After making a surprising run to the Conference Finals this season, New York Islanders hope they can even go a step further in 2019/20. However, in order to do so, they know they will have to make an effort to retain their core players.
Speaking with reporters earlier this week, Islanders’ general manager Lou Lamoriello said that the organizations will make an effort to re-sign all of their top free agents this offseason and believes this is a doable task.
“Right now, all I’m doing is focusing in on communication with each and every one of our restricted free agents and also unrestricted free agents and seeing exactly what we can get done,” said Lamoriello. “We did not have any communication during the playoffs intentionally, and right now we’re talking.”
“I feel that we’ll get all our players signed in due time,” he added.
The most notable of the pack is All-Star Mathew Barzal, who is entering the restricted free agency. Barzal has first led the team in the regular season with 19 goals and 41 assists (60 points) before adding 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in the postseason. He will be also the most challenging to keep, as he’ll most likely command top money for his services.
Defenseman duo Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews are also set to become restricted free agents, while defenseman Andy Greene, forwards Matt Martin, Tom Kuhnhackl and Derick Brassard, and goalkeeper Thomas Greiss enter unrestricted free agency.
Islanders’ position becomes even tougher, considering they are already dealing with a tight budget. But that won’t stop Lamoriello from giving his best to keep the talented squad together.
“Right now, we’re focusing on trying to keep our team together,” he concluded.