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New York Islanders

Islanders Delay Done Deals, Buyout of Eberle Possible

What the New York Islanders do next will be watched closely. Do they make a trade or buyout a player like Jordan Eberle?

There’s a lot going on with the New York Islanders organization these days. A recent deal for defenseman Ryan Pulock means the team will have to get creative with their salary cap and make some tough decisions to find the room to re-sign star forward Mathew Barzal. These complications could explain some of the rumors coming out about players like Jordan Eberle and why the announcements of deals the team is believed to have done aren’t being announced.

Related: Pulock Deal Opens Buyout Window For Isles, Makes Barzal Deal Trickier

A few reputable writers have started looking more closely at how things might shake out with the Islanders this offseason. With little cap room left to add Barzal’s expectedly high annual average salary, something’s got to give. Right now, the team has avoided announcing verbal deals the franchise is believed to have struck with Matt Martin, Andy Greene and Cory Schneider. That said, those delayed deals are far from the Islanders bigger concerns.

Arthur Staple of The Athletic, notes the reason these contracts haven’t been finalized is out of fear that a team might then strike with an offer sheet on Barzal. Further to that, there’s speculation the Islanders are going to have to get creative when it comes to clearing the room needed. Staple adds that GM Lou Lamoriello might have to look at making a drastic move and among those options are buying out Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey or Nick Leddy.

He admits that he doesn’t see Eberle leaving because the team doesn’t want to let him go, but also because he doesn’t think the Islanders will have to give Barzal the $10 million annually some have projected. He says:

Buying out Eberle gives the Isles an extra $2 million and change in cap space for 2020-21; if it goes straight to Barzal’s deal, then you’re down a top-nine forward with no money to replace him.

Jordan Eberle New York Islanders
Jordan Eberle New York Islanders

The Islanders Sacrificing a Lot

Matt Markin of The Hockey News writes that it’s possible Lamoriello can “recapture his ‘Robidas Island’ LTIR magic” and find a way to move a player like Andrew Ladd, but if he can’t they’ll have make a trade.

In the end, it could mean a wash on the offseason, if not a net loss for the Islanders who were forced to move Devon Toews and then trade another useful piece. There’s a buyout window opening right away for the Islanders thanks to the Ryan Pulock signing. We’ll see if the team takes advantage of it.

Next: Scribe Notes Date Crosby and Malkin Will Likely Leave Penguins

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