dobson (two years, $894K)
Dobson was a victim of the NHL-CHL agreement that prevented him from being eligible to play in the AHL. He clearly had done all he needed to at the major junior level but he also wasn’t quite ready for primetime duty in the top league either. That might actually help the Islanders when it comes to his second deal as while he burned the first season of his contract, he wasn’t an impact player by any stretch. He’s undoubtedly a big part of their future plans but he’s unlikely to break the bank with his next contract as things stand.
One Year Remaining, Non-Entry-Level
F Anthony Beauvillier ($2.1MM, RFA)
F Casey Cizikas ($3.35MM, UFA)
F Michael Dal Colle ($700K, RFA)
D Adam Pelech ($1.6MM, RFA)
G Ilya Sorokin ($2MM, RFA)
Cizikas has been a very effective energy player for several years. However, this is a hefty price tag for a player that still spends some time on the fourth line and rarely sees action in the top six. These types of players – while still effective – are going to feel the squeeze of the flattened Upper Limit so it’s hard to see him coming close to what he’s making now on his next deal let alone a raise. Beauvillier had a career year last season and has become a consistent secondary scorer. Between that and arbitration rights, he could have a shot at doubling that price tag if he takes another step forward in 2021-22. Dal Colle had a limited role last year which only earned him a one-way contract. He’ll be owed a minimum-salary raise at a minimum next offseason but unless he plays his way into a bigger role, he probably won’t get much more than that.
Pelech is coming off an injury-plagued year but emerged as an under-the-radar top-four defenseman. If he maintains that role, he’ll be well-positioned to earn a decent raise and with him being one year away from UFA eligibility, GM Lou Lamoriello will likely be looking to buy out a UFA-eligible season or two as well.
Sorokin has yet to play in the NHL but managed to get this high of a salary after burning his entry-level contract while being ineligible to play in the postseason bubble. He enters this season as the backup which may limit his short-term earnings upside but at the same time, he’s their goalie of the future and is only two years away from being eligible for unrestricted free agency. He could be one of the more interesting RFA cases next summer as a result.
Two Years Remaining
D Johnny Boychuk ($6MM, UFA)
F Cal Clutterbuck ($3.5MM, UFA)
D Thomas Hickey ($2.5MM, UFA)
F Ross Johnston ($1MM, UFA)
F Leo Komarov ($3MM, UFA)
D Nick Leddy ($5.5MM, UFA)
D Ryan Pulock ($5MM, UFA)
At one point, Clutterbuck was part of New York’s vaunted fourth line, a unit that is now more overpaid than it is vaunted. They’re still effective but this is another overpayment in their bottom six. So too is Komarov who isn’t able to hold his own in bigger minutes like he was while playing for Lamoriello in Toronto. Neither player should come close to matching their current contracts on the open market two years from now. Johnston isn’t an every-game player but his price tag is at least more appropriate for someone in that role.
While Boychuk’s playing days are over, he’ll remain on the books until his contract expires. He’s eligible for LTIR and the Islanders will need it to be cap-compliant once everyone is signed. Leddy’s deal seemed like a bargain early after he was acquired from Chicago but as his production has dipped the last couple of years, that isn’t the case as much now. It’s not a massive overpayment either as he’s still a top-four option but barring him rediscovering his offensive touch, he is another veteran eyeing a dip in pay. That will also be the case for Hickey who spent last year in the minors and only is being mentioned here since they’ll still face a sizable cap charge if he’s sent back down this season.
The same can’t be said for Pulock. The two-year term on his most recent deal certainly raised some eyebrows as it walks him straight to unrestricted free agency in the prime of his career. He very quietly has established himself as their top defenseman and assuming he continues on his current trajectory, it’s quite possible that he adds another couple of million per year to his next cap hit. That the Isles opted for this contract shouldn’t be perceived as an indictment on Pulock but rather a reality of who still needs a contract (more on him later). This was the cheapest way to get him signed and while they’ll benefit from it for the next two years, they’ll pay for it in 2022 when he’ll cost a fair bit more to re-sign.
Three Years Remaining
F Andrew Ladd ($5.5MM, UFA)
D Scott Mayfield ($1.45MM, UFA)
G Semyon Varlamov ($5MM, UFA)
Ladd is yet another of the terrible 2016 UFA contracts that were handed out. While he was a top-six forward when the deal was signed, he isn’t now and spent most of last season in the minors. That may be the case again next season and to make matters worse, the structure of the deal makes it virtually buyout-proof.
Mayfield’s five-year extension came with some risk considering he didn’t have even one year’s worth of NHL experience under his belt but it has proven to be a prudent move as he has since established himself as a capable regular. His offensive production (or lack of) will limit his earnings upside but he should still get a fair-sized raise in his first crack at the open market.
Varlamov had a good first season with the Islanders and eventually wrestled away the number one job. However, Sorokin is their goalie of the future and the expectation is that he’ll eventually take over the top role from Varlamov. As a result, it’s fair to wonder if he finishes this team with them; if he does, he’ll probably have a hard time commanding similar money from a 1B or backup role.
Four Or More Years Remaining
F Josh Bailey ($5MM through 2023-24)
F Jordan Eberle ($5.5MM through 2023-24)
F Anders Lee ($7MM through 2025-26)
F Jean-Gabriel Pageau ($5MM through 2025-26)
F Brock Nelson ($6MM through 2024-25)
Lee’s deal already feels a bit on the high side for a player that has only surpassed the 30-goal mark twice in his career and is someone that typically slots in at around 50 points per year. He’s their captain and plays an important role but the final couple of years may be rough; such is life with quite a few long-term UFA contracts though. Nelson quietly had the best offensive output of his career despite the season being shortened which has to be encouraging. It’s still early but so far, so good in terms of living up to the higher-priced deal. Eberle had a good bounce-back year last season with a good showing in the playoffs but his contract is also a little overpriced for his recent production.
Pageau’s case is certainly an interesting one. At the time his contract was signed, it seemed like a reasonable price considering the year he was having. Then the pandemic hit and already, this deal doesn’t hold up as well despite the fact he has yet to play under it. Last season was a career year for him offensively but he brings enough defensive ability and intangibles to the table to still be an effective player but with the flattened cap, paying for those intangibles is costlier now than it was before when the projections were for the Upper Limit to keep increasing annually. Bailey still hasn’t scored 20 goals in a single season but has greatly improved as a playmaker in recent years and has given them a good return on his deal so far. It’s one that gradually declines in cash payouts so by the time it’s nearing its conclusion, they should be able to trade him if they need to and free up some cap space.
G Rick DiPietro ($0 cap hit as it was a compliance buyout but he’s owed $1.5MM per year through 2028-29)
Retained Salary Transactions
Crackstreams Flyers Islanders
Still To Sign
F Mathew Barzal – This situation likely helped push Pulock into another short-term deal and ultimately pushed Devon Toews out the door. He’s not in a position to command top dollar at his position by any stretch but he has led the team in scoring in all three of his NHL seasons. As things stand, the expectation is that the two sides will ultimately work out a bridge deal in the $7MM range though if they want to avoid offseason LTIR to maximize in-season flexibility and perhaps try to bring back a veteran free agent or two, it’s a contract that may take a while to be officially finalized.
Best Value: Beauvillier
Worst Value: Ladd
The Islanders don’t have a great cap situation for the upcoming season. They’ll be able to get into compliance by putting Boychuk on LTIR which will allow them to re-sign Barzal but there are quite a few players on poor-value contracts that will make it difficult for Lamoriello to try to improve his roster.
They’ll gain some flexibility when their high-paid physical players have their deals expire but at that time, they’ll be trying to use those funds to re-sign the ones they had to give short-term deals to now in order to stay cap-compliant. By no means is it a dire cap situation but there isn’t a lot of room to add to the core of the team as things stand either.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
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